Helmets are mandatory in boys/men’s lacrosse at all levels.

But that’s not the case in girls/women’s lacrosse.

Will things change?

Hopefully not. That’s according to many of the 250,000 players involved in the girls/women’s game who argue that not wearing helmets may actually be safer.

The New York Times took an in-depth look at this topic in Thursday’s editions.

You can check out the article by Alan Schwarz by clicking here.

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21 Responses to “The case against helmets in lacrosse”

  1. A Dad says:

    It’s a shame, the girls game is so free flowing when played at a high level.
    They are closer to the creators game then the men.
    The girls are bigger,faster,stronger and the sticks are allowing them to shot harder. I’d hate to say it but it’s time for girls to wear helmets. The refs have to call a really tight game to keep someone from hurt. One head injury is one to many to take.

  2. Observer Lax says:

    Interesting article

  3. upstate says:

    no helmets! the problem is not with the sticks or the girls. safe play must be enforced by better quality officiating. end of story. the quality of the game will drop if girls start wearing clunky helmets and are allowed to throw checks into the head. fix the officials, the game ain’t broken.

  4. Alina says:

    Where is the facebook like button ?

  5. Girls, girls, girls says:

    The problem stems from a few areas. With lacrosse being so up and coming, the level of officiating is simply not there yet. It’s ruining the game for so many involved. There are some officials, sorry SECTION 9 and upstate SECTION 1 officials, that simply are NOT up to speed. They do not understand shooting space, impeding in midfield, and the basic concepts of the sphere. They card for things like a mouthguard on a girl with braces, and quality checks just because they are hard yet done correctly. They do not card when a girl is running down the field with her stick across a girls neck. They do not card for a check when the defender drops her stick below her shoulder.
    The other issue is with the coaches. I have seen coaches first hand tell their players they can check any part of the stick, they can throw a one handed slash down midfield as long as it is away from the body, they can poke check (ah, boys lax?) and they can enter the sphere as long as they don’t touch the head. Are you kidding me? We need to focus on teaching the girls how to play good defense. You check because the girl with the ball has made a mistake with her stick, not because it’s just what you do.
    The coaches and officials need to be held accountable. It’s the only way the girls will know the correct way to play and will ever get any better. It’s inconsistent that it’s disgusting to watch. There is one set of rules here, another set of rules there. When teams finally do make it to places where there are quality officials, they get run over because they have no idea what to do!
    Coaches and officials – it’s time to step up and be responsible for your actions! Teach the girls to respect the game and play the game the way it is meant to be played, and they will be successful.
    Also, there have been areas that have gone to helmets. They aren’t wearing helmets any more. The helmets led to a whole new issue of safety and much rougher play. Play with finesse and skill and many of these injuries would never happen to begin with.

  6. D-Pac says:

    Asked if they rather play under the same rules as their male counterparts and wear the same equipment, most female lacrosse players would say yes. The rules need to be changed. Females are just as athletic and tough.

    • upstate says:

      i disagree. most top girls lacrosse players do not want to play like the boys. maybe some middle school girls or girls who can handle to skills involved in their own game would like to see a shift. the best players though do not want any change.

    • slacrosse says:

      I agree with you.

      Great credit of course to the athletic skill and effort of the girls that play. Taking nothing away from them.

      But I find the game to be kind of boring and the penalties weird. I realize that these rules and penalties make sense when you’re trying to prevent contact to protect kids not wearing helmets or other gear. But they make for a totally different game.

      Let the girls wear equipment and maybe adjust the rules maybe to some how be more conservative about contact. I think the game would not be considered dangerous, injuries would be kept to a minimum and the game would be more interesting, exciting and appeal to wider crowds.

      • upstate says:

        honestly, we don’t really want it to be watched by a wider crowd. women’s hockey has the same pads and same rules as the men’s game and look at all of those people who watch women’s hockey…oh wait.

        the girls game is great as it is…if you don’t like it, then you probably don’t get it, so just leave it alone. the worst thing that could happen would be helmets. there would be no wider crowds and people who love the game as it is would be miserable watching it.

        • slacrosse says:

          Wait. When you say “we” the “we” can’t include the players!! Boys AND girls like to have the largest crowds possible watching and cheering them on, regardless of the sport–gotta be a no brainer.

          • girls, girls, girls says:

            Slacrosse, I think you may be missing the point. Yes, the girls absolutely want as big of a crowd as they can get watching their sport. Girls hockey is a good example of what can happen when you put on pads and then try to modify the boys rules for the girls. The girls sport is great at it is. Go to any high quality game, with quality players, quality coaches, and quality officials and the stands are pretty packed. Ever been to a Northwestern/Maryland game? UMass game, Virginia game, North Carolina game? There is a prettty good crowd of people and they are quite intense. Maybe not as many as the boys, but what women’s sport does?
            Women’s lacrosse is a game of finesse and skill. When coached and officiated correctly, it’s pretty exciting for those involved whether in the game, on the sidelines, or in the stands.

          • upstate says:

            first of all…i am a man. i played D1 lacrosse in college. i am a former all section player and former member of the empire state team. i am involved with girls lacrosse for reasons that were largely out of my control. however, now that i am with girls lacrosse on a coaching level, i will say that the game is perfect the way it is. when i first got involved in the game, my simplistic men’s lacrosse perspective led me to be frustrated with the sport. the fouls, the lack of checking and physical play were annoying to me; especially since i am a former defender and lsm. as the years have gone by though, i will tell you that girls game is pure and helmets would ruin it completely. my experiences from the MEN’s game on the some of the highest levels possible tells me that the girls do not need helmets at all. never have and never will. sorry for insulting you…a fan of the BOYS game and not just THE game.

  7. upstate says:

    i disagree. most top girls lacrosse players do not want to play like the boys. maybe some middle school girls or girls who can’t handle the skills involved in their own game would like to see a shift. the best players though do not want any change.

    sorry for the bad typing…

  8. slacrosse says:

    girls, girls, girls,

    Appreciate and agree with your comments.

  9. D-Pac says:

    WEll stated Upstate and Girls. I can understand where you are coming from. Maybe I need to understand the rules better. Maybe it is the lack of quality referees, but the game moves much slower and ther are too many stoppages. I just wish it was as free wheeling as the boys.

  10. girls, girls, girls says:

    Thank you! I can see all of your points, as many don’t have that much of an opportunity to see a great girls game played with great players, great coaches, and great officials. Watching the newer programs gets frustrating on so many levels, and I can see how that stems alot of the views of girls lacrosse. But, once you’ve seen the flow of the game with some talented players, that all changes. It gets pretty physical, and takes a lot of finesse to get around those situations and really move the ball around. The intensity and level of conditioning needed is up there with the boys, minus the physical hits that get involved. Yes, shooting space stinks, yes, the checking rules are getting quite frustrating. But that’s just part of the “growing” aspect of girls lax right now I guess. Hopefully these areas will start to catch up with the likes of Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island and we can see some of this skill on the field.

  11. rlaxfamily says:

    Nice the replies from some of my favorite bloggers refereeing to the girls game. I have been around girls lax for about 10 ears now and would not like to see helmets brought into the mix. It would change the integrity of the game. Women’s lax still has some growing to do and it will evolve as all great sports do. The men’s lacrosse game is different from the women’s lacrosse game and the two should not be compared. They are two games with very different rules.
    The coaches of this wonderful sport need to understand the rules and the INTENT of the creation of the rules and teach the players the correct way to play the game. This would help all of the players and would avoid the use of additional equipment. Only coaches who don’t understand the game would vote for the use of additional equipment. Officiating in our area is terrible at least until the college games are over. NYS High School Athletic Association should meet not to discuss helmets but rather to discuss how to improve upon the knowledge and requirements of the women’s game from within – coaching and officiating. Please don’t bash the game if you don’t understand it, it is a great sport that deserves to be respected on its own and not compared to the men’s game.
    Correct the real problems with the game and we will have safer play. EDUCATE.

  12. SirLaxalot says:

    I agree. Interesting discussion by all.

  13. Girl Power says:

    I agree the girls/women’s game is fine as is. No thank you on helmets!

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