Lacrosse girls face new rules with focus on safety

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Lacrosse girls face new rules with focus on safety

Natalia Rodriguez and Daniel Schleien, Business Manager and Staff Writer

Sports are dangerous by nature; there is always the possibility of catastrophic injuries ending athletes’ seasons and possibly their careers.  To combat such risks, football players wear bulky helmets that are at times designed specifically for concusion patients and protective padding that nearly covers their body and basketball players sometimes wear kneepads and elbow braces.

Before this upcoming season, girls’ lacrosse players’ major protection came in the form of a helmet.  However, before this season, the U.S. Lacrosse Board banned helmets in girls’ lacrosse. The resulting lack of protective padding can put a player’s health in major danger.

“I think that helmets would change the way we play because we would be more aggressive. It would feel different, but at the same time safer,” senior Alex Phung, one of the team’s captains and defensive wing player, said.

The U.S. Lacrosse Board does not allow girls’ lacrosse players to wear helmets even though lacrosse is the highest-rated sport for concussions in girls’ sports.

Some players support the board’s decisions.  Instead of implementing helmets, the U.S. Lacrosse Board created stricter rules on play. For example, the board also increased the severity of red card penalties.

“I find this to be very annoying because they aren’t allowing us to be as aggressive as lacrosse should be,” junior and low defender Michelle Lipton said.

Despite this problem, some of the players support the U.S. Lacrosse Board’s decision to ban helmets since they have been playing without them for so long.

“Unless we get to hit each other the way the boys get to play, I don’t think we should wear helmets. Lacrosse is a sport where the rules are different for boys and girls,” senior Kaylee Scott-Pennington, center, said.

The players can understand both sides of the issue, and, despite its importance, don’t think the decision will have that significant of an  impact on the sport overall.

“Either way with or without helmets, lacrosse is a very aggresive game and regardless there are other ways of getting injured,” Lipton said. “People have to realize that even the boys, who do play with helmets, still suffer from concussions.”

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