Making Headgear Mandatory

May 21, 2018

Shad Green, who coaches the girls' soccer team at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School's in Fort Worth, Texas, has made protective headgear mandatory for his players and hopes the state of Texas will do the same.

According to NBCDFW.com, Green made headgear mandatory three years ago, after 10 girls on his team suffered a total of 14 concussions in a single season. He held fundraisers to raise money to purchase the headgear, and asked the University Interscholastic League to make helmets mandatory in Texas.

"What were we going to put on these girls' heads once they finished concussion protocol and came back into practicing and playing games?” Green said. “That's what got me kind of motivated to use the protective head gear.”

In a study, the Virginia Tech Helmet lab found that protective headgear could reduce head injuries by up to 84 percent. Dr. Chad Stephens, a sports medicine doctor for Noble Pain Management in Southlake, said most injuries happen when players knock heads.

"I don't know why anybody would not want to wear a headband if they're playing 7 on 7 football or ladies soccer," Stephens said. "It'll probably take root into cheerleading and other high impact sports for girls and boys both."

Green said the headgear has proven very effective, as none of his players suffered concussions the season after he made wearing headgear mandatory.

"I can't tell you the number of times we will be at a game and you'll see a girl and she'll go down, and her head will go down and hit the turf and she'll pop back up,” Green said. “Two years ago, I would have said, oh that's a concussion. Now she gets up, re-adjusts her headband, looks around and keep playing."

Green said requiring players to wear protective headgear was common sense.

"They're required to wear helmets in football," Green said. "They're required to wear helmets in baseball. Girls are required to wear shinguards. Why aren't we requiring them to wear headgear?"

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