May 11, 2017
Headgear Not Being Used

In January, US Lacrosse passed a measure to allow female high school lacrosse players to wear protective headgear. In Westchester County, N.Y., the idea is not catching on.

According to, not one of the more than a dozen coaches asked said their players or any opponents are wearing headgear this season. Lauren Peters, general manager of a sporting goods store in Yorktown, N.Y., said she can only recall a handful of customers who came to her store to browse for protective lacrosse headgear.

“We’ve had only two people ask,” said Peters. “They were definitely not extremely knowledgeable about it.”

John Callanan, Head Girls’ Lacrosse Coach at Suffern (N.Y.) High School, said there was once a time when people doubted the necessity of goggles, which became mandatory in 2002. He said that as a coach and a parent, he believed protective headgear was necessary, especially considering how the game has changed.

“The way the game has developed, the sticks changed a lot 15 or 20 years ago,” he said. “These girls are phenomenal athletes. They can really rifle the ball. God help anyone who is in the way.”

Melissa Alamprese, Head Girls’ Lacrosse Coach at Croton-Harmon (N.Y.) High School, said she opposed additional protective headgear. Her belief is that it would prove counterproductive by causing athletes to play more recklessly.

“I am not in favor of headgear or helmets of any kind,” Alamprese said. “Head injuries and concussions are unfortunately a part of many team sports, so I understand the concern for girls’ lacrosse. However, if this is what’s ahead for the sport, it will likely make the game more aggressive when the sport doesn’t call for it.”

Dave Byrnes, MS, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer at Yorktown High School, agrees.

“I’ve been on both sides of the debate for years, but, in the end, I don’t think it’s the right thing for the sport,” he said. “In my experience, adding equipment increases the aggressiveness of the player by decreasing their fear of injury. I think helmets would lead to a fundamental change in the women’s game.”

Image by roanokecollege – Women’s Lacrosse

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