(From NewsTimes.com article) The recent article about Lauren Castaldi’s injury during a women’s lacrosse game describing her devastating neurological injury that caused her to miss virtually her entire senior year in high school was most disturbing. This injury should be a mandate to have women lacrosse players wear headgear for protection.
As a men’s lacrosse official for many years, I witnessed some severe hits on helmets. This protected players from a serious concussion. Head injuries can change the life of a person in a minute, giving them a permanent neurological impairment for life.
Several coaches said it would “change the integrity of the game if the girls had to wear headgear.” This is not relevant, since the safety of the players and their health should be paramount. My experience with coaches is that they continue to strive for a winning season and a possible state championship. Should a player get injured and be disabled for the season, the season continues despite the serious injury to the player.
I respectfully disagree with the Danbury High School Coach Lauren Scott in her statement that “teaching the fundamentals will prevent head injuries.” This statement is disingenuous, since one head injury can lead to a life-altering change. The game of lacrosse is fast and furious, and almost anything can happen despite the excellent coaching. It is important to be aware that novice and experienced players are not immune to severe concussions.
It was also mentioned that eye goggles could be a substitute for a helmet to prevent an injury. In my opinion this is an unacceptable compromise. The main purpose of the helmet is to protect the player from a concussion. This injury can be devastating, and frequently insurance doesn’t cover the cost.
It is my hope that the rules in women’s lacrosse will change, and coaches will realize that it is their responsibility to protect their players from all possible mishaps.