As Concussion Worries Rise, Girls’ Lacrosse Turns to Headgear

At Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, Dana Patton and Diane Pagano, whose daughters had each sustained concussions, spearheaded an initiative requiring every player in the program to wear headgear. The move received unanimous support. About 70 families from the middle school to the high school level footed the $150 cost per player for headgear during the 2017 spring season.

“The girls became better, more confident players,” Patton said. “We certainly don’t want the girls’ game to turn into the boys’ game; we want the officials to call the rules as they are. And with the extra protection this past year, we saw a drop in head injuries.”

The percentage of players nationwide wearing headgear remains small and there is no available data measuring the equipment’s affect on head injury rates, although the mandates in New York City and Florida may make those locations viable laboratories for testing.

There is no consensus, either, on whether the girls who are using headgear are playing any rougher.

U.S. Lacrosse, the sport’s governing body overseeing more than 315,000 girls and women playing lacrosse at all levels — a number that has nearly doubled…

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