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J Athl Train. 1995 March; 30(1): 37-39, 41.
PMCID: PMC1317826

Head and Facial Injuries in Interscholastic Women's Lacrosse

Michael S. Goldenberg, MS, ATC
Michael S. Goldenberg is Head Athletic Trainer at Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.


The Purpose of this study was to determine the advisability of protective headgear for interscholastic women playing lacrosse by recording the occurrence of head and facial injuries. During this 3-year study, the head and facial region was the most frequently injured individual area (5.4/100 athletes) of all body structures. The three areas of the head and face that were injured the most were: the head (36%), the eye (23%), and the nose (18%). Being struck by an opponent's stick or the ball were the two most common mechanisms of injury, with contusions (63%), lacerations (14%), and concussions (10%) being the most frequent injuries. Athletes were most often in the act of catching the ball or being stick-checked when the injury occurred to the head and facial area. Twice as many head and facial injuries occurred during game play than practice, with on-goal and midfield play being the most hazardous situations. Over the 3-year study, 75% of the athletes who sustained a head or facial injury were incapacitated for 0 to 1 day. Due to the lack of severity of injuries, we concluded that helmets were not necessary for interscholastic women.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Lapidus CS, Nelson LB, Jeffers JB, Kay M, Schwarz DF. Eye injuries in lacrosse: women need their vision less than men? J Trauma. 1992 May;32(5):555–556. [PubMed]
  • Mayer NE, Kenney JG, Edlich RC, Edlich RF. Fractures in women lacrosse players: preventable injuries. J Emerg Med. 1987 May-Jun;5(3):177–180. [PubMed]
  • Whiteside JA, Fleagle SB, Kalenak A. Fractures and refractures in intercollegiate athletes. An eleven-year experience. Am J Sports Med. 1981 Nov-Dec;9(6):369–377. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association