BALTIMORE, June 17, 2015 — USA Today high school sports writer Jim Halley reported Tuesday on the findings of the study “Epidemiology of sports-related concussion in seven US high school and collegiate sports,” conducted by Stephen W. Marshall, Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Viswanathan Shankar, Michael McCrea and Robert C. Cantu.
The purpose of the study was to determine if suffering a single concussion increased the likelihood of suffering a second concussion. While the study itself was new, the data used in the report was not. Research data for the study was collected more than a decade ago, from 1999 to 2001. At the time, women’s lacrosse ranked second among all sports for concussions in that particular data set, but much has changed over the last 14 years.
Since 2001, US Lacrosse has led and continues to direct numerous initiatives that reduce the risk of head and other injuries for women’s lacrosse players. Those efforts include:
• Development of sport-specific protective eyewear and rules to mandate player use.
• Enrollment of 30,000 coaches in lacrosse-specific educational programs that include appropriate curricula for teaching safe play.
• Enrollment of 10,000 officials in lacrosse-specific educational programs that include rules and mechanics training.
• Investment of nearly $750,000 in research studies that result in recommendations to reduce risk of player injury.
• Rule changes to greater penalize stick checks near the head and other unsafe play.
• Development of a game-specific protective headgear standard through ASTM International, which was approved last month.
These efforts have all contributed greatly in reducing the injury rates in women’s lacrosse over the past decade, as evidenced by the findings in recent injury surveillance studies.
As reported in the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study for the 2013-14 school year, women’s lacrosse ranked sixth in overall injury rates among female high school athletes, behind soccer, basketball, field hockey, volleyball and softball. Additionally, women’s lacrosse ranked ninth among high school sports in concussion rates.
“Changes to the rules, equipment and coaching and officials’ education have made women’s lacrosse much safer today and greatly reduced the concussion risk compared to other sports,” said Dr. Bruce Griffin, director of health and sport safety at US Lacrosse.
For more on US Lacrosse’s work to maximize player safety in lacrosse, visit uslacrosse.org/safety.
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing sport. US Lacrosse has more than 450,000 members in 67 regional chapters across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport. Bookmark, like and follow US Lacrosse at uslacrosse.org, fb.com/uslacrosse and @uslacrosse, respectively.
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