Eyewear for female lacrosse players offers protection
US Lacrosse, the lacrosse governing body, set out a few years ago to reduce eye injuries among female players one of the fastest growing sports in the country. And a new study appears to show the effort was successful.
Protective eyewear was mandated at the youth, scholastic and collegiate levels in 2005. The study, funded by US Lacrosse and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, shows that the rate of eye injury of injury dropped from .1 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures in 2000-2003 to .016 in 2004-2009.
Head/face injuries also decreased and there was no change in overall body injuries, showing that players likely didn’t become more aggressive after the eyewear mandate. Concussions went up, but researchers believe that was because of increased awareness and diagnosis in more recent years.
“The findings suggest the mandated protective eyewear in girls’ lacrosse achieved the desired goals of reducing eye injury,” said Andrew E. Lincoln, from the MedStar Sports Medicine Research Center in Baltimore, a member of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee and coauthor of the study.
He said one of the “major concerns involved with introducing protective equipment,” increased aggressiveness, was also addressed.
The study looked at female scholastic lacrosse players in 25 public high schools in Fairfax County, Va., during the 2004-2009 spring seasons. The data was compared to earlier data from the same source.US Lacrosse said such studies help them establish and adjust safety policies.