Take steps to limit concussions
Concussions are becoming a big part of lacrosse, and there are a number of ways to reduce them.
First of all, there are some real nicely designed helmets out there. They have as much padding inside as football helmets. They might be slightly heavier than the lacrosse helmets, but after a while, players rarely notice the difference. These helmets might cost more money, but are worth the price.
I also think that the officiating groups that govern lacrosse should get together and either administer more penalties for blows to the head, or just give out ejections. Right now, blows to the head are subjective calls, just like facemasking penalties were in the NFL. There were five-yard penalties for some facemasks, and 15 yards for others. Now, the NFL has ruled that all facemask penalties are 15 yards. That's the way it should be in lacrosse with blows to the head.
Finally, coaches need to be challenged. We live in a bloodthirsty world. We teach kids to play for the big hit, the "kill shot." That's wrong. It's one thing to teach a kid to be physical, another to allow them to take out other players intentionally. I've often seen kids walk to the sideline after a late, cheap shot, and the coaches don't say anything. We really need to do a better job of educating players about safety.
Lacrosse is a great game, but the number of concussions in the sport are rising. They'll keep going up until we make some changes, or unfortunately, until some kid really gets seriously hurt.
-- Mike Preston