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Study Says Injury Rate for Girls Higher than Boys in High School Lacrosse

According to a 4-year study (2000- 2003) of injuries in lacrosse reported in the February 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine:

  • Based on athletic exposures, high school girls experienced a significantly higher rate of HFE (head, face, and eye) injuries than boys, in part because of a lack of protective equipment. [Note: Until 2005, when US Lacrosse mandated protective eyewear for all female lacrosse players, the only required piece of protective equipment for female lacrosse players was a mouth guard). The injury rate in girls lacrosse should drop as a result of this new rule]

  • Both boys and girls sustained a majority of HFE injuries during games

  • The preponderance (84.2%) of HFE injuries to high school boys were to the head, with concussions accounting for nearly three-quarters (73%) of the injuries suffered by boys. (It is a myth that helmets protect against concussions; the fact is that they do not)

  • Most (61%) HFE injuries to high school boys came from player-to-player contact.

  • Most (87%) HFE injuries to high school girls resulted from stick or ball contact with the head

  • The preponderance (57.9%) of HFE injuries to high school girls were to the head, but only 40% of the HFE injuries suffered by girls were concussions; the rest were fractures and contusions.

  • High school girls experienced significantly higher proportions of HFE injuries to the nose and eyes than high school boys [Again, the number and frequency of such injuries should go down now that protective eyewear is mandated for girls].

  • The HFE contusion rate was dramatically lower for high school boys than for high school girls, with girls more than 5 times more likely to experience an HFE fracture and nearly 4 times as likely to experience HFE contusions than boys, probably because the helmets boys wear are designed to - and actually do - reduce the risk of contusions, lacerations, fractures, and facial injuries that result primarily from inadvertent contact with the boy or stick.

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