Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing high school sports in the United States, with more than 170,000 students now playing the sometimes hard-hitting game. The growing participation numbers, however, mean that more young people than ever are at risk of injury in lacrosse practice and competition.
In a study published online today by The American Journal of Sports Medicine and available in an upcoming print issue, researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Colorado School of Public Health found that high school players experienced 1,406 injuries over the 4 academic years from 2008 through 2012. The overall injury rate was 20 per 10,000 lacrosse competitions and practices.
More than 22 percent of those injuries were concussions, making that the second most common injury diagnosis behind sprains and strains (38 percent).
Researchers also found that while the rules for girls' lacrosse largely prohibit person-to-person contact, almost 25 percent of concussions in girls' lacrosse were a result of that kind of contact. Another 63 percent of concussions resulted from being struck by lacrosse sticks or balls. Most high school girls' lacrosse players are only required to use protective eyewear and mouth guards, and not the helmets and additional padding required for boys' lacrosse.
"Lacrosse is becoming more and more popular across the United States, and it's a great way for high school students to be active," said Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, an author of the study, principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's and associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. "Still, we see injuries in the sport every day during the season. Our research shows that we need to do more and can do more to prevent those injuries."
Boys' and girls' high school lacrosse have different rules regarding person-to-person co
|Contact: Gina Bericchia|
Nationwide Children's Hospital