Category Archives: Protective Equipment

Lacrosse Injuries: Pennsylvania High School Girls Lacrosse Team Using New “Kevlar Composite Protective Headband” In Pilot Program To Help Protect Players From Concussions (Video)


Unequal Technologies Kevlar Composite Headband For Concussion Protection

Unequal Technologies Kevlar Composite Headband For Concussion Protection

The same padding used to protect Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch and James Harrison from hard hits is now being tested by student athletes at an Allegheny County high school.

Quaker Valley freshman Aubrey Bouchard missed nearly four months of school with two concussions playing sports.

“(There was) dizziness, (I was) not able to concentrate,” she said of her injury.

Nellie Kraus, coach of the girls’ lacrosse team at Quaker Valley High School, was so concerned about concussions, her team became part of a pilot program to test a new Kevlar composite headband.

“I see girls with symptoms of concussions on a weekly basis,” she said.

There are no helmets in girls’ lacrosse but Kraus said the play can get pretty physical.

“There’s multiple properties going on in the composite that enables us to absorb anywhere from up to 50 percent of the impact,” Rob Vito, CEO of Unequal Technologies said while showing Channel 11 the padding.

Unequal Technologies is a Pennsylvania company that created the Band, an adjustable protective headband.

“It conforms to the body. It’s flexible and malleable, but it can stop a truck,” Vito said.

“In practice I got hit in the head with a stick and I was thankfully wearing my headband that could have been my third concussion,” said Bouchard.

When the girls first got the Band, they were a quarter of an inch thick.

They told company leaders they were too uncomfortable, so Unequal went back to the drawing board and readjusted.

Now, the Band is one-eighth of an inch thick.

For more:  http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/product-designed-better-protect-athletes-concussio/nXs3D/

Injuries In Lacrosse: “Should Helmets Be Required In Women’s Lacrosse”, A Chicago Tribune Video Interview Of An Illinois High School Girls Lacrosse Player Who Suffered Four Concussions


Chicago Tribune reporter John Keilman interviews Sara Letmanski, a Glenbard West senior who has suffered four concussions as a result of playing lacrosse.

Lacrosse Injuries: Concussions In Youth Sports, Especially Among Girls, Are Rising Due To “More Games Being Played At Higher Level Of Competition”; Helmets And Specialized Mouth Guards Do Not Prevent Concussions


“They certainly play more games than ever and more games at a higher level of competition,” said Dr. Kevin Walter of the concussion clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “They extend Concussion Legislationthemselves more than ever. And with all the specialized training, they are bigger, faster and stronger. It adds up.”

Helmets, specialized mouth guards and headbands do not prevent concussions. “There is no known way to prevent concussions,” Stein said. “We love helmets and mouth guards; they protect your skull and your teeth. But they won’t stop a concussion from happening.”

Youth sports concussion clinics operate at the center of America’s heightened newyorktimes-logoawareness and increasing worry about concussions among young athletes. Listening to the hundreds of stories of how concussions have occurred, examining patients and monitoring their recoveries, the doctors and staff members are a repository of anecdotal and medical concussion information.

  • Female patients are making up a larger percentage of the clinics’ overall concussion patient population, a percentage that continues to rise year to year.“People used to say this was happening because female athletes are more likely than male athletes to report their concussion symptoms, but not many of us believe that is the reason any longer,” said Dr. Cynthia Stein of Boston Children’s Hospital. “Female athletes are just as aggressive about wanting to stay on the playing field, but maybe their sports are getting rougher.“Forty-one percent of our new patients are now female, which is a huge amount when you consider that the No. 1 sport causing concussions is football, and that’s nearly all male.”
  • Many concussions seem to result from a hit the young athlete does not see coming. It is not just blindside hits in football; it is collisions in which only one party is braced for the collision, as seen in checking sports like lacrosse and hockey. Many soccer players are injured when they are hit in the head by a kicked ball at close range that they did not see coming, especially blows that came from the side or behind them.Doctors again have theorized that girding the neck for a collision or a blow to the head could be the body’s way of protecting the brain. If the blow comes without warning, that layer of fortification is not engaged.“As coaches always say, ‘Keep your head on a swivel so you know what’s going on around you,’ ” said Dr. Michael O’Brien at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It might be good advice for a lot of reasons.”

For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/sports/anecdotal-evidence-offers-clues-to-youth-concussions.html?_r=0

Lacrosse Injuries: Lake Brantley Girls Lacrosse Team (FL) Reports That Fifteen Players Suffered Concussions During 2013 Season (Video)


Male athletes and concussions, especially on the football field, have been the focus of significant research, but local experts said female athletes are now suffering more and more concussions.

Concussions In Lacrosse: “US Lacrosse Sports Science And Safety Committee” Sponsors Study To “Understand Relationship Between Stick Checks And Head Injuries” In Women’s Lacrosse (Video)


Dr. Trey Crisco, a member of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee, led a July 26 “crash test dummy” research session at Brown University, where several female lacrosse players, aged 12 to 28, were asked to take 36 swings at a headform.

“The primary aim of this part of our study is to understand the relationship between stick checks and head accelerations. This grant that we received through both US Lacrosse and NOCSAE is just one piece in trying to understand what the potential injury mechanism is for head injuries in girls’ lacrosse. Previously, there have been epidemiological studies and surveillance studies that have found that the majority of head injuries in girls’ lacrosse occur from the stick. These are inadvertent, obviously, and could be a result of follow-throughs from shots, or fore checks. Unlike the boys’ game, where head injuries are dominated by body-to-body or head-to-head contact, in the girls, we don’t see that; but we are seeing the stick impacting the head. So the goal of this study was to get an understanding of the relationship between the severity of the stick checks and the resulting head accelerations.”

“That’s the holy grail of concussion studies, to document the relationship between head acceleration and concussion. We’re not there yet. We know that above 90Gs or 120Gs, you are more likely than not to get a concussion, but there’s not a definitive threshold. It’s unlikely that there will be across all people because people are different and there’s variability. But there are other factors, like where you get hit and what your previous exposures were. We’re still in the process, through other studies, of coming up with that relationship.”

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/high_school/girls/2011-12/news/080912_study_leader_explains_crash_test_dummy_head_trials

Injuries In Lacrosse: Ivy League Lacrosse Adopts “Concussion Prevention Recommendations” For Men’s And Women’s Lacrosse


The Ivy League presidents accepted a series of recommendations made by the League’s Multi-Sport Concussion Review Committee aimed at limiting the incidence of concussion in men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer. The Multi-Sport Concussion Review Committee oversaw the reviews in men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer. The Multi-Sport Committee arose from the Ivy League’s Ad Hoc Committee on Concussion, which conducted last year’s football concussion review and was also co-chaired by Dartmouth then-President Jim Yong Kim and Cornell President David J. Skorton, both medical doctors. Sport-specific committees reviewed men’s and women’s soccer (one committee), men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse, and included Ivy League head coaches, administrators, expert consultants, team physicians and athletic trainers.

The Ivy League presidents also accepted sport-specific recommendations, including:

Men’s Lacrosse

  •  Coaches will designate 11 combined days in the fall and spring seasons in which body checking will not be permitted in practices.
  • Only one full-contact practice per day will be permitted. • Coaches will place a greater emphasis on teaching proper hitting techniques in practice.
  • The Ivy League office will work with the NCAA on specific issues that could potentially lower the incidence of concussion, including examining the possibility of more stringent consequences for penalties involving targeting the head as well as considering possible rules changes surrounding face-offs.

Women’s Lacrosse

  • Coaches will modify 10 spring practices to exclude stick-checking.
  • Coaches will dedicate time during the beginning of fall practice and skill instruction season on teaching proper stick-checking technique.
  • Each student-athlete will be required to attend at least one skill instruction session that focuses on proper stick-checking technique prior to the first fall practice.
  • Other adopted recommendations centered on suggestions for minimizing accidental hits to the head during practices and continued assessment of officiating to address fouls involving hits (i.e., stick-checking) to the head and other dangerous play.
  • Certified officials will attend one fall practice to emphasize adherence to safety rules and cardable fouls.

For more:  http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/information/gen-releases/2012-13/releases/Ivy_League_Presidents_Approve_Concussion_Recommendations_for_Lacrosse_and_Soccer

Injuries In Lacrosse: US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenerson Calls For Rules And Penalties To Halt Violent Collisions In Men’s Lacrosse


“Lacrosse was never intended to be football with sticks, yet violent collisions of similar force regularly occur on the lacrosse field due to bigger, stronger, faster players…coaches who encourage big hits…and officials who either don’t feel empowered or refuse to enforce current rules,”

High-speed collisions in men’s lacrosse have put players and the sport’s reputation at risk, US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen wrote in a blog on uslacrosse.org this week.

“Lacrosse was never intended to be football with sticks, yet violent collisions of similar force regularly occur on the lacrosse field due to bigger, stronger, faster players…coaches who encourage big hits…and officials who either don’t feel empowered or refuse to enforce current rules,” Stenersen wrote.

The blog was posted Sunday at 8:22 p.m., shortly after an ugly episode in the NCAA quarterfinals which resulted in Notre Dame attackman Ryan Foley being carted off the field on a stretcher following what appeared to be an illegal hit to the head delivered by Virginia defenseman Scott McWilliams. Foley scored on the play to put the Irish up 9-8 in the fourth quarter of an eventual 12-10 victory in Chester, Pa. No penalty was assessed.

Foley, who issued a thumbs-up and waved to the crowd as he was wheeled off the field, flew back to South Bend with the rest of Notre Dame’s players. The team said Sunday night that he was “doing fine.”

Stenersen has been the chief executive of US Lacrosse, the sport’s national governing body, since its 1998 inception. He also proposed several rule changes to combat the trend of violent collisions in the men’s game. The full blog post appears below.

The Time Has Come to Remove Violent Collision from Men’s Lacrosse

“The issue of high speed collision in boys’ and men’s lacrosse is an immediate concern with respect to rule evolution and enforcement. Lacrosse was never intended to be football with sticks, yet violent collisions of similar force regularly occur on the lacrosse field due to bigger, stronger, faster players…coaches who encourage big hits…and officials who either don’t feel empowered or refuse to enforce current rules.

“I’d like to see rule changes proposed that severely penalize hits to unprotected/defenseless players. For instance, in a loose ball situation, I believe we should consider eliminating the opportunity for a player who has no intention of playing the ball from running full speed into another player who is playing the ball. This may be viewed as blasphemous to some who relish the violent component of the game, but even the NFL has embraced similar rules because of growing concerns about player safety.

“The minimum penalties associated with existing rules focused on player safety simply aren’t sufficient to change player behavior; allowing an official the latitude to call a 1, 2 or 3-minute penalty for a rule violation involving player safety rarely results in a 2 or 3-minute penalty. I’d like to see the minimum penalty for unnecessary roughness, illegal body checks, and contact to an opponent’s head increased from 1 minute to 2 minutes, and expulsion should be an acceptable call for each of these infractions if they’re viewed as sufficiently violent. I’m not sure why some coaches don’t seem to appreciate that a 1-minute penalty is not a fair punishment for an infraction that results in the loss of a player to injury…nor is it a sufficient deterrent to the violent behavior in the first place.

“One final thought…US Lacrosse recently reduced the distance from a loose ball within which legal body contact can be made from 5 yards to 3 yards as part of our national youth rules. The intent was to reduce the momentum and resulting intensity of collision between players that could lead to injury. Because adult players can accelerate at a much faster rate and carry frames that easily weigh twice as much as U15 players, this rule is completely transferrable to the high school and college levels, as well.

“Coaches, officials and fans who support violent collision as an essential part of the game don’t fully appreciate the potential for serious injury, particularly with respect to the long term effects of concussion, for both the player being hit and the player who initiates contact. Player safety, not tradition, must be the primary focus of proactive efforts to evolve the rules of the game. If we don’t accept this important responsibility, the game’s violent reputation will surely impede its continued growth.”

For more:  http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_men/DI/2011-12/news/052512_us_lacrosse_ceo_says_violent_collisions_must_stop