Girls’ lacrosse is fundamentally a different sport than boys’ lacrosse, and girls are not required to wear protective headgear. Recent epidemiological studies have found that stick checks are the leading cause of concussion injury in girls’ lacrosse. The purpose of this study was to determine stick check speeds and estimate the head acceleration associated with direct checks to the head. In addition, we briefly examine if commercially available headgear can mitigate the accelerations. Seven (n = 7) experienced female lacrosse players checked, with varying severity, a NOSCAE and an ASTM headform. Stick speed at impact and the associated peak linear accelerations of the headform were recorded. The NOCSAE headform was fitted with four commercially available headgear and similar stick impact testing was performed. The median stick impact speed was 8.1 m/s and 777 deg/s. At these speeds, peak linear acceleration was approximately 60g. Three out of the four headgear significantly reduced the peak linear acceleration when compared with the bare headform. These data serve as baseline for understanding the potential mechanism and reduction of concussions from stick impacts in girls’ lacrosse.
Joseph J. Crisco, Laura Costa, Ryan Rich, Joel B. Schwartz, and Bethany Wilcox are with the Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI.