Tag Archives: headgear

ASTM International Standardizes Headgear for Women’s Lacrosse

ASTM International published today a standard for protective headgear for women’s lacrosse players. Experts from the lacrosse community, the medical field, the biomechanics industry and product testing laboratories collaborated on the standard (F3137, Specification for Headgear Used in Women’s Lacrosse).

Ann Carpenetti, vice president of US Lacrosse Operations, says, “This may be a benchmark moment in the continued evolution of girls’ and women’s lacrosse, especially as it relates to increased safety for all game participants.”

The ASTM standard resulted from a decision by US Lacrosse to standardize headgear for the women’s game. Men’s and women’s lacrosse are treated as two distinct sports, with the full-body contact that is part of the men’s game requiring the use of headgear. However, intentional stick or body contact is considered illegal in the women’s game, thus headgear has always been optional for women.

Carpenetti, co-chair of ASTM Subcommittee F08.31 on Women’s Lacrosse Equipment, notes that US Lacrosse rules never stated that wearing headgear reduces the risk of head injuries, leading to a need for the specification.

“Without an evidence-based standard that demonstrates the product was developed and tested to address specific impacts most frequently seen in the game, the benefits and risks to those players wearing headgear are, at best, unknown,” says Carpenetti.

“The standard was developed to allow for optional use and to ensure that players opting not to wear headgear would not be injured by players who choose to wear protective headgear,” says Carpenetti. The optional status may be re-evaluated once the women’s lacrosse community begins to see F3137-compliant headgear in action. At this time, no rulemaking bodies are planning to mandate the use of F3137 headgear.

Product manufacturers designing headgear will be the primary users of the standard. Carpenetti expects that helmets meeting the standard may be available for purchase in about 18 months.

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International Boxing Association Bans Headgear in Bid to Reduce Concussions

The International Boxing Association, which oversees amateur boxing, will ban elite male boxers who compete headgear boxerinternationally from wearing headgear, starting on June 1

Many have suggested that if the National Football League banned helmets that the incidence of concussions would decline. This may be the first time that a sports group has tried this theory.

“All available data indicated that the removal of headguard in Elite Men would result in a decreased number of concussions,” the AIBA said in a statement.

One of the given reasons was that headgear blocks peripheral vision, preventing boxers from seeing punches coming from the side.

Charles Butler, chairman of the Association’s medical commission, told the Wall Street Journal that “although cuts will still be a risk, these will heal, as will bones. But if you can’t recognize your grandchildren, it’s a disaster.”

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Concussion Lawsuit against NCAA Picks Up Steam with Another Plaintiff

Angelica Palacios, a former soccer player at Ouachita Baptist University, has joined the concussion lawsuit against the NCAA., broadening the scope of plaintiffs beyond male football players to include non-revenue sports.

The news was reported in a blog on the New York Times Website.

The suit alleges that the NCAA. “has engaged in a long-established patter of negligence and inaction with respect to concussions and concussion-related maladies sustained by its student-athletes, all while profiting immensely from those same student-athletes.”

It also claims that the association has “failed to implement ‘return to play’ guidelines for athletes with concussions, and screening and detection guidelines for head injuries,” according to the post.

The NCAA rebutted the claim with the following statement:

“These claims demonstrate a clear lack of understanding of our long history of action on this matter. The N.C.A.A. has been at the forefront of safety issues throughout its existence, and the Association has specifically addressed the issue of head injuries through a combination of playing rules, equipment requirements and medical best practices. The N.C.A.A. has great compassion for student-athletes who are injured as a result of training, practice or competition, which fuels our desire to make student-athlete safety our top priority.”

Interesting, Palacios wore headgear “three years before joining her college team,” according to the post. But “during a practice drill in her sophomore year, … she was hit right under her headgear by another player’s head while she was in a group of girls going for a header. ‘It hit me in the eyebrow,’” she said. “I turned and it was already swollen. There was a knot in my eyebrow.’” The incident allegedly happened on a Tuesday. “But Palacios said she was made to run the next  Saturday and felt pressure from her coach to get back into the game, even though she didn’t feel well.”

To read the post, visit: http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/former-soccer-player-joins-lawsuit-against-the-n-c-a-a/

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