Unsafe in any sport

Students must wear helmets to play soccer, field hockey and lacrosse in Princeton, New Jersey schools, reports EAG News. Bubble soccer

The helmets, which cost $35 to $70, may not prevent injuries, says Joanna Boyd, a concussion specialist at the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. “It’s the speed, it’s the angle, it’s the kind of hit it is.”

Protective gear can encourage aggression, some say. “I’m concerned that the players who are better padded will be more emboldened to do things they never would have thought to do before,” said Marc Block, a longtime soccer referee,told Newsworks.  “My sister referees women’s lacrosse, and as soon as they told everyone to start wearing those metal eye cages, the number of sticks to the head went up very quickly.

I was hit in the head — quite hard — by a field hockey stick when I was in high school. The girl walking ahead of me decided to practice her golf swing and whacked my forehead on the back swing. Just think what might have been …

About Joanne


  1. When I was a kid we played all kinds of disorganized sports without any special protection and nobody ever received any injury other than a occasional scraped knee. Nobody wanted to hurt anybody else. We just wanted to have fun. I think part of the problem is that organized sports push kids into too intense competition. Few kids are going to become professional athletes so the important thing about childhood play is that the children enjoy them and get a lot of exercise ( which would help with our remarkable obesity problem in children ). Get the adults out of childhood sports, end organized sports for children and let them play disorganized sports on their own.

  2. Mark Roulo says:

    The link only mentions soccer. I don’t see lacrosse or field hockey.


    And men’s lacrosse has helmets pretty much everywhere, I think (when my son was playing lacrosse at age 9 everyone wore a helmet …). So is this only *women’s* lacrosse that now gets helmets rather than the eye guards?

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Played college club lax in the early sixties and we all had the lax helmets. The knuckle-draggers at Bowling Green used their football helmets.
      Thing about women’s lax is checking. Very little allowed and so you’re less likely to get hit in the head with a stick. It’s also why they have to be in good shape, because they might have an unimpeded eighty-yard run which guys wouldn’t get.
      Still, a lax ball is very hard rubber surrounding a steel core to give it some sectional density so it does have some impact and the bare skull isn’t built to take a hard shot. ‘cept for mine, of course, which only bruised. And, hell, off the field, the girls would like to look good, not missing teeth, scarred cheeks, so forth. Give them helmets.
      Soccer. Nope.

  3. Ted Craig says:

    There was a study awhile ago that showed woman’s lacrosse was less violent than men’s because of the lack of helmets. The same has been shown for Australian football vs. American – more injuries but fewer serious ones, especially head injuries. Take these for what you will.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      “less violent”.
      Is that a feature or a bug?
      As regards Aussie football, what do we know–me nothing–about tackling below the waist, downfield blocking, etc?
      Had a buddy who was all-conf high school football–running back, I think–who played a bit of rugby. “One long rollout,” he said, not liking it much. If that’s true, it’s the rules, not the equipment.

  4. Mike in Texas says:

    I remember a few years back a wide receiver for the Broncos, Don Bebe, I think, wore a huge foam cover over his helmet b/c he’d had so many concussions. It seems to me the basic design of helmets hasn’t changed since 35 years ago when I was in high school.

    Why a hard plastic shell and protection only beginning on the inside? Why not impact absorbing protection inside AND out?

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Problem with football-associated concussionis is that you don’t need a hard hit to the skull to do it. Any violent change of direction–which could be a hit to the head–like a hard tackle or block, causes the brain to slam into the inside of the skull, causing the damage which might lead to the concussion.
      Boxers wear helmet/mask things while sparring, but the really hard punch which slams the head back does its damage on the inside.
      The helmet padding might incrementally slow the acceleration if hit, but not if simply tackled very hard and go from one direction to backwards in a fraction of a second.

  5. Mark Roulo says:

    I think riding a motorcycle without a helmet is borderline nuts, but the evidence for bicycling without a helmet seems to be much less clear. If they helped, it *should* come out in the statistics.