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Brain Inj. 2001 Jun;15(6):537-44.

Head injuries in men's and women's lacrosse: a 10 year analysis of the NEISS database. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908-1004, USA.



Although protective headgear is required in men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse is viewed as non-contact, and use of helmets and faceguards is prohibited. Yet, women remain at risk for injury to the head and face region from contact with the ball and stick. This study was designed to examine differences in lacrosse-related injuries between genders and amongst various age groups.


Data on lacrosse-related injuries maintained through the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, In-depth Investigation File, and Injuries/Potential Injuries File were analysed over a 10-year period (January 1990-April 2000).


A total of 1727 cases of lacrosse-related trauma, mean age 16.9 years, range 4-59 years, were recorded. Males accounted for 80.5% of cases. The head and face region was the most common area injured (20.4%). Injuries to the head and face were significantly more prevalent among females (30.1% of all injuries) than males (18.0% of all injuries), p < 0.001, and often resulted from contact with the ball (33.6% of incidents). Children aged 4-11 years experienced the highest percentage of injuries to the head and face. Closed head injuries represented 5.6% of all lacrosse-related injuries and were slightly more prevalent among females.


Women and children lacrosse players are at risk of serious injury to the head and face region. The use of protective head/face gear should be encouraged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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