By Paul Ohanian
With a 2014 research budget of $175,000 and guided by leadership from its Sports Science and Safety Committee, US Lacrosse is supporting several safety-related studies this year.
As a complement to the concussion safety study at Princeton, US Lacrosse is funding a second accelerometer study at George Mason measuring impact forces received by high school boys’ and girls’ players in practices and games. Data collected will be compared to video to identify scenarios associated with high-impact forces.
A study at UNC Greensboro will seek to develop an assessment tool to measure outcomes, including safety-related elements, associated with US Lacrosse’s coaching certification for women’s coaches. The university will include relevant statistical analysis in a Phase 1 assessment of the effectiveness of US Lacrosse’s Coaching Education Program training on player safety. Phase 2 will evaluate CEP training effectiveness on player safety for men’s coaches.
MedStar Sports Medicine is testing a lacrosse-specific ACL injury prevention program for high school players. Research has shown some effectiveness in reducing these injuries through neuromuscular training. Phase 1, conducted last year, introduced players to biomechanics training through certified athletic trainers. Phase 2 research now includes a coach-directed program.
Three different organizations have joined forces to scientifically assess the amount of time youth players spend in lacrosse activity and its corresponding measure to health outcomes. The data could help formalize future recommendations regarding the levels of appropriate involvement to ensure proper development and to minimize the risk of athletic burnout and overuse injuries.
In addition to these, at least two other research studies may also be launched later this year.
“One of our highest organizational priorities is the advancement of player safety,” said Bruce Griffin, US Lacrosse director of health and sport safety. “We anticipate these studies will provide insightful scientific data that will help us better understand how rule changes affect player safety as well as the safety impact of our current skill-teaching processes.”
Want to know more about head or ACL injuries in lacrosse? The US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee, in conjunction with MedStar Sports Medicine, will present two 30-minute informational sessions May 21 with a panel of medical experts to discuss these topics.