Understanding what types of injuries occur in lacrosse and how those injuries happen among boys and girls players is one of the keys to creating new rules that will be effective in making the game safer. By collecting data on lacrosse injuries on a regular basis, US Lacrosse seeks to identify trends in the types of injuries that occur and to evaluate the effectiveness of new programs designed to reduce the risk of injuries.

A recent injury study conducted by MedStar Sports Medicine and funded by US Lacrosse confirmed that the primary mechanisms of injury for boys and girls players differ. Boys’ lacrosse players are more frequently injured as a result of body-to-body contact. In contrast, the most common mechanism of injury among girls’ lacrosse players is contact with a stick or ball.

The latest lacrosse injury information and findings will be presented at the 2017 US Lacrosse Sports Medicine Symposium on Friday, January 20 in Baltimore. The event is open to all members of the lacrosse and medical communities. To see the full agenda and to register, please visit uslacrosse.org/events/sports-medicine-symposium.

Some of the other findings from the MedStar study include:

• Among high school boys, the most frequently injured body part was the ankle (13.8% of documented injuries), slightly ahead of injuries to the hip/thigh/upper leg (13.3%).

• Among high school girls, hip/thigh/upper leg injuries and head/face injuries were tied for the most frequent injury types, as both were documented as 15.8% of all injuries.

• Wrist injuries accounted for 11.8% of boys’ injuries, but only 4.4% of girls’ injuries.

• Boys’ players also had a significantly higher incidence of shoulder injuries (8.1%) than girls’ players (2.2%).

• Boys’ tournament data indicated that in regards to field location, more injuries occurred in the attack and goal area (53%) than any other area of the field. In addition, loose ball situations were identified as the most common type of game play yielding injuries (30%).

“Information on what types of injuries commonly occur and understanding when the injuries are more likely to happen informs all parts of the game,” said Dr. Bruce Griffin, director of US Lacrosse’s Center for Sport Science (CSS). “This information can be used to help educate coaches and officials on ways to make the game safer.”

The MedStar study analyzed injury data collected from three different sources. The first source was youth lacrosse tournament providers, who provided detailed injury reporting data for a two-year period. Over 200 tournament injury reports were reviewed. The second data source came from the athletic trainers in Fairfax County, Virginia, where 25 public high schools sponsor boys and girls varsity and junior varsity lacrosse teams. The athletic trainers used an electronic injury reporting system to record every injury. The third data source was the medical staff for each team that competed in the 2016 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U-19 Men’s Championship. Teams submitted injury report forms for every game during the event.

“Reliable and valid data on injuries provides the evidence for US Lacrosse to create rule changes and policies to make the game safer,” said Dr. Andrew Lincoln, one of the MedStar researchers and a member of US Lacrosse’s Sports Science and Safety committee. “Collecting injury data also allows US Lacrosse to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of new rules or policies.”

A full summary of MedStar’s injury surveillance study will be published in US Lacrosse’s 2016 Research Report, which will be available soon. The report features summaries and updates on six different studies that were wholly or partially funded through US Lacrosse’s Center for Sport Science.


US Lacrosse Sports Medicine Symposium

This national-level event is open to all members of the medical and lacrosse communities.

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