SPARKS, Md. —US Lacrosse has established a “Return to Playing Lacrosse” advisory group in an effort to help provide informed guidance to the lacrosse community as it relates to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The advisory group is co-chaired by Ann Kitt Carpenetti, VP of Lacrosse Operations for US Lacrosse and Dr. Eugene Hong, chair of the US Lacrosse Sport Science & Safety Committee. The group began meetings last week and is led by top medical professionals across multiple disciplines with strong connections to the sport. The group is also consulting with the medical staffs of the U.S. national team program.

Additional sport and event advisory groups, representing organizations and constituents from every facet of the sport — coaches, officials, youth leagues, clubs and event operators — have also been established. US Lacrosse has fielded numerous questions from program leaders around the country seeking guidance that the working group will address.

“We understand the strong desire for everyone in the lacrosse community to want to get back on the field as soon as possible, and it’s our goal to make sure that happens in a safe and responsible manner,” Carpenetti said.

The priorities for the advisory group are to provide recommendations that mitigate the risk for all participants; explore innovative versions of the sport that allow for smaller number of athletes and coaches to practice, train and compete; and develop guidelines that allow for the return of the sport in a graduated manner along the following pathway: individual training, small group practices, competition and ultimately events with multiple teams and larger numbers of athletes and spectators.

Any return to play options will be led first and foremost by federal, state and local public health guidelines and mandates.

The majority of the medical leadership advisory team also serves on the US Lacrosse Sport Science & Safety Committee, which was formed in 1999 to work on injury prevention and sports medicine issues related to the sport. Here’s a list of the medical leadership advisory team:

  • David Berkoff, MD (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
  • Richard Hinton, MD (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Eugene Hong, MD (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Kari Kindschi, MD (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Matt Nein, CSCS (Salisbury, Md.)
  • Karen Sutton, MD (Fairfield, Conn.)
  • Nina Walker, ATC (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
  • Andrew Wolanin, PsyD (Philadelphia, Pa.)

The support team for the medical advisory group includes Carpenetti and three staff members from US Lacrosse’s sports medicine partner MedStar Health: Jay Dyer (CSCS), Kellie Loehr (ATC) and Sean Huffman (VP of Sports Medicine).