Earlier this fall, US Lacrosse announced its continued funding support for the second year of a research project collecting injury information related to the use of headgear in high school girls’ lacrosse players. 

Being conducted by lead investigator Dr. Daniel Herman at the University of Florida, this is the largest study ever launched to evaluate injury rate differences between helmeted and non-helmeted girls’ players.

With a desire to further expand the study and increase the sample size, Herman is now inviting additional participants to provide data for the 2020 season.

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“Athlete safety policy should be guided by scientific evidence rather than opinion, and we are currently lacking that evidence,” Herman said. “This study will provide critical data that will help inform decision-making by players, parents, coaches, and sports organizations.”

Herman works with athletic trainers from across the country to collect the needed data for the study. Data is reported electronically by the athletic trainers into a national high school injury registry. 

“I can't say enough about the athletic trainers that have been involved in the study,” Herman said. “Their skills and knowledge are only matched by their passion to do the best they can for the athletes in their charge. I am looking forward to recruiting even more athletic trainers for season two.”

Injury data reporting during the 2019 season included 40 teams in Florida and 72 teams outside of Florida. Herman hopes to collect data from an additional 60 high school teams for the 2020 season. For Herman, the larger the sample size, the better, in order to be able to develop statistically significant conclusions. 

“I want my inbox to be flooded with interest from athletic trainers,” he said.

In addition to the research study’s primary aim of evaluating differences regarding concussion and musculoskeletal injuries between high school girls’ lacrosse players wearing headgear versus those that do not wear headgear, the secondary aim is to evaluate differences in attitudes and perceptions about girls’ headgear.

“There is a lot of passion regarding the use of headgear on both sides, and that is not a bad thing,” Herman said. “I get inquiries from people all the time - school boards, concerned coaches or parents, lacrosse leagues and organizations - they all want direction on this question. The responsibility on our team is getting good data quickly so people can take appropriate action.”

As a researcher, Herman is excited to be able to contribute scientific data to future discussions.

“People genuinely want to do what is best for the sport and their athletes,” he said. “Because of that they are really thirsting for this information. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to make a difference in such a direct manner.” 

As an official US Lacrosse partner, Nationwide puts members first, and is committed to the success of US Lacrosse and the safety of young athletes.

Join the Research Study

Athletic trainers who would like to provide data from the 2020 season to the research study are encouraged to contact Dr. Daniel Herman directly.

Contact Dr. Herman