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Why Is USLacrosse Preventing Players in the Dangerous Sport of Girls Lacrosse from Using Protective Headgear?

With sports-related concussions at both the high school and collegiate levels on the rise, safety advocates and elected officials have called for an increased use of protective headgear. To help reduce the incidence of concussion, Crasche New York has produced the Crasche Middie for girls lacrosse. The USLacrosse Association initially determined that the Crasche hat was allowed, but has not extended that allowance to the Crasche Middie.

On February 4, USLacrosse sent a letter to Crasche inventor Robert Emmett Cleva which stated that the Crasche Middie was deemed “illegal for play” by USLacrosse’s Women’s Rules Subcommittee. USLacrosse claimed that the protective inserts were “unyielding,” meaning that a player wearing no head protection running into another player wearing the Crasche Middie would face head injury.

“The USLacrosse Association’s statement that the Crasche Middie and its protective inserts can injure another player is a total fabrication,” Mr. Cleva said. “We have had this product tested by a leading national laboratory, and the Crasche Middie was found to be of no danger to the other players. In fact, it was found to be safer for the other players. USLacrosse had this report prior to making their callous and shameful decision. They have chosen to ignore it.”

“The Crasche Middie is superior head protection,” Mr. Cleva said. “It reduces the impact from 78-mile-per-hour ball-to-head contact to below concussive levels, and it is even more effective for stick-to-head contact at 38 miles per hour.”

This form of protective headgear is vital to girls lacrosse. A study from George Mason University examining 529 girls lacrosse games showed an incidence of 21 concussions. “Is USLacrosse in denial as to the extent of concussions in girls lacrosse?” Mr. Cleva asked. “I have not spoken to one school district anywhere that doesn’t have a story about a girls lacrosse player who has suffered a serious head injury. How many girls have to spend weeks in an unlit room because they were denied effective head protection? Isn’t preventing even one concussion a worthy cause?”

“To deny the allowance of our product is an unacceptable act on the part of the USLacrosse Association,” Mr. Cleva added. “It unnecessarily increases the risk of injury to the players who are denied its use. The USLacrosse Association is supposed to have player safety as its primary goal. I would like the girls lacrosse community to look at the data and judge for themselves. This callous and shameful decision should be held up to public scrutiny.”