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Women’s Lacrosse Headgear

At the request of US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse in the United States, ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities is developing a proposed new standard that will specifically cover headgear used in women’s lacrosse.

WK36457, Specification for Headgear Used in Women’s Lacrosse, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F08.53 on Headgear and Helmets.

Ann Kitt Carpenetti, managing director of game administration, US Lacrosse, and an F08.53 member, says that the rules of women’s lacrosse have always allowed for soft headgear to be worn to protect a pre-existing laceration or suture but that this allowance predates by decades the deeper understanding of concussion injury that has recently emerged, as well as any research on the nature of injuries in women’s lacrosse.

“There is currently no headgear standard specific to the unique rules, culture and injury mechanism of women’s lacrosse, although we can certainly share examples of soft headgear that is currently allowed by the rules,” says Carpenetti. She also notes that significant differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse, especially with respect to stick and body contact, indicates that the protective equipment requirements for women’s lacrosse should be evaluated and considered independently from the men’s game.

F08.53 welcomes a wide variety of participants in the ongoing development of WK36457. This includes women’s lacrosse players, coaches, officials, administrators and parents who have experience with the sport and its culture. Recently completed and ongoing research projects, including some funded by US Lacrosse, into the nature and mechanisms of head injuries in women’s lacrosse also will factor into the development of a women’s lacrosse-specific headgear standard.

“We are also interested in bringing in sports medicine and concussion experts — researchers and clinicians who have an appreciation for the types of head injuries seen in women’s lacrosse,” says Carpenetti. “We are interested in bringing members of the lacrosse industry who understand the differences between the men’s and women’s game and understand the desire of the governing body to establish a game-appropriate standard.”

CONTACT Technical Information: Ann Kitt Carpenetti, US Lacrosse • Baltimore, Md. • Phone: 410-235-6882, ext. 117 | ASTM Staff: Rick Lake • Phone: 610-832-9689 | Upcoming Meeting: Nov. 14-16 • November Committee Week • Atlanta, Ga.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.