Lacrosse Safety

Lacrosse is a popular sport in U.S. high schools, with more than 170,000 students taking part every year. Like many school sports, lacrosse is a good way to stay active and have fun. The fast pace and intensity of the sport can lead to injuries, though.

Coaches, officials, athletic trainers, parents, and players can all help keep athletes safe.

Safety Tips

  • For Players
    • Know the rules of the game, and follow them.
    • Wear all required safety gear.
    • Warm up properly.
    • Drink plenty of water while practicing and during games.
    • Rest after practice and games to help prevent overuse injuries.
    • Tell your coach, trainer, or parent about any injuries.
    • Report any possible concussions immediately.
  • For Parents, Coaches, and Officials
    • Have an injury plan in place for practice and competitions. Make sure everyone on the staff knows how to handle injuries when they happen.
    • Strictly enforce all rules, especially those regarding player-to-player contact.
    • Learn the symptoms of concussion. If players show any signs of a concussion, have them see an athletic trainer or other medical professional before returning to practice or the game.

Lacrosse Injury Facts

  • Overall
    • Injuries are more likely to occur during games than during practice.
    • A concussion is 6 times more likely to occur in a game than in practice.
    • Strains and sprains are the most common type of injury (almost 40%), followed by concussions (more than 20%).
    • About 60% of athletes take a week or longer to return to play.
    • Knee sprains and strains are more likely to require surgery than any other injury.
  • Boys
    • Boys are injured at a higher rate than girls.
    • Collisions with other players lead to more injuries in boys than any other cause. (Only boys’ lacrosse allows person-to-person contact.)
  • Girls
    • Girls are more likely to be injured without contact – like by twisting an ankle or pulling a muscle – than any other cause.
    • About 25% of girls’ concussions are from person-to-person contact, even though this kind of contact is against the rules in girls’ lacrosse.

Additional Lacrosse Safety Resources

  • Lacrosse-related injuries in boys and girls treated in U.S. emergency departments, 2000-2016
  • Lacrosse injuries among high school boys and girls in the United States: academic years 2008-2009 through 2011-2012