Effectiveness of Protective Eye Wear in Scholastic Girls’ Lacrosse: A Prospective Controlled Study

Principal Investigators: Dwight A. Webster, MD.
Institution: Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine Section, SUNY, Syracuse, NY.
Contact: Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery,
550 Harrison Center
Syracuse, NY 13202
Ph. 315-472-2015
FAX: 315-472-2211


Head and Face Injuries in Scholastic Women’s Lacrosse: A Cohort Study With and Without Eyewear. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (Accepted)

Dwight A. Webster, MD. Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Director Sports Medicine Section, SUNY, Syracuse, NY.
Gene Verel Bayliss, MA, ATC. Coordinator of Sports Medicine Programs, Sports Medicine Section, SUNY, Syracuse, NY.
Joseph A. Spadaro, PhD. Associate Professor, Research. SUNY, Syracuse, NY.

Abstract: The use of protective equipment has been absent of inconsistent in scholastic women’s Lacrosse leading to increasing concern for eye and head injury. There is a paucity of filed data, however, on which to base strategic decisions on how best to prevent head injuries in young athletes. The study examined the effects of protective eyewear on injury rates in scholastic women’s lacrosse in a cohort of approximately 700 varsity and junior varsity players in central New York, studied for two years during a transition from sparse to almost complete eyewear use. The overall head/face injury rate was 0.71 injuries per 1000 exposures (games and practices) and was 16.5% lower in goggle wearers. In games alone, were more aggressive play and stick use prevails, the rate associated with protective eyewear use was markedly lower (51%). Considering specific regions, the rates for peri-orbit and forehead injuries among goggle users was substantially lower than for non-users (6% and 13%, respectively). Cheek and scalp injury rates tended to be higher among goggle wearers, but not statistically significantly so. Significant compensatory increases with goggle wear at other sites were not observed. Only a few injuries appeared to be mediated by the goggles themselves and could potentially have been more serious if the goggles were not present. No direct eye (orbit) injuries were reported throughout the study period. On balance, then, the use of eyewear in women’s lacrosse appears from the present data to be beneficial.

The effectiveness of protective eyewear in scholastic girls lacrosse. a prospective controlled study. Webster, D.A., Bayliss, G.V., Spadaro, J.A.. National Athletic Trainers Assoc. 47th Annual Symposium. Orlando, Florida, June, 1996.

Protective eyewear in scholastic girls lacrosse. a prospective controlled study. Bayliss, G.V., Webster, D.A., Spadaro, J.A. J. of Athletic Training, 31(2), 1996.