The Effect of Lacrosse Helmet Design on Face Mask Removal with Different Removal Tools.

Principle Investigator: Thomas Bowman, MEd, ATC

Institution: Lynchburg College

Title: The Effect of Lacrosse Helmet Design on Face Mask Removal with Different Removal Tools

Abstract:The removal of helmet face masks is a common concern for Athletic Trainers if a catastrophic event occurs as spinal alignment is altered if the entire helmet is removed. Much of the literature in the field has focused on the removal of football face masks with minimal research regarding men’s lacrosse helmets. Since helmet design is different for lacrosse compared to football, it is intuitive that the removal of the face mask for emergency purposes would also be different. No specific removal tool is recommended for any lacrosse helmet style, however different face mask removal tools may be more beneficial for a certain style of lacrosse helmet. Further, football face mask removal is different between new and used helmets. These factors contribute to the need for research into the use of typical helmet removal tools on lacrosse helmets that are new and used in order to provide the most effective injury management for men’s lacrosse athletes in the event of a catastrophic injury. The objective of this study is to investigate the efficiency and preferences of various helmet removal tools for different lacrosse helmet styles and determine if differences exist between new and used helmets with respect to face mask removal.

The aim of this project is to

  1. Assess and compare time for face mask removal using different removal tools on two helmet brands.
  2. Evaluate Athletic Trainer satisfaction with various face mask removal tools.
  3. Determine if grip strength, hand dominance, or clinical experience with the removal task influences speed of removal.
  4. Determine if differences exist in face mask removal of new helmets compared to used helmets.

The equipment in this study will include helmets (Cascade CPX & Riddell Revolution) and various removal tools (Cordless Screwdriver, Pruner, Face Mask Extractor, and Trainer’s Angel). Fifteen Certified Athletic Trainers will volunteer for this study. The subjects will be randomly assigned in a counterbalanced fashion to remove an assigned helmet’s face mask with an assigned tool after grip strength is measured using a dynamometer. In addition, the subjects will complete demographic information pertaining to hand dominance and clinical experience. Subjects will also evaluate each removal tool on a RPE scale.