Girls' Lacrosse Players Aim to Preserve the Non-Contact Nature of the Game According to Alanna Waters, Lacrosse Coach

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Alanna Waters, lacrosse coach, responds to introduced legislation regarding helmet use in girls' lacrosse games with the assertion that players strive to limit contact during play.

Alanna Waters lacrosse coach at Metro Lacrosse, and other members of this sport community were surprised by the introduction of a bill that would require players to wear helmets by lawmakers in the state of Maryland. According to an article published by The Washington Post, this legal measure was not put into effect; however, its development has sparked a great deal of debate among members of the lacrosse community regarding the safety of young players. Waters asserts that female athletes who are involved in this sport work to minimize contact and therefore maximize player safety throughout the game.

The article explains: "The bill, introduced on Feb. 8, called for most girls' lacrosse players under the age of 19 to wear protective headgear for all practices and games, in accordance with specifications to be set by an already-existing state concussion task force. As word circulated last week, members of the local girls' lacrosse community were quick to speak out for preserving the traditional game, which is considered non-contact."

Waters explains that girls' lacrosse is a different sport from that played by male athletes and that, traditionally, the female athletes involved in the game work to minimize physical contact. While the nature of any physical sport results in accidents and concussions and other head injuries do occur, the article notes: "Some coaches expressed concern that adding a helmet would welcome more physical play." In essence, the worry was that protecting players would invite more intense physical interaction and, ultimately, result in a higher level of injury.

"Girls' lacrosse is a game that, typically, does not involve contact between the players," comments Alanna Waters. "Lacrosse is a physical game, it is true, but more head injuries take place from players falling or running into one another than from them actually hurting each other due to intense play, such as hitting one another when interacting with the ball. I think that the lacrosse community appreciates the concern that lawmakers have for the safety of the players; however, it is important that any legal actions taken with regard to any sport consider the nature of the sport and the best ways to protect its athletes. While preventing concussions and other head injuries is certainly important, this is not necessarily the best way to go about doing it."

Waters encourages lawmakers to continue to look out for their constituents but to ensure that they partner with experts in the subject (i.e. the lacrosse coaches and organizations in the area) to better understand the nature of play before proposing further legal action.


Alanna Waters lacrosse coach and player, currently holds the position of head varsity girls' lacrosse coach at Metro Lacrosse. Through this program, Alanna Waters, lacrosse enthusiast, is able to assist urban youth in developing their athletic skills and other important life lessons.

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Michaela Smorth
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