At the middle and high school level, are there differences in rates and severity of injury, between girls' and boys' lacrosse?

If there is a difference, what would explain it, in terms of actual play? Potential factors are safety gear, rules, customs, or style, but others can be included where necessary.

I have read some newspaper articles with photographs showing boys waving sticks and hitting players. It seems to be called "checking." We got a glimpse of a girls' lacrosse game and got the impression they had less protective gear and used the sticks less as weapons.

My concern originated from reading a newspaper report of a college lacrosse player dying after getting hit by the ball in the chest. I believe there was some sort of heart abnormality that hadn't been detected previously.

Update: My son finally wore me down and he has now played one season of high school lacrosse. He played defense. He claims this is a less dangerous position ("I don't get hit with a stick, I'm the one hitting other people with a stick"). I went to most of the games. I don't know if we were just lucky -- but I didn't see any injuries. I'm still saying no to ice hockey and American football.

  • 1
    I feel like the very fact you're asking this question means you've made zero research effort. If you have actually watched some games of both men's and women's lacrosse, please make that (much more) clear. I also believe that you're asking a question that is simply too broad. Each area you mention would be a reasonable question on its own, if appended with the prior research notes. VTC and -1 as a result, but meant in only the most positive way possible.
    – Nij
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 4:23
  • @Nij - I am sports-challenged. Some people are math challenged -- I am sports challenged. Commented May 8, 2017 at 6:09
  • I'm removing the downvote for now including some prior research effort, but keeping VTC as too broad, and hoping you split the aspects into their own questions.
    – Nij
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 6:12
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    The rules are very different between the two versions of the game. As for safety, I don't know. When I played I felt I'd rather have the helmet and pads on and take the hits rather then be hit unprotected by a lacrosse ball...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 15:01
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    GScholar "lacrosse injury rate" is showing me some numbers that will be useful for an analysis. Explaining the differences is likely to be partially die to rules and equipment, but some related research is showing that simply being a woman makes a few injury types much more likely than for men in same sport and same level (mostly around soft-tissue leg injuries). I'll try to revisit this when time allows for decent research.
    – Nij
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


The most common injury in lacrosse by far is concussions, and it's actually the second sport behind football to have the most concussions. Don't get fooled if the women have less gear that just means they get injured easier.

This article will help you. It involves a study comparing the injuries of men's lacrosse vs. women's lacrosse. The women's main injuries resulted from stick and ball contact.


"Although permitting only incidental contact, women's lacrosse had higher rates of head, face, and eye injuries at both the high school and collegiate levels."

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