Pictured here is a vintage lacrosse helmet from my playing era. Contemporary lacrosse players refer to this style of helmet as “The egg.” It does not take much imagination to see where the nickname came from, but it may be difficult believe that this was the helmet style up until the early 2000’s.
Just so I can feel a little bit less old having played my entire middle school, high school, and college playing careers sport an egg helmet, below is a picture of the great Casey Powell who just this year retired from professional lacrosse sporting The Egg during his Syracuse playing days. If you look at the player to his left, you can see the string tie in the back to help achieve the best possible fit.
Seems antiquated doesn’t it? I look back at that style of lacrosse helmet and I am simply amazed that our craniums were protected by something like that! Yet, throughout an 11 year playing career during a time that the rules allowed a lot ore brutality than lacrosse of today, I only sustained one concussion (that I am aware of) in all my years of playing lacrosse. In fact, I cannot recall any teammates of mine that sustained concussions while playing lacrosse.
I really think that this really speaks to the over all safety of the sport of lacrosse. While we associate lacrosse as a contact sport with body checking, the reality is that injury statistics are lower than even soccer. According to NPR, a lacrosse player will sustain an injury only two times per 1000 exposures to the game.
Nonetheless, I am still very comforted by the evolution of helmets and the impact technology available to even further protect players at every level. It has enabled us to take an already relatively safe sport to an even safe one.
Dr. Roger Welton was a 4 year starter for Montclair State University and was selected as a First Team All Knickerbocker Conference Midfielder in 1995, 1996. He is the founder of the Viera-Suntree Lacrosse Club and Space Coast Elite Lacrosse Club in Brevard County, Florida.