A lacrosse helmet is a protective headpiece worn primarily in men's lacrosse
Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...
, but also worn optionally by women's lacrosse players in Australia. Modern helmets consist of a hard plastic, non-adjustable shell with thick padding on the inside, a face mask made of metal bars, and a chinstrap used to secure the helmet to the head. Some players also attach a sun visor shielding the eyes, though these visors are not legal in most leagues.
Helmets are required at all levels of organized men's lacrosse, but only required for goalies in women's lacrosse
Women's lacrosse, sometimes shortened to wlax or lax, is a sport played with twelve players on each team. Originally played by the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the first tribe to play it was the Hauser tribe, of the Great Plains. The modern women's game was introduced in 1890 at the St...
HistoryEarly lacrosse players did not wear helmets. When lacrosse was played at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Lacrosse at the 1908 Summer Olympics
A lacrosse game was played between Canada and Great Britain at the 1908 Summer Olympics. The game marked the second appearance of lacrosse at the Olympics, the first being at the 1904 Summer Olympics. Only two teams competed — one fewer than in 1904...
, neither of the competing teams wore helmets. At the 1928
Lacrosse at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Lacrosse was a demonstration sport at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. Teams from Canada, Great Britain, and the United States played matches on August 5, 6 & 7. Each team ended the tournament with a record of 1 win and 1 loss...
Lacrosse at the 1932 Summer Olympics
Lacrosse was a demonstration sport at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Teams from Canada and the United States played three games, with the team from the United States winning the series 2 games to 1...
and 1948 Olympics
Lacrosse at the 1948 Summer Olympics
Lacrosse was a demonstration sport at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. Teams from Great Britain and the United States played a single match, which ended in a 5-5 draw. The match was played in Wembley Stadium.-Result:-Great Britain:...
where lacrosse was a demonstration sport, only the United States wore helmets while the opposing teams did not. The 1928 Olympics was the first documented use of lacrosse helmets.
Helmet use in women's lacrosseFollowing a number of head injuries to female players in the 1980s in South Australia, players and coaches moved to adopt the optional use of protective headgear in the women's game. As the movement — led by Australian 1986 World Champions players Wendy Piltz and Jenny Williams and South Australia coach Peter Koshnitsky — grew, players were given authorization on a trial basis to wear close-fitting, full-face helmets, first by South Australia and then by the governing body, the Australian Women's Lacrosse Council (AWLC). Further efforts were made to have the optional helmet rule adopted at the international level of play but were unsuccessful.
In the United States, the governing body, US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse is the national governing body of men and women's lacrosse in the United States, primarily serving the youth game. It provides a leadership role in virtually every aspect of the game, boasts 63 chapters throughout the United States, and offers programs and services to inspire...
requires the use of protective goggles and mouth guards but has not endorsed helmet use.