There’s an alarming trend in lacrosse, trickling down from the upper levels, to the youth game. This week, a referee saw an improperly fitted helmet on one of my players and warned that the team would be assessed a one-minute, non-releasable penalty if we did not address it immediately.
I am not worried about the penalty, but I am concerned for player safety at the youth level.
Players are adjusting their chin straps so the chin cup covers the mouth, bringing the helmet forward, giving them “tilt,” which they think looks cool. There are countless videos online showing them how to achieve this look.
These videos should be taken down.
Additionally, they’re making the bottom straps too long, so they can lift the helmet without unbuckling it. Which means it is merely resting on the head- like a hat.
These are some of the telltale signs:
- Helmets popping off on the slightest contact
- Players reaching up during play, to pull the helmet back down
- Players lifting helmet to drink water WITHOUT unbuckling
- Helmets sitting atop heads WITH buckles fastened
- Can’t see player’s mouth when the helmet is on
When Properly Fitted…
- THE CHIN CUP SHOULD BE COVERING THE CHIN
- EYES SHOULD BE LOOKING OUT THE TOP OPENING OF THE FACEMASK
- YOU HAVE TO UNBUCKLE THE STRAPS IN ORDER TO REMOVE THE HELMET
- THE STRAPS DO NOT HAVE VISIBLE SLACK “BUBBLES”