Are goggles the way forward?

These goggles are just one of the many pairs available to female players

This question has sparked a great amount of debate amongst lacrosse players across the world. While our fellow players in the good old US of A are no longer able to choose whether or not to don the protective wire goggles, here in Europe freedom of eyewear still remains.

However, there have been countless discussions throughout the lacrosse world about whether or not the ELA should make the rather menacing looking goggles a compulsory piece of equipment for women in the UK.

There are, of course, pretty solid arguments coming from both sides;

FOR: the game is pretty aggressive. While of course, body checks are not allowed, accidents do happen. The lacrosse ball, I’m told, is an optimum size for causing damage to the eyeball and, depending on the stick skills of your teammates/competition, there is always the potential for getting a ball to the face (no pun intended!).

AGAINST: there are many who feel that introducing compulsory eyewear to the game will cause players to become more aggressive/exercise less caution in their playing style. The game is dangerous in many ways – forcing players to wear goggles may lead to the introduction of helmets and other protective equipment, putting some players off the game entirely. Plus, they’re pretty ugly.

As I said, both arguments have their merits. In my opinion wearing goggles just isn’t necessary in the game. You are much more likely to sustain an injury to another part of your body – fingers, feet (studs are lethal) or your head – and it really is up to the players and the referees to ensure that the game is played in a safe and controlled way.

Of course there are many who would disagree with me and we want to hear from you! What do you guys think about the goggles? Clever or dumb? Snazzy and professional or hideous and geeky?

Let us know!

5 Comments

  1. “playing lacrosse since the age of 11.
    Having played at many different levels, for a number of different teams Charlie has a great deal of experience in the sport, both on and off the pitch.”

    In your experience – have you known anyone to be hit in the eye. Heard rumours of people fracturing orbits, or having remaining eyeball removed surgically?

    It’s a massive lawsuit waiting to happen.

    1. The only time that I have seen someone hit in the eye with a lacrosse ball is after a game when a few people were messing around, practising shots around goal.

      Other than that I’ve never come across any major eye-related injuries in the game. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen my fair share of other injuries, but never any caused by the ball hitting someone in the eye or the face.

      Lacrosse as a sport is generally more dangerous than others – a lot of skill is required to control the pace and safety of the game – and I can understand why people might want to take cautions to protect themselves against potential injury, including the use of goggles. However, I think making these protective items a mandatory part of the game is unnecessary. It should be left up to the players to decide the level of protection that they want to assume.

      In terms of lawsuits, lacrosse players understand the dangers of playing the game and, unfortunately accidents do happen, including taking a lacrosse ball to the face. If the player in question has chosen not to wear protective eyewear then a lawsuit wouldn’t even come into the picture surely? Unless the injured player can prove that the ball was thrown with unnecessary violence and force, or that it was intended to hit them, then there isn’t really anyone to blame for the accident.

      It is up to the players and the referees to ensure that the game is played as safely as possible, and up to the players whether or not they take extra care to protect against potential injuries. As you said, I’ve been playing for 12 years and (touch wood) haven’t yet felt the need to start wearing goggles.

  2. Firstly, Kids (lacrosse players) do not realise the risks. I was invincible as a teenager. No way i was going to be seen wearing a cycle helmet. Perhaps drivers should have the choice of wearing a seat belt, because the level of ‘refereeing’ their local roads makes them the safest in the country.
    Next – I’d bet a lot of parents don’t even realise that goggles exist.
    And finally, It’s not the person that throws the ball in the eye you lose. It’s the referee, or the school teacher, or the school, or the ELA that will get sued.

  3. There are a lot of irresponsible people out there sadly – both parents and older players – but I don’t think that’s an excuse to force protective eyewear on those who are sensible enough to have made their own informed decision about whether or not to wear goggles. If a parent is really concerned about the safety of their child then it is up to them to look into the options available in terms of equipment. My mum frogmarched me to the dentist in order to get a mouthguard made because she took the initiative to find out where the best ones were available.
    I like to think that players would take responsibility for their own equipment and, should they choose not to wear goggles and end up with an injury, suing the ELA, ref or school etc wouldn’t be an option for most people. They would own up to the fact that they had made the decision not to wear the right protection.
    Sadly I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, I just don’t think we share the same views!

  4. A lot of U18s dont take responsibility for much. Thus in ice hockey, you wear a full face cage until legally an adult. A puck doesn’t usually come at face height, stick do, but in lacrosse you have a game where the stick is at face height and the ball travels from ‘face to face’.

    Well don’t for your mum getting you a gumshield. Dare I suggest it was because she was told you had to have one to be allowed to play, not because she thought which part of my daughters face should I protect first – oooh her teeth.

    You clearly don’t see the injuries themselves. I have had to deal with in excess of 50, face injuries, 3 of which I would class as serious, and most of which were balls into cheek or forehead, a matter of inches away from eyes.

    Lastly, for some reason, we have decided not to follow suit with America on googles. That is not because people understand the facts and have made that choice. It is because england lacrosse have decided that somehow america are corrupting the game by introducing goggles, and it is definitely not cool if mummy makes you wear goggles, and you’re the only person on the team wearing them.

    Risk is low, goggles are cheap, and benefit could be potentially massive. I’ll leave you with the same advice I’ve given eery girl I’ve coached: wear goggles before you get hit in the eye. Only half a dozen have taken me up on it, but I’ll keep trying, that way, I’m not picking a blinded girl off the field.

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