Is Lacrosse Dangerous? Injury Rate Secrets

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Is lacrosse dangerous? You are maybe wondering if consider playing this sport. Lacrosse is a contact sport that involves running, throwing, catching, and hitting with a stick. While it may look intimidating, it is crucial to understand the risks associated with the sport. In this article, we will explore whether lacrosse is dangerous and provide the facts to help you make an informed decision.

Many people confirm that lacrosse is not the most dangerous sport. However, like other sports, it does come with its risks. The sport involves a high level of physical contact, which can lead to injuries such as concussions, sprains, and fractures. A study by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research found that lacrosse has a higher incidence of injury than other sports, such as basketball and soccer.

The Basics of Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a fast-paced, exciting sport that involves two teams of ten players each. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting a small rubber ball into the opponent’s goal. The game is played on a 110 yards long and 60 yards wide field. The game is divided into four quarters, each lasting 15 minutes.

Equipment Requirements

Lacrosse requires specific equipment to ensure the safety of players. Some of the necessary equipment includes:

  • Helmet: A helmet is mandatory for all players. It must meet NOCSAE standards and have a face mask attached.
  • Shoulder Pads: Shoulder pads are worn to protect the shoulders, chest, and back.
  • Arm Pads: Arm pads are worn to protect the player’s arms from stick checks.
  • Gloves: Gloves are worn to protect the hands and fingers.
  • Stick: Each player must have a stick, which is used to catch, carry, and pass the ball.
  • Mouthguard: A mouthguard is mandatory for all players.
  • Cleats: Cleats are worn to provide traction on the field.

Game Rules

Lacrosse has specific rules that all players must follow. Some of the basic rules include:

  • Faceoff: The game begins with a faceoff at the center of the field.
  • Checking: Players can use their sticks to check or hit their opponents’ sticks to dislodge the ball. However, body checking is only allowed in certain situations.
  • Scoring: A goal is scored when the ball completely crosses the goal line.
  • Substitutions: Substitutions can be made on the fly, meaning players can enter and exit the game at any time.
  • Penalties: Penalties are given for various reasons, such as unsportsmanlike conduct, illegal body checking, and slashing. Penalties can result in the player being sent to the penalty box for a set amount of time.

Lacrosse is a fun and exciting sport that requires skill, strategy, and physical fitness. You can enjoy the sport safely and successfully by following the equipment requirements and game rules.

Is Lacrosse Dangerous

Injury Statistics

Lacrosse is a high-contact sport that can lead to injuries. In this section, we will look at injury statistics for lacrosse, including common injuries, the frequency of injuries, and how lacrosse compares to other sports.

Common Injuries in Lacrosse

Injuries in lacrosse can range from minor bruises to severe head injuries. According to a study published on PubMed, injuries in men’s lacrosse occur most often from player-to-player contact, which results in immediate injuries, such as concussions, contusions, and lacerations. The highest injury rate among lacrosse athletes was to the lower leg/ankle/foot. Injuries to the head and face are also common, as players are often hit by the ball or stick.

Lacrosse Injury Rate

According to a study published on PubMed, overall concussion incidence was reported to range from 0.11-0.84 per 1000 AE (athlete exposures). Another study found that the injury rate for high school boys’ lacrosse was 22.0 per 1000 athlete exposures, while the injury rate for high school girls’ lacrosse was 15.8 per 1000 athlete exposures. However, it is essential to note that injury rates can vary depending on the level of play, age, and other factors.

Comparing Lacrosse to Other Sports

According to Injury Facts, lacrosse is not among the top 10 sports for injuries among children aged 5-14. However, this may be because lacrosse is less popular than other sports in this age group. Injuries associated with track and field, lacrosse, hockey, soccer, baseball, softball, football, and basketball all saw more than 60% reductions from March through September 2020. Sports injuries saw the largest decreases in the younger to late teen ages during the 2020s.

In conclusion, while lacrosse can lead to injuries, it is important to keep in mind that injury rates can vary depending on various factors. Players, coaches, and parents must be aware of the risks and take appropriate safety measures to prevent injuries.

Preventing Lacrosse Injuries

Lacrosse is a moderate-risk sport, and while injuries are not uncommon, they can often be avoided. By following proper training and conditioning techniques, using proper technique and form, and wearing the right protective gear, you can significantly reduce the risk of injury.

Training and Conditioning

One of the most effective ways to prevent injuries is to ensure you are in good physical condition. This means participating in a conditioning program even during the off-season. Some helpful conditioning exercises include:

  • Full-Field Interval Distance Sprints
  • Plyometric Exercises
  • Medicine Ball Exercises
  • Agility Drills
  • Core Strengthening Exercises
Stretching is a good way to prevent you from lacrosse injury

By participating in these exercises, you can improve your strength, endurance, and agility, which will help you perform better on the field and reduce your risk of injury.

(You may want to know: 6 Important Strength Training Exercises for Lacrosse | 5 Essential Speed and Agility Drills for Lacrosse)

Proper Technique and Form

Using proper technique and form is also essential in preventing injuries. This means practicing good body mechanics, such as keeping your head up, shoulders back, and knees bent. It also means using the right technique for different types of plays and avoiding dangerous moves, such as checking from behind or using your stick to trip an opponent.

Protective Gear

Finally, wearing the right protective gear can also help prevent injuries. This includes:

  • Helmet with Face Mask
  • Mouthguard
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Gloves
  • Rib Pads
  • Cup
  • Cleats

(Related: Why Don’t Women’s Lacrosse Wear Helmets)

Ensure that your gear fits properly and is in good condition. It would help to inspect your equipment regularly to ensure it still provides the necessary protection.

Following these tips can significantly reduce your risk of injury while playing lacrosse. Remember, safety should always be your top priority, and taking the necessary precautions can help you enjoy the game while minimizing your risk of injury.

Addressing Lacrosse Safety Concerns

Lacrosse is a sport that requires physical contact and fast-paced movements. While it is a fun and exciting game, it is important to address safety concerns to ensure that players can enjoy the sport without risking serious injuries. Here are some ways that coaches, officials, and players can work together to improve lacrosse safety:

The Role of Coaches and Officials

Coaches and officials play a critical role in promoting safe play during practices and games. They should emphasize the importance of fair play and discourage rough or dangerous behavior. Coaches should also ensure that players use proper equipment, such as helmets, pads, and mouthguards.

Officials should enforce rules that promote safety, such as penalizing players for dangerous hits or checking from behind. They should also be trained to recognize signs of concussion or other injuries and remove players from the game if necessary.

Coaches and officials play a critical role

Improving Field Conditions

Field conditions can also contribute to injuries in lacrosse. Coaches and officials should inspect the field before each game to ensure it is free of obstacles, debris, and broken glass. They should also provide the area is maintained correctly, with no holes or uneven surfaces.

In addition, coaches and officials should consider the weather conditions when scheduling games. Playing in extreme heat or cold can increase the risk of injury, so take precautions such as scheduling games during cooler times of the day or providing shade and water breaks.

Raising Awareness and Education

Finally, raising awareness and educating players, coaches, and parents about lacrosse safety can help to prevent injuries. Coaches should provide players with information about the risks of the sport and how to avoid injuries, such as proper warm-up and stretching techniques.

Parents should also be educated about the importance of proper equipment and the signs of concussion or other injuries. They should encourage their children to report any injuries or symptoms to their coach or doctor.

By working together to promote safe play, coaches, officials, and players can help prevent lacrosse injuries and ensure everyone can enjoy the sport for years.


In conclusion, lacrosse is a sport that comes with moderate risks, but it is not the most dangerous sport out there. While there is a risk of injury, most injuries are minor scratches, bruises, and sprains. However, it is essential to remember that sports are always uncertain and risky, and players should take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of injury.

One of the most important things to reduce the risk of injury is to wear proper equipment. Lacrosse players should wear helmets, mouthguards, gloves, and padding to protect themselves from head and body injuries. Also, ensure the equipment fits properly and is in good condition.

Another way to reduce the risk of injury is to play the game safely. Players should follow the rules and avoid dangerous plays that could result in injury. They should also communicate with their teammates to avoid collisions and other accidents.

Finally, it is crucial to create a supportive environment for lacrosse players. Coaches, parents, and teammates should encourage safe play and provide support to players who are injured. By creating a positive and safe environment, players can enjoy the game while reducing the risk of injury.

Overall, while lacrosse does come with some risks, it is a sport that can be played safely with the right precautions and support. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can reduce the risk of injury and enjoy the game of lacrosse to the fullest.

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About James

Hi there, I'm James, a lacrosse player and writer for I grew up in a family that loved lacrosse, so I started playing at a young age and have been passionate about it ever since. I love sharing my knowledge and experiences about various aspects of lacrosse and helpful tips. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.