Background: Boys' lacrosse has one of the highest rates of concussion among boys' high school sports. A thorough understanding of injury mechanisms and game situations associated with concussions in boys' high school lacrosse is necessary to target injury prevention efforts.
Purpose: To characterize common game-play scenarios and mechanisms of injury associated with concussions in boys' high school lacrosse using game video.
Study design: Descriptive epidemiological study.
Methods: In 25 public high schools of a single school system, 518 boys' lacrosse games were videotaped by trained videographers during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Video of concussion incidents was examined to identify game characteristics and injury mechanisms using a lacrosse-specific coding instrument.
Results: A total of 34 concussions were captured on video. All concussions resulted from player-to-player bodily contact. Players were most often injured when contact was unanticipated or players were defenseless (n = 19; 56%), attempting to pick up a loose ball (n = 16; 47%), and/or ball handling (n = 14; 41%). Most frequently, the striking player's head (n = 27; 79%) was involved in the collision, and the struck player's head was the initial point of impact in 20 incidents (59%). In 68% (n = 23) of cases, a subsequent impact with the playing surface occurred immediately after the initial impact. A penalty was called in 26% (n = 9) of collisions.
Conclusion: Player-to-player contact was the mechanism for all concussions. Most commonly, injured players were unaware of the pending contact, and the striking player used his head to initiate contact. Further investigation of preventive measures such as education of coaches and officials and enforcement of rules designed to prevent intentional head-to-head contact is warranted to reduce the incidence of concussions in boys' lacrosse.