Can you reLAX while your kid plays?


Kathy Fawell

Connor Farwell ‘19 plays against Alverin on their season opener on April 10th. While Farwell is a small player he has been a three year varsity player despite is short stature. “You can learn skills to evade players” says Farwell, which he demonstrates as he goes around an Alverin player.

Alec MacEachen, News Editor

As the HB lacrosse field, or better known as “lax” field thaws, the teams hit the field to start up their new season. Starting early in the season, and from a young age, can give anyone an edge on learning how to play safe. But, how safe is a sport where it is a commonplace to hit each other with metal or wooden sticks?

Getting into lacrosse early may be important for interested kids before opponents “[develop and grow]” and can “use size to their advantage, you can learn skills to evade [other players],” according to Connor Farwell ‘19, captain of the boy’s lacrosse team. He emphasizes “playing with your friends” in order to get a solid understanding of the game and having fun but also staying safe.

Lacrosse has a reputation as the least safe spring sport, so some parents and kids are apprehensive to join a team. They, instead, persuade their kids into playing sports such as baseball, volleyball, or track and field.

Lacrosse is the most dangerous of the aforementioned, but its reputation seems to get out of hand. The easiest way to stay safe while playing lax is to stay in shape. Injuries are most common in out of shape athletes, according to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Staying in shape during the off-season can help prevent common injuries, such as ankle sprains, hip flexor strains, knee sprains, and back pain.

While these injuries are common, at the collegial level, the injuries are on a downward trend. In a study, by US lacrosse, from 2009 to 2015, dropped nearly 50% when compared to a 1988-2004 study.

Over the years, an increase of focus on player safety has become more prevalent as the growth of the sport continues. Over the past 10 years, only two sports have had constant growth: hockey and lacrosse. One of the reasons that lacrosse has seen such success is that it is relatively easy to get into. With dynamics similar to soccer, three positions of defense, midfield and offense, players work in tandem to score goals to win the game.

Picking up a lacrosse stick with friends is an easy way to get into the game. Lacrosse’s growth can also be attributed to point of entry. Kids looking for a fast-paced spring sport only have lacrosse to look at as an option. With no “difficult” skills that are prerequisites, like in other sports such as skiing or baseball, where basic skill is expected from a young age, lax is an easy sport to pick learn to play at any age.

Lacrosse is a sport that promotes healthy levels of fitness at all ages and is a great source of team building as long as it is played by the rules and takes the necessary precautions. Being safe on the field is equally important as having fun in any sport and staying active in any way is better than not.