Next time you see these girls on the high school lacrosse field, they’ll be wearing helmets
2017 girls scholastic lacrosse championships in Florida mark end of an era
HOLMDEL, NJ (April 25, 2017) On April 28-29, in Jupiter, the Florida High School Lacrosse State Championships will crown the finest girls teams from around the state. But these playoff contests, directed by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), will be the final games in which the crowns of the girls’ heads will actually be visible. Beginning next season, the FHSAA has mandated that all girls competing at a varsity, junior varsity, or freshman level must wear helmets on the field that meet the ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) F3137 standard. This mandate is the first of its kind issued anywhere in the U.S.
“Once this season concludes, a new era will begin in Florida girls lacrosse – and possibly around the entire nation,” says Rob Stolker, founder and owner of Hummingbird Sports, one of only two companies marketing headgear specific to girls lacrosse. “The use of helmets across Florida was made mandatory because of the risk players face from contact both with sticks and balls. In football, plastic shell helmets became standard equipment in the 1940s, helmet laws for children riding bicycles became widespread in the 1980s, ski racers embraced use of helmets between 2000 and 2010, and now it’s girls lacrosse’s turn. It’s much safer, so it just makes sense.”
As NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted yesterday: “For all of the studies that have been conducted on head injuries, it is unfathomable that helmets are not worn in women’s lacrosse.”
The soft-sided, fully F3137-compliant helmets provided by Hummingbird feature Windpact’s Crash CloudTM technology, which is specifically designed to reduce the risk of concussion, traumatic brain injury, and CTE. Windpact was founded by former NFL All-Pro cornerback Shawn Springs, now the company’s CEO, who is passionate about helping to protect current and future athletes.
Hummingbird’s helmets are adjustable, and come in three sizes – XS, S/M, and L. They feature 18 distinct cooling vents and a ponytail opening, and also have a removable, spin dial for a snug, comfortable fit. In addition, they work with a player’s existing goggles.
“Among the athletes playing girls lacrosse, goggles are perhaps the most distinctive equipment,” explains Stolker, whose company is the leading sporting goods brand exclusively focused on empowering female athletes and supporting their unique needs. “Players put significant effort into finding just the right pair – one that fits well and looks good, too – which is where Hummingbird’s helmets come in. Players report superior sight lines when they compete with their own goggles and a separate helmet, versus a helmet with built-in goggles. At Hummingbird, our headgear accommodates any protective eyewear.”
During the 2017 season, the FHSAA required girls lacrosse players to wear some type of head protection. Many elected to utilize padded headbands. Scholastic boys lacrosse is played under rules that are significantly different than the girls game, and boys nationwide are required to wear helmets.
Additional information on Hummingbird Sports’ helmets for girls lacrosse is available by calling (888) 501-1590 or visiting www.hummingbirdsports.com.
Read about how Hummingbird Sports started and the technology behind our head gear’s design on Brooklyn Sports World. We’re always appreciative when others can see the vision we have for providing a safer option of play in women’s lacrosse.
In the recent article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, details about the design and support that NFL star Shawn Springs provided the founder of Hummingbird Sports.
Last October the U.S. Lacrosse Association made wearing helmets in Women’s Lacrosse optional in an effort to make the sport safer, and cut down on head injuries.
This announcement has been met by both people embracing the new safety measure, and some resisting the change. Although girls lacrosse does not allow any intentional contact, the reality is that players can still be on the receiving end of the ball, another player, or an opposing stick.
Support for standardized use of helmets in girls lacrosse is growing. With the approval of two styles of helmets by U.S. Lacrosse (one being our Hummingbird), we feel the sport is becoming safer. We’re excited at the recent news articles and growing awareness among players and fans alike at the importance of safe play.
Long Island Newsday wrote an excellent article giving a good overview of the reasons behind wearing helmets in girls lacrosse.
Likewise, News 12 highlighted players in the community that are in the midst of transitioning from no-helmet gameplay to a helmet-optional environment.
We’re extremely proud to be a part of this new and much needed addition to the sport of women’s lacrosse.
One of our technology partners was recently highlighted in this article about how the injuries of his NFL career prompted him to research better ways for head protection.
He’s now reached a point where Windpact is respected by major helmet manufactures like Riddell and Schutt, and it already has its technology on the market in the girl’s lacrosse field and has already partnered with Under Armour and Hummingbird Sports (which uses Crash Cloud technology in lacrosse helmets).
Rob Stolker knew nothing about women’s lacrosse or the contentious conversation about headgear that has hovered over the sport since the 1980s. All he knew was what he saw: the youngest two of his four daughters playing a stick-and-ball sport without any equipment to protect them from a potential head injury.
“I let them finish the hour of that practice, but they have not been back on a lacrosse field since,” said Stolker, 46, of Holmdel, N.J. “I still think about why it was that I even let them finish out that hour.”
Entrepreneur Rob Stolker played a hand in many industries throughout his career. The 46-year-old Philadelphia native and Holmdel resident started as a financial trader in New York City and has since run businesses involving everything from real estate to solar panel installation. But the inspiration for his most recent venture came from his own home.
Stolker is an avid sports fan who has enthusiastically coached his four daughters, ages 17, 15, 13 and 11, in a range of sports, including soccer, basketball and volleyball. His current business came about after his two youngest daughters wanted to play lacrosse.
Addressing growing concerns about head injuries, two companies this month became the first to sell lacrosse headgear that is built specifically for girls and that complies with new standards from the sport’s governing body. But the availability of the equipment has only made the touchy debate over whether girls should wear it even more stark.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Jodi Lin Gresham
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