Field Hockey Goggle InjuriesGoggle injuries in the news: New Jersey (10/19/2011); Pennsylvania (10/09/11); Virginia (11/01/11)
GoggleInjury.com was launched on September 27, 2011. An average of 2.4 goggle injuries were reported PER DAY in the first month of operation. And, if you take Sundays out of the calculation the average works out to be 2.8 goggle injuries per day.
62 of the 73 respondents reported that goggles either caused the injury (47) or made the injury worse (15). Four reported that they felt the goggles reduced the severity of the resulting injury. More people (7) either didn't respond to that question or felt that wearing goggles did not impact the severity of the injury.
Even in the face (no pun intended) of all these injuries, one can still muster a reasonable argument that goggles are not dangerous but, the question that no longer needs to be asked is, "Are goggles safe?" Clearly, they are not.
The NFHS mandated that every player wear something that, based on these reports, is proving to be more dangerous than things long banned by the NFHS. In fact, umpires regularly stop games to kick players out games for wearing tiny pieces of jewelry, posts for pierced ears, covered elastic bands, friendship/Livestrong bracelets, etc. At the same time, NFHS umpires are instructed by the NFHS rules not to require protective devices worn on the face to be covered or padded even if a sharp edge or point is exposed.
Most people reporting goggle related injuries to GoggleInjury.com claim that the athletes couldn't see the ball, the stick, or the athlete they collided with (read comments and watch surgery video). Nothing illustrates that better than the photograph above which was just submitted. When so many athletes have so many radically differnt opinions regarding the location of the ball (i.e., they can't see), it is dangerous. Field hockey is a sport, not a blindfolded chance at hitting a piņata. The athletes are carrying three foot clubs in their hands. They swing those sticks at the ball -- or at the place they think the ball is. At a minumum, if they are looking into the sky to find a ball that they thought went into the air they won't see a player rising the stick to hit the ball that's actually on the ground. Goggles create a visual barrier that hides the ball, sticks, and opponents.
In defending its decision to require goggles in field hockey the NFHS claimed that not a single goggle related injury had happened in any of states that began requiring goggles years ago at the urging of the NFHS Medical Committee. It should be noted that the NFHS did not set up any data collection process for it's member state associations to use to report any negative impact from requiring goggles. Further, the NFHS allows state member associations to allow players to violate its own rules by allowing goggles to be worn over masks. For details about issues surrounding the NFHS's decision, click here.
As soon as the NFHS's nationwide mandate requiring goggles for field hockey had gone into effect, rumors of injuries from goggles began to circulate within the field hockey community. Were these just the rantings of the disappointed "anti-goggle" forces or were goggles actually doing more harm than good?
Where was the evidence that goggles impaired vision enough to cause injuries? Where were the photographs? Where could someone go to report a goggle related injury?
GoggleInjury.com is the first and only nationally available, standard reporting mechanism that is open to the public for reporting goggle related injuries. We're collecting and analyzing the evidence (including photos and videos) and providing people a place to report goggle injuries.
(concussions from collisions due to visual impairment, lack of vision leading to dangerous play, reduced reaction time, blind spots, lacerations from goggles, broken noses from goggles ripped across the face, etc.)
PLEASE REPORT IT USING THE FOLLOWING FORM.