US Lacrosse president and CEO Steve Stenersen confirmed Friday that Maryland Dels. Jon Cardin (D) and Dana Stein (D) have agreed to major modifications to House Bill 1123, which would have required girls players under age 19 to wear headgear.
Stenersen noted that the delegates, who co-sponsored the bill, agreed to allow US Lacrosse to provide updated language for the bill that will drastically modify its original intent. Instead of mandating headgear use by youth and high school players, the focus of the bill will change to requiring mandatory sport-specific education, training and certification for youth and high school coaches that will be consistent with US Lacrosse education curricula.
"They are effectively pulling the bill, which is wonderful news," Stenersen said. "We are thrilled that the delegates are willing to work with us and are supportive of this change."
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According to the original wording of the bill, which was introduced Feb. 8, the headgear would have had specifications set by a state task force.
Stenersen issued a statement Wednesday sharply criticizing the bill. The statement read, in part: “It is simply irresponsible to enact legislation requiring head protection in women’s lacrosse without a clear understanding of the mechanism of head injury in a version of the sport that is entirely different from its male counterpart, and without head protection designed and manufactured specifically to mitigate that injury mechanism. In both cases, US Lacrosse is providing prudent, focused leadership based on well-founded medical and research protocols.”