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Should SWR provide helmets for lacrosse players?

A member of Shoreham-Wading River’s Wildcat Athletic Club is wondering why the school district doesn’t provide helmets for its boys lacrosse teams.

During last Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, the club’s second vice-president, Jim Daly, said he believes the district should join the 25 other Long Island school districts that do provide helmets.

Currently, SWR lacrosse players provide their own helmets, which must bear a sticker from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. The school doesn’t check these helmets or send them out for testing and needed repairs, which is done for football helmets, Mr. Daly said. As long as it has the NOCSAE sticker, a student could be playing lacrosse with a 10-year-old helmet that’s below standard, Mr. Daly explained as he passed around new and old helmets that both had stickers.

Athletic director Mark Passamonte said he has spoken with Mr. Daly about his concerns and has reached out to both school districts that purchase helmets for their students and others that don’t.

Mr. Passamonte said districts that don’t provide helmets were concerned they would be used on weekends for non-school travel teams, leaving the district unable to track a helmet’s use. He added that player safety comes first and he’s continuing to research the issue.

Mr. Daly said the district would need about 75 helmets, which would cost $100 to $115 each when purchased in bulk. Additionally, he said, the helmets would have to be sent out to be checked and repaired every couple of years, at an estimated will cost of $25 per helmet.

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