Although lacrosse is not as well known as other sports, it can be a fun sport to watch. When it comes to watching female games though, they may ask, why do girl lacrosse players wear skirts?
The simplest answer to this question is tradition. Since the beginning of the sport, women have worn skirts or skorts. This took place until Northwestern University broke the tradition and began to allow female players to wear shorts in 2008. The skirts are not required by the league to play but may be required as a part of the uniform by each individual team. In some cases, teams will require players to wear a skirt or a skort which is a skirt with shorts underneath.
Since playing a skirt may seem difficult with this sport, it may be helpful to learn more about the history of this tradition. To get a better perspective of lacrosse uniforms, read on to learn more.
History of Girls Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a sport that’s played by both men and women. However, it was in 1926 that the first lacrosse team for girls was created. Their first uniform was fairly traditional for the time.
Their uniforms were actually dressed that were loose to allow for freedom of movement and pleated. The dresses came down to their knees. They wore long-sleeved white shirts under the dresses.
The tradition of wearing dresses or skirts was fairly common for the time period. By the 1950s, women were participating in a range of sports including volleyball, soccer, and even basketball. These are very different sports but the uniform did not vary significantly for girls.
They were almost always required to wear long plated skirts that reached to their knees. This was tradition but could be limiting for players.
Norms of dressing, especially for sports have changed over the years. Attending a woman’s basketball game, for example, means seeing women wearing traditional basketball shorts.
In fact, the uniforms in many sports for both men and women are very similar. Lacrosse appears to be one of the only holdouts when it comes to modernization. The tradition of wearing a skirt has remained in place although not with every team.
For players who may feel as though wearing a skirt interferes with their playing ability, they have to convince the team and coach of the benefits of wearing or allowing skirts. Even though a coach may support the change, the practical concerns of the team can play a role.
Most teams could make the change but tend to order their uniforms periodically. A coach may order new uniforms every three years and have to make a decision.
By making the change to shorts, this can be a significant expense. Sporting uniforms are not cheap, especially when outfitting an entire team of players. Since a coach may want the team to have a uniform look, having all of the players change uniforms to shorts may mean a significant and even unbearable expense for the team.
Another reason that may be a factor that could be limiting is tradition. Many players want to continue with the previous traditions for their team.
Although players may complain about wearing skirts, making a change from skirts to shorts can be a big change for some. When players need the input of advisors or outside members, they may meet with resistance to making that change.
Compromising with Students
Since skirts today may actually end up causing more problems for athletes, some teams are making a compromise by switching to skorts. These are shorts which are attached to a skirt. They have the appearance of a skirt but function the same as shorts.
Lacrosse is a physical game so many players who are concerned about mishaps on the field find that this helps them play better.
Finally, while many teams today still wear skirts, this tradition is likely to change moving forward. Teams today are increasingly moving to wearing shorts and with good reason.
With an increased demand for functional uniforms, players may be able to change their uniforms more easily than previous generations. It’s anticipated that girl lacrosse players will probably have this option or be able to change their uniforms if desired for ease of playing.