NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Jessie Allendorf fell in love with lacrosse because of its fast pace. The Hofstra sophomore says wearing a helmet would slow things down. She grew up playing without one and doesn't think should she start now.
"I've had four, five concussions only one from lacrosse and honestly wearing a helmet wouldn't have prevented it," Allendorf says.
For the first time this season, U.S.A. Lacrosse is making helmets optional for all levels of girls and women's lacrosse. The helmets are similar to bicycle or hockey helmets but the material is more flexible. Helmets have always been mandatory for boys because they're allowed to make intentional contact.
Freeport High School is one of at least seven Long Island schools that have their teams wearing them. Each player was given the headgear.
"When I see a ball flying I don't cringe as much as I used to and worry they're going to get bopped in the head if they don't get the stick there right away," said Coach Gina DiPalo of Freeport High.
The helmets, which retail for about $150, are different than men's because they have soft shells.
Some parents say the added protection is a make or break for their daughters.
"I would let her play if she wore a helmet if not I'd probably be opposed to her playing," said Barbara Delmas of East Meadow.
Each state has its own athletic association that votes on sport specific rules. There's no time frame on whether or not New York State will make it a requirement.