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Lacrosse Chest Protector FAQ

Points of Emphasis

  • Effective January 1, 2022, shoulder pads for boys’ field players must be designed for lacrosse and meet NOCSAE standard ND200. Products are now available.
  • Effective January 1, 2021, boys' and girls' goalie chest protectors must be designed for lacrosse and meet the NOCSAE standard, ND200.
  • All chest protectors and shoulder pads must contain the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification mark on both the packaging and the product to be legal for play.
  • Shoulder pads must be designed for lacrosse, covering the top of the shoulder, collarbone and sternum. 

IMPORTANT: USA Lacrosse is aware of concerns raised by some that there will not be enough products meeting NOCSAE standard ND200 for the start of the 2022 season in some areas. USA Lacrosse has spoken with multiple manufacturers and retailers, and they do not expect that current supply chain issues will affect the start of the 2022 season. USAL encourages consumers to consider multiple online and brick-and-mortar providers to find needed equipment.

Learn More About Cardiac Safety

the importance of AEDs and chest protection

If the FAQs below do not answer your specific question, please send your inquiry to gamesadministraton@usalacrosse.com

FAQs for Boys' & Girls' Lacrosse Chest Protection

What is NOCSAE ND200?

NOCSAE ND200 is the first-ever performance standard for chest protection. Product compliance with ND200 reduces impact forces and thus the risk of commotio cordis (cardiac arrest due to a blow to the heart area). Effective January 1, 2021, the use of goalie chest protectors that meet the new NOCSAE performance standard are now mandatory in the USA Lacrosse boys’ and girls’ youth rules, the NFHS boys’ and girls’ high school rules, and the NCAA men’s and women’s rules.

Who is most at risk for sustaining a commotio cordis injury?

Players at any age and gender are at risk for this injury, but based on statistics, younger male athletes have a higher incidence of sustaining this injury.

When must boys’ & men’s field players have pads that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard?

Beginning in 2022, all field players in the boys’/men’s game must have shoulder pads or protectors that meet the NOCSAE performance standard. These products are available in the marketplace through multiple manufacturers and retailers, both online providers as well as brick-and-mortar outlets. The shoulder pads must be designed for lacrosse, cover the top of the shoulder, collarbone and sternum, and contain the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification mark. 

When must goalies begin using chest protection that meet the NOCSAE standard?

Beginning in 2021, all goalie chest protectors (youth, high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate) must meet the new performance standard. Goalie chest protectors that meet the performance standard could vary in product design from one manufacturer to another, but all must meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard. 

Can a game be played without using equipment that meets a safety performance standard?

All equipment that meets a performance standard and is certified by a 3rd party in boys’ or girls’ lacrosse is mandatory, with the exception of women’s headgear, which remains optional. Additional protective equipment that does not meet a performance standard may also be required and is noted in the respective rule books.

Can my league choose to delay the implementation of the ND200 chest protection?

Modifications to the approved rules that could jeopardize player safety, including the use of non-certified equipment, should never be made. Further, intentionally violating the rules could bring greater liability to game officials and program leaders. The USA Lacrosse insurance policy states that game officials must officiate according to the approved rules. Therefore, if the officials permit the use of non-ND200 protection, and a lawsuit resulted, officials would not be covered if any liability suits arise. Similarly, leagues that violate the approved rules could be deemed negligent, and perhaps grossly negligent, if the player were to suffer a commotio cordis event as a result of not wearing the approved protection.

How do I know that the chest protector I buy meets the NOCSAE standard?

All products that meet the NOCSAE standard, ND200, must be certified by the independent Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) and include the NOCSAE Lacrosse label shown below. Consumers are also encouraged to check the SEI website (https://www.seinet.org/search.htm) under Program: Chest Protectors (Lacrosse) to verify that the specific brand is listed as approved. 

Are any USA Lacrosse grants available for the new shoulder pads?

USA Lacrosse grants and scholarships help to support community partners that create participation opportunities and break down the barriers that prevent some individuals from the experiencing lacrosse. For more information visit www.usalacrosse.com/types-grants.