Hampton Roads Lacrosse players are required to have a helmet that is NOCSAE Certified. The Team/Club will consider newly purchased helmets to be NOCSAE Certified for 3 years from the date of manufacture, so long as they remain in undamaged condition.
Helmets must be re-certified annually after 3 years. Any time after 3 years, but prior to 10 years from the date of manufacture, helmets must be re-certified by an authorized NAERA member. Helmets must be discarded at 10 years from the date of manufacture even if re-certified annually prior to that date. Prior to the start, and at the end of each season, the Team/Club will inspect all helmets for conformance to applicable rules and standards.
When should you consider replacing a helmet? Recondition or Replace?
There is no requirement in NOCSAE® helmet standards for the frequency of certification or reconditioning of the helmets. Helmets break down over time, and more contact may accelerate the wear.
Reconditioning services can be a bridge to replacing a helmet: all old hardware and decals are removed, and are buffed, washed and waxed. All parts are checked and any parts that are worn or defective are replaced with new parts that meet the original manufacturer standards. Any face-mask that does not meet NOCSAE® standards is also replaced with a new mask that meets the original manufacturer standards.
It has been suggested by helmet manufacturers to replace a helmet every three years if it is not re-certified.
Replace the helmet if any of the following occur (ACSM) at ANY time:
- If rust is visible on the screw attachments holding the face-mask to the helmet,
- if the face-mask cannot securely be held on to the helmet,
- if the face-mask is dented or bent,
- if the helmet can still be easily moved about the head when properly secured by the straps,
- if the hair volume of the player changes from high volume to low volume, the helmet may not fit properly and the padding may need to be adjusted or a new helmet purchased.
VHSL Requirement: Lacrosse helmets must be NOCSAE® Certified.
NFHS Requirement: Lacrosse Helmet Manufacturers are responsible for determining NOCSAE® Certification.
How often does NOCSAE require that helmets be re-certified?
There is nothing in the NOCSAE® standard that requires any helmet to be re-certified on any regular basis. NOCSAE® does recommend that organizations adopt and follow a program of helmet inspection and reconditioning that meets their particular needs, based on age and size of players, the severity of helmet usage, and ages of helmets among other factors.
How long will helmets stay in certified condition? What happens when a helmet no longer meets the standard?
Factors such as the type of helmet and the amount and intensity of usage will determine the condition of each helmet over a period of time. It should be noted the NOCSAE® helmet standard is not a warranty, but simply a statement that a particular helmet model met the requirements of performance tests when it was manufactured or reconditioned. In recent years, the proportion of helmets re-certified annually by NAERA members has ranged between 84-96 percent. Tests in these plants indicate that helmets which regularly undergo the reconditioning and recertification process can meet standard performance requirements for many seasons, depending on the model and usage.
The rules of play for lacrosse as provided by US Lacrosse, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Federation of State High School Associations and other organizations mandate that lacrosse helmets meet the NOCSAE® standard.
Prior to each game, officials require Head Coach to certify that all players are legally equipped with all required equipment. (Rule 1) Improper equipment will result in a penalty being Assessed.
Excerpt from 2017/2018 NCAA Rule Book:
Coaches Certification SECTION 22. The pregame equipment certification by the head coach shall act as the team warning. The head coach shall certify to the referee before the game that all players: a. Have been informed what equipment is mandatory and what constitutes illegal equipment. b. Have been provided the equipment mandated by rule. c. Have been instructed to wear and how to wear mandatory equipment during the game. d. Have been instructed to notify the coaching staff when equipment becomes illegal through play during the game. e. Have had their crosses, uniforms and all other equipment inspected by the head coach for meeting specifications. Note: “a” through “e” can be covered by the referee asking the head coach the following: “Coach, are all of your players legally equipped by rule?”
US Lacrosse insurance policies do not cover officials if they knowingly allow illegal equipment in a game.
Each helmet must be NOCSAE certified with a permanent mark or stamp to that effect. On the CPXR helmet, the NOCSAE stamp is on the lower right front side of the helmet.
There is a safety WARNING statement on each Cascade helmet.
#7 states: “RE-CERTIFY EVERY YEAR BY APPROVED RECONDITIONERS OR DISCARD AFTER THREE YEARS.”
The date of manufacture is normally located under the protective liner near the left ear and/or underneath the visor.