BALTIMORE — On November 24, NOCSAE announced that it had voided the certification of two lacrosse helmet models -- the Cascade Model R and the Warrior Regulator -- that do not meet performance standards. US Lacrosse is providing the following information to help answer member questions related to this decision.

1. What is NOCSAE and why does this matter?
NOCSAE is National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, an independent organization that develops and maintains the performance standard for men’s/boys’ lacrosse helmets. Manufacturers build their helmets in compliance with the specifications of the NOCSAE safety standard. The full standard can be accessed on the NOCSAE website.

2. What should I do if I have a Cascade Model R or Warrior Regulator helmet? 
Cascade and Warrior have both issued information on how to handle this situation for consumers who own these helmets. The latest updates are available here. Cascade’s (1-800-537-1702) guidelines are linked here, while Warrior’s (1-800-968-7845) guidelines are linked here.

3. Are there other helmets affected? 
No, as of this time, no other helmets have been de-certified.

4. Can I still play with a Cascade Model R or Warrior Regulator helmet?
The short answer is no. The rules of lacrosse, as written by US Lacrosse, the NCAA and the NFHS (National Federation of High Schools), all state that helmets worn in games must meet NOCSAE standards. Since these two helmets do not meet the NOCSAE standard and are not currently NOCSAE certified, they are not legal for play until further notice. All US Lacrosse certified men’s and women’s game officials have been asked to meet with coaches prior to the game to address this issue as part of the pregame procedure.

5. Should a player and/or parent sign a liability waiver to allow them to wear these helmets during play? 
No. At this time no such waiver exists or is supported by US Lacrosse because NOCSAE has notified us that the helmets are unsafe.

6. What is US Lacrosse’s role in all of this? 
As the sport’s national governing body, one of US Lacrosse’s primary roles is to promote the highest possible safety standards through its rules and policies. US Lacrosse’s responsibility, along with that of the NCAA and NFHS, is to communicate information about NOCSAE’s decision to its membership and to the greater lacrosse community. US Lacrosse has also communicated with the manufacturers involved in order to help share the information that they are making available to their consumers.

7. How does this affect my US Lacrosse insurance coverage? 
The Cascade R and Warrior Regulator have been determined to be unsafe for play by NOCSAE. At this time, your US Lacrosse member insurance will not be impacted by this circumstance. However, US Lacrosse is reviewing this situation and will provide updates when available. More information about US Lacrosse’s insurance program through RPS Bollinger is available here.

8. Why is all of this important? 
The safety of players is the most important thing and is everyone’s responsibility. NOCSAE creates manufacturing standards to ensure that equipment worn by athletes meets certain performance and safety standards, which have been determined based on scientific research.