US Lacrosse Sports Science & Safety Committee Position Statement on Helmet Use in Lacrosse
(Approved: October 29, 2003/Amended: September 2004)
Different sports possess different risks. Helmet standards have been developed and have evolved specifically for the intended sport, based upon the nature and history of the sport. Only helmets certified for a specific sport should be worn while playing that sport. Wearing helmets not certified for that sport places the player and, possibly other players, at an increased risk of injury, possibly severe and catastrophic.
Helmet standards were developed and adopted in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s during which time there were epidemic levels of deaths due to severe brain injury in contact sports. Today, because of the adoption of these helmet standards and other rule changes, the number of deaths due to severe brain injuries has been significantly and dramatically reduced. Unfortunately, severe and catastrophic injuries can never be completely eliminated because of the differences among individuals, the inherent risk and the nature of contact sports. No helmet can reduce the risk of neck injuries.
Helmet standards are still evolving with new scientific findings, changes in the sport, and the level of acceptable risk, most recently in an attempt to address new concerns for concussive brain injury. As these standards evolve, governing bodies will determine when and how new helmet standards will be adopted as rules. Regardless of how and when helmet standards evolve, wearing helmets specifically approved for the sport is crucial for the safety of all players.
- All helmets worn by boy’s youth, boy’s high school and men’s collegiate lacrosse players must meet the Lacrosse Helmet Standard set forth by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).
- All helmets worn by men’s post-collegiate club lacrosse players, a level for which no standardized national rules have been written, should meet the Lacrosse Helmet Standard set forth by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).
- All helmets worn by goalies at every level of women’s lacrosse should meet the same standard. *
- If a helmet meets the NOCSAE Lacrosse Standard it must carry a manufacturer’s or reconditioner’s certification indicating that the helmet meets the Lacrosse Standard.
- Helmets that do not bear this certification specifically for the sport of lacrosse are not legal in boy’s youth, boy’s high school or men’s collegiate lacrosse play, and should not be legal in men’s post-collegiate club play. *
- Helmets that do not bear this certification for the sport of lacrosse, but bear certification(s) for other sports, are not legal in boy's youth, boy's high school or men's collegiate lacrosse play, and should not be legal in men's post-collegiate club play. *
Amendment: Women Goalie Helmets (September 2004)
* Since this Position Statement was issued in October of 2003, the US Lacrosse Women's Division Rules Committee has amended Rule 7.B.1. to include the requirement that helmets worn by the goalkeeper in women's lacrosse at all levels must meet the NOCSAE Lacrosse Standard.