Boys' & Girls' Lacrosse Chest Protection FAQs

Points of Emphasis

  • Beginning in 2021, the use of goalie chest protectors that meet the new NOCSAE performance standard is now mandatory in the US Lacrosse boys’ and girls’ youth rules, the NFHS boys’ and girls’ high school rules, and the NCAA men’s and women’s rules.
  • Goalie chest protectors used after January 1, 2021 must be designed for lacrosse and meet the NOCSAE standard, ND200.
  • Beginning in 2022, US Lacrosse boys’ field players, NFHS boys’ field players, and NCAA men’s field players must also wear chest protection that meets the NOCSAE ND200 standard.
  • The NOCSAE standard is a performance standard, not a design standard.
  • Product designs will likely vary from one manufacturer to another.
  • Products must contain the NOCSAE logo and SEI certification mark to be legal for play.
  • There must be marking on both the packaging and product that states that the product conforms to NOCSAE standard ND200.

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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).

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 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. 

What are the different product options for goalies?
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.

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. Some manufacturers have already begun to introduce chest protection for boys’ field players into the marketplace. US Lacrosse encourages field players of all ages to begin using protection as soon as they can, rather than waiting for the 2022 mandate.

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 US Lacrosse insurance policy states that game officials must officiate according to the approved rules. Therefore, if the officials permit the use of non-ND200 chest 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 goalie were to suffer a commotio cordis event as a result of not wearing the approved chest protector. 

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.