From The Field: ‘Unprecedented Breakthrough’

US Lacrosse

March 31, 2021


Effective Jan. 1 of this year, all lacrosse goalies must wear chest protectors that meet the NOCSAE performance standard ND200. That goes for youth (US Lacrosse), high school (NFHS) and college (NCAA) and all disciplines of the game (men and women) played in the U.S. Come 2022, the mandate will extend to all field players in youth and high school boys’ and college men’s lacrosse.

US Lacrosse helped fund the research that led to the standard, which protects against commotio cordis, the rare but catastrophic phenomenon that occurs when a blunt blow to the chest wall directly over the heart happens during a precise moment in the heart’s cycle, disrupting the heart’s normal rhythm and causing cardiac arrest. NOCSAE approved the ND200 standard in January 2017.

To learn more, head to


The Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse serves as a national hub for the study and improvement of safety and performance in lacrosse. Since its inception in 1998, US Lacrosse has invested more than $1 million in lacrosse-specific safety research.

Among recent developments:

• A new study measuring the effects of headgear in high school girls’ lacrosse indicates that headgear reduces the magnitude but does not change the rate of impacts, how they occur or how penalties were administered. “Our findings suggest that anecdotal concerns about headgear causing a ‘gladiator effect’ may not translate to game play,” said Dr. Shane Caswell, who was on the research team along with fellow US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee member Dr. Andrew Lincoln.

• The NFHS has removed its high-moderate-low classification for sports related to COVID-19 transmission. Boys’ and girls’ lacrosse had initially been classified as high- and moderate-risk sports, respectively. US Lacrosse experts say that community infection rates are the strongest predictor for athletes contracting COVID-19 and that on-field transmission of the coronavirus is rare, particularly for sports played outdoors.


“It will make lacrosse safer.” — Dr. Mark Link, board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist and worldwide authority on commotio cordis

“This is an unprecedented breakthrough in sports protection. If they are wearing a protector that meets the standard, I have an extremely high level of confidence that the chances of that person sustaining a sudden cardiac death from impact is almost negligible.” — Mike Oliver, executive director of NOCSAE


Even with enhanced chest protection, USL strongly encourages an on-site AED for games and practices. The combination of immediate CPR and defibrillation with an AED can more than double a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.



Survival rate in instances of commotio cordis.


Commotio cordis chest protectors receiving SEI certification (


Seconds to restart the heart in the event of commotio cordis before there is irreversible damage.


Manufacturers that have produced ND200-certified chest protection products as listed on the SEI website. Cascade Maverik, STX/Nike, True Temper and Warrior.

Equipment Standards News

View All
  • Study Finds Wearable Neck Sensor Could Predict Concussion Risk in Contact Sports
    June 30, 2022

    Sport TechieJune 24, 2022 Sensor-laden neck wearables may be more efficient at measuring and predicting concussions in contact sports, according to a new study published Thursday in Scientific Reports. Without naming a specific brand of wearable, the research conducted by Michigan State professor Sepúlveda Alancastro and a doctoral student Henry Dsouza determined that neck devices […]

    Read more
  • A Diagnosis Brings C.T.E. Into American Pro Soccer
    June 30, 2022

    The New York Times June 28, 2022 Scott Vermillion’s family members still struggle to articulate the jumble of emotions they felt last November when they received the phone call from the doctors. Vermillion, a former M.L.S. player, had died almost a year earlier, on Christmas Day in 2020, at age 44. The direct cause was […]

    Read more
  • Association of APOE Genotypes and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
    June 30, 2022

    JAMA Network June 27, 2022 Key Points Question: Are APOEε4 and ε2 associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) neuropathology and related endophenotypes? Findings: In this genetic association study of 364 brain donors with repetitive head impact exposure from contact sports or military service (294 with and 70 without neuropathologically confirmed CTE), APOEε4 was significantly associated with CTE stage and […]

    Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *