Concerns regarding older equipment
We received a phone call from a youth lacrosse club coach who was concerned about the use of 20-year-old helmets that haven’t been reconditioned or re-certified. He wanted to know if he could be liable in the event of a head injury to a player since it his responsibility to verify to the referee prior to the game that all equipment is in safe operating condition. He also wanted to know if his General Liability policy would cover any potential lawsuit.
- Long-range planning for the repair, refurbishment, and replacement of helmets. These decisions need to be made far in advance as they can take time to budget and complete.
- Confirming helmets meet current National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (
NOCSAE) requirements, as well as the requirements of the sports governing body.
- Helmets should be inspected for defects in post season, pre season, weekly, and prior to any game or practice.
- Maintaining repairing, and conditioning equipment on a regular basis.
- Reconditioning to “like new” basis of safety equipment such as helmets should be performed by a reputable reconditioning business as opposed to an on staff trainer. NOCSAE may require re-certification.
- Replacing helmets on a periodic basis per manufacturers recommendations.
- Record keeping for documentation purposes on all of the above.