Wednesday March 2nd, 2022
Inside Lacrosse / Terry Foy
What’s The New Shoulder Pad Standard and What Is Unequal?
When Loyola Blakefield (Md.) freshman defenseman Peter Laake was hit in the chest with a shot, collapsed, was defibrillated and resuscitated on the field. He was wearing old shoulder pads. Amazingly, Laake returned to the field 18 days later.
Before he got back on the field, Peter’s mom Carron and his dad Pete resolved to buy him a new pair of NOCSAE-certified shoulder pads.
“When we went to buy pads for him, we tried on all four pad systems that were available last year at the [new NOCSAE] standard, and not a single pad protected the area where Peter was hit,” Pete Laake says. “So Peter was forced to wear the Hart 1 shirt.”
In addition to the legacy brand lacrosse shoulder pads the Laakes bought, they picked up a compression shirt designed for baseball hitters which has “padding technology [that] utilizes a coated aramid fabric and other advanced materials to absorb, disperse and dissipate impact from afflicted areas.
This spring, all field players will be required to wear shoulder pads that meet a 2019 standard that has already been updated. It’s a complex story about health and safety and product development, and features one company trying to break into the lacrosse market with a product designed specifically to attack the issue directly.