Understanding the New NOCSAE Regulations
Commotio Cordis is a syndrome that results from a blunt impact to the chest that leads to cardiac arrest. It is a poorly recognized and underreported event that happens to healthy young athletes as a result of a low-energy (roughly a 40mph baseball), non-penetrating blow to the chest.
Commotio cordis does not result solely from the force of a blow. The impact must also occur in a very narrow and specific window of time in the heart’s cycle. In other words, this is a very rare, but very serious occurrence.
Traditional CPR is typically not successful in cases of commotio cordis and the highest rates of survival come from an immediate use of an AED. NOCSAE has developed a new standard for baseball (and lacrosse) chest protectors based on research which shows that reducing the force of an impact below defined thresholds can significantly reduce the risk of commotio cordis.
The standard went into effect on June 31, 2018. The first known organization to adopt the standards is the NFHS who will require that all new catcher’s chest protectors purchased after January 1, 2020 must meet the standard.
If you are looking to purchase new catcher’s gear for the new season, look for either of the following NOCSAE-certified logos on our catcher’s gear listing.