Well, I am the guy who ran out and bought two STX Stallions in the throat of the controversy. I have also had the Cascade Rs re-fabricated for my sons as well. So now they have each. Frankly, I owe the other posters an apology. I am pretty "shattered" to learn more and more as I read and ask more questions about the helmets and the testing. Here is what I think is fair to represent now: STX wasn't blowing smoke when they concluded that if you wear a Cascade R at a tilted fit, then the R fails the NOCSAE baseline impact testing. To Cascade's credit they amended that flaw, but only after an STX splashy negative campaign. NOCSAE also looked pretty bad to me and others to leave so little detail on the ongoing testing of product they are licensees to conduct, which now seemed somewhere between very little and none at lease insofar as Cascade helmets are concerned.
I was skeptical about STX's claims of the Stallion "doing the job" given past representations. Here is what I found looking up what "doing the job" is defined as taken straight from the NOCSAE source. According to the NOCSAE guidelines, lacrosse balls and helmets are each tested at -- among other things -- different temperatures. Samples are first tested at ambient temperature, then same helmets are heated or frozen to sub zero temperatures. For helmets, the impact testing includes balls at various velocities.http://nocsae.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ND021-12m13-Projectile-Impact-Test-Method.pdf
stipulates "cold extremes" as:
See Section 11, NOCSAE DOC.001.
11.1. See Section 12, NOCSAE DOC.001. 11.2. Low Temperature: Expose product to conditioned temperature of 32o F + 0F or - 3o C
(0o C + 0C or - 1o C) for at least four hours.
Then projectile impact testing is stipulated as:
12. Test Instruments and Equipment
12.3 Electronic speed monitors capable of measuring the inbound and rebound velocity of a ball when it is propelled at the strike plate through two gates at speeds of 60.0 ± 2.0 mph. The first gate is mounted 24 ± 0.125 in from the strike plate and the second gate is mounted 12 ± 0.125 in from the first gate. A “proof of accuracy” method (such as a paper target or high speed video) is required to determine that the trajectory of the ball does not deviate more than 6 in. while traveling through the light gates before and after impact with the strike plate before and after each series of tests.
So when STX states the Stallion meets requirements, those requirements read up to be withstanding a projectile velocity of 60mph with a 2mph variance, and a temperature of 32 degrees farenheit with a +0 to -3 degrees farenheit variance. One of the flaws I see straight away is there are no tests for temperature variance of the projectiles themselves: aren't frozen lacrosse balls harder/more rigid? I was a B student in high school physics, but I am pretty sure it is not too bold to suggest that the testing standards ignore the hardness extremes of FROZEN objects.
Second, are they (NOCSAE and these brands together) kidding us now? Most of the outdoor college lacrosse being played in February this year in the East and Midwest were at temps below 29 farenheit. Pretty much every college player can shoot a ball faster than 60mph. So can most U-13 players. An NCAA D1 shot is over 95mph and I'd wager the passes are often faster than 60mph. I have read somewhere that STX tests at velocities up to 70mph, but have seen no empirical data from them or in fairness from any other brand for above and beyond conditions impact testing on helmets.
I do know this: in cold temperatures with a collegiate play velocity shot, the STX Stallion failed miserably. I look at that picture and only think that the kid was lucky to escape a serious and life altering head trauma injury and not that he or anyone else should be thankful he was wearing the Stallion. I also know this, I've never seen a Cascade helmet go worse than a cracked facemask, cracked facemask molding to the helmet or ear area crack. I have not seen it all but have seen kids take high velocity shots to the head wearing a Cascade helmet and escape injury and also sometimes escape damage to the helmet itself. But my sample size is hardly thorough or scientific and most of what I have seen was in warm spring and summer conditions.
I'd like to see US Lacrosse demand a more stringent and also a more transparent testing of the extremes that this game is now endorsed to be played in conditions materially below 30 farenheit by players who put a velocity materially greater than 60mph on the ball.