You sound like a southern parent who has is all squared away. Try to stay away from the NE nuts who have just gone off the rails.
The helmets were "fine", (very few injuries/nothing in the news) prior to this whole fiasco. Since then, Cascade has responded appropriately. Let's not forget the cozy relationship that Nike/Shupp/STX has with regard to NOCSAE.
Roger all on the helmets and I agree with your observation about the manufacturer-NOCSAE relationship; even if it happens to be innocent/conincidental there are at least a couple indicators of blurred lines. The e-mail blast by STX about their helmets being the only ones to meet NOCSAE standards a month before the helmets were even available and before this whole thing blew up just seemed like something out of Conspiracy Theory when all of a sudden Cascade and Warrior helmets were no longer OK. Strange, but I haven't seen or heard any info regarding the Warrior helmets.
I'd PM you as this strays off-topic, but couldn't figure out how to as your post was Anonymous...please don't get the mistaken impression that southern lax is any more pure or sane than in other places. Following this board for the past 6 months (and only posting 3 times total, all in this thread), I've been surprised at what people will put in a forum about youth sports, and it confirms that what we see on the sidelines down here is unfortunately universal with respect to lax. I am not in the "know" like many seem to be on this board, and I feel like a Boy Scout meeting Serpico reading about some of the topics on here (like the Age Verification thread).
Adding in the youth football piece may make the southern lax sidelines as volatile as anywhere else...several parents yelling for kids to "deck him" or "take him out" and cheering football-style hits at the U11 and U13 levels then going apoplectic on the refs when their kid gets a penalty for doing exactly what dad says. Of course, dad doesn't know the rules but that doesn't stop him from going crazy on the guys who do.
There are 3 lax seasons down here, all outdoor: winter rec from Jan-Apr, summer travel from May-June and fall travel from Oct-Dec. Sprinkle in a bit of outdoor box lax (turfed-over hockey rinks) and the occasional clinics put on by lax guys happy to not shovel snow for a few days in the winter and who want to hang on the beach in the summer, and that fills up the year.
For better or worse, any outdoor sport like soccer, lax, baseball, etc is done nearly year round to the detriment/exclusion of other sports and that my son is a goalie means it's never easy to skip a lax event as replacements aren't plentiful.
The huge positive for all this and the major reason my kid (and my wife and me) love it is because of the true team sport atmosphere that we get to enjoy more than what comes out on these forums. We've been fortunate to meet great kids, parents and coaches and our son has had experiences that we never did at his age. Winning fair, losing despite best effort, working hard, meeting great people, appreciating great competition, etc...all great lessons on and beyond the field. We're not blind to some of the ugliness, but the ride has been definitely worth it so far.