I can speak to this. It is not to be construed as me speaking on behalf of AllStar or anything else.
A couple years ago I spoke to somebody at NOCSEA regarding their certification procedure. They require a helmets and masks to demonstrate Severity Index (SI) numbers below 1200 to receive a certification. As Stan mentioned in the stream, that number correlates with a likelihood of skull fracture, not concussion. In my opinion, this is a very low bar. Companies will vary in their approach. Some will shoot for 1199 others will strive for 0. There are no levels of NOCSEA certification. A product is either certified or not. So Ty was technically correct, but every mask that gets a NOCSEA cert gets the “top” cert.
No umpire specific equipment is required to meet NOCSEA certification. You will see the stamps on HSM’s, because NFHS requires it for players, but not on chest protectors because no catcher will wear an umpire’s chest protector. The testing procedure is expensive in both time and money, so you won’t see them until a governing body like the NCAA starts requiring umpire equipment to achieve a NOCSEA standard.
NOCSEA also does not permit manufacturers to advertise their numbers. You won’t see manufactures advertising their SI numbers for that reason. A person can become concussed at any SI level The equipment being worn is only one of many factors contributing to a concussion.
For products that are NOCSEA certified there are many ways to reach a 1200 SI number. Design, materials, and weight all play a role. Different companies go different routes to achieve their cert. the weight of an F3 helps get them there. The shape of the FM4K helps get it there. Pad design also plays a huge role. The difference between a new set of pads and an old set of pads will change the SI number. That’s why all umpires should replace their pads every season.
And remember, 1200 correlates to skull fracture. A mask hitting that 1200 SI threshold isn’t super impressive. Anything that keeps the ball from physically impacting your skull should avoid that. You do want a number as close to Zero as possible, but is a 10 SI mask twice as good as a 20 SI? You can’t really make that claim. Each brain behind the mask is going to react differently to those impacts.
I would love to see other companies open up about their own testing and R&D. I would venture a guess though that no company has people on Stan’s level of education and expertise. He’s too humble to admit how and where he got that expertise, but let’s just say we are VERY lucky to have Him focusing on umpire equipment.