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Discussion: Face masks

Posted Discussion
March 1, 2014
Men's 70
40 posts
Face masks
"To wear or not to wear, that is the question" More and more pitchers are starting to realize that no matter how quick they think their response time is, accidents will happen. In the last FHC tournament a pitcher was hit in the face and suffered serious injuries and several days in intensive care. Some associations and tournaments now require a face mask for all pitchers. I am an infielder and occasional pitcher. I have opted to wear a face mask (Champro, $25 at Play it again sports) for obvious reasons. About a year ago in a local senior league, while playing shortstop, was fielding an average, easy playable ground ball. When the ball was approximately 2 feet in front of me, it took a freak bounce straight up into my mouth. 9 stitches and an emergency room bill later was enough for me to realize how easy it is to have a facial injury. I 've been playing very competative softball for over 45 years and never been hit in the face before. I was about 80 to 85 feet away from home plate. Pitchers are much closer. Senior players and especialy pitchers need to subscribe to the attitude that "the older we get, the better we used to be". What are your thoughts on requiring all pitchers to wear a protective face masks?
March 1, 2014
38 posts
I have been in the business of protective gear for players for over 25 years. Both for catchers and fielders. Our opinions for pitchers protection do not mean much right now because it is the rule in SSUSA.
Don't be cheap when you look at protection. It is your face and your career. You can buy cheap masks or step up and get better protection. NOCSAE requirements for facemasksa is only in the 60 mph range. I don't even think there is an official requirement for pitchers masks. Some companies state they pass a NOCSAE test but remember it is only 67 mph.
Go to the web site. Go to protective gear and they show some tests of a ball hitting a mask at 70 mph. Use your judgement but I have seen them all and some of their tests. Our pitchers wear the Combat mask. It is more expensive but like the old tv ad says "you can pay me now or pay me later".
Investigate the product. You get what you pay for, and no I do not have any affiliation with Combat.
Scrappy - Mike Massong
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