NFHS 2016 rule on catches mask

I am bringing up this topic because my 2017 was interested in the old style skull cap and mask catchers equipment.  

NFHS felt it important to reinforce the rule that the old style cap is not allowed. 

 

NFHS Baseball Rules

Proper Catcher’s Equipment

Because of the significant amount of exposure to thrown or batted balls and thrown bats, the catcher is involved with every pitch and most of the action at or around home plate.  It is imperative that they are properly equipped.  Prior to start of a baseball game, the head coach verifies that the players are legally and properly equipped.  The catcher’s helmet and mask combination shall meet the NOCSAE standard which includes having full ear protection with dual ear flaps.  The skull cap and mask combination does not meet the NOCSAE standard nor does it provide full ear protection with dual ear flaps and is not permitted for high school baseball.  The catcher shall wear a throat protector which is either attached or part of the catcher’s mask.  It shall adequately cover the throat.  When a non-adult is in a crouch position and is warming up a pitcher at any location he shall wear face and head protection with throat protection and a protective cup (male only).  Ensuring that the catcher is properly equipped will reduce the risk of serious injury and maximizes his enjoyment of the game.

Original Post

I think a lot of the lack of enforcement comes from umpires working and players playing different rules. The only time I do HS-level ball is during the HS season, and that's in between my college schedule. Last year, I worked a HS game where it didn't occur to me until after that the home catcher was wearing a mask and helmet combination--it didn't register because I'm used to levels where they are allowed. Same goes for players; if they only use FED rules during the HS season and others during their travel/summer ball, it's not going to be apparent to them that they can't wear what they normally would.

My son prefers two piece helmets and using them exclusively for travel ball.  For MS and HS he uses a one piece.  We actually had an ump during the LEGION season claim that he had to wear a one piece.  After the game I showed him the rule book and he was pretty defensive.  Asked me why I didnt want to protect my son.  I agreed to disagree.    

CIF in SoCal also does not allow the old style skull cap and mask, and my 2017 catcher learned to accept his All Star hockey style mask.  Some kids would try to make the switch to it at playoffs time, which is just idiotic to play the whole season with one piece of equipment and then change.

Eventually, every youth organization will enforce the rule, as like everything in today's society, there is just too much liability risk for the lawsuits filed by parents of catchers who got seriously injured in the exposed area of the old style masks.  Lots of hockey players complained about having to wear helmets too but they adjusted.  So too will catchers.

Kevin A posted:

My son prefers two piece helmets and using them exclusively for travel ball.  For MS and HS he uses a one piece.  We actually had an ump during the LEGION season claim that he had to wear a one piece.  After the game I showed him the rule book and he was pretty defensive.  Asked me why I didnt want to protect my son.  I agreed to disagree.    

YadierMolina

Good enough for them, good enough for me!

BusterPosey

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Kevin A posted:

Oh.. Im not knocking one piece.  Its a matter of preference.  

 

And I have seen a back swing hit a catcher in MLB wearing a hockey style mask on top of the mask and he still required stitches.....

 

 

I would have to believe that the injury would have been even more significant without the hockey style mask.

Like Matt, I umpire other rules codes where the 2 piece is legal. In NFHS games its clearly not. I cant count how many times a catcher rolls out with his 2 piece helmet to catch a HS game. I always ask them where is your HSM?.

Most just turn to the dugout and go get the proper headgear.   but some say :

  • this isn't legal?
  • I never knew that!
  • I've been using it all year...
  • No other umpire says I cant!

 

Don't do that.........

piaa_ump posted:

Like Matt, I umpire other rules codes where the 2 piece is legal. In NFHS games its clearly not. I cant count how many times a catcher rolls out with his 2 piece helmet to catch a HS game. I always ask them where is your HSM?.

Most just turn to the dugout and go get the proper headgear.   but some say :

  • this isn't legal?
  • I never knew that!
  • I've been using it all year...
  • No other umpire says I cant!

 

Don't do that.........

I ended up working my first non-college game of the season yesterday...a sophomore game. About the third inning, I had that "Oh, shit" moment where I realized I didn't notice what the catchers were wearing. Thankfully, both had HSMs.

been there ...done that Matt.........

more embarrassing to us than anyone else, but it always happens on that day when I'm on top of everything, got my lineup cards in order, all my housekeeping details done.....and a coach asks is he allowed to wear that mask combo?................turn and look....and ...well No, he isn't....

 

 

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