This is my first post here, but I've enjoyed the board for over a year. There seem to be some very knowledgeable people here, so I'm hoping someone can help me answer this. My son is an incoming freshman catcher. I've read about the new rule going into effect on 1/1/2020 for NOCSAE chest protectors. Does anyone know how this is going to be enforced? I've read some sites that say as long as it is manufactured before the rule then it is fine. I've read other sites that say umpires will require the certified gear right away. 

Original Post

My understanding is that it is up to the governing body i.e. NFHS, and associated state organizations, to add to their rules of play, and enforce. From the NFHS website, it is stated "The committee also revised Rule 1-5-3, which will require the catcher to wear a chest protector that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture, effective January 1, 2020." I'd probably check with my state activities association directly if I were unsure. Are you trying to determine whether or not to buy one for your son that meets the standard?

tequila posted:

My understanding is that it is up to the governing body i.e. NFHS, et al. to add to their rules of play, and enforce. Are you trying to determine whether or not to buy one for your son that meets the standard?

Thanks. I'm of the same understanding. I'm just wondering if it is something they will look for and tell a catcher he needs to comply or just ignore it. I've watched catchers wear a traditional mask one game and then told to wear hockey style the next.

Yes, the chest protector we bought last summer still fits great and the next size up is a little big. I was hoping to get an entirely new set for him after the 2020 HS season. 

TerribleBPthrower posted:

Yes, the chest protector we bought last summer still fits great and the next size up is a little big. I was hoping to get an entirely new set for him after the 2020 HS season. 

You replied as I was editing my original response with a bit more detail. I feel your pain on that conundrum but perhaps you could get clarification from your state body that governs high school sports.

TerribleBPthrower posted:

... Does anyone know how this is going to be enforced? I've read some sites that say as long as it is manufactured before the rule then it is fine. I've read other sites that say umpires will require the certified gear right away. 

Before the game, coaches meet w/ umpires. UIC asks "Coach are your players legally/properly equipped according to NFHS / <state association> standards?".  Once both coaches reply yes, the following takes place "PENALTY: Failure by a player to wear proper equipment after being so ordered by the umpire, shall result in ejection". 

Before you jump on the messenger - let's say an umpire "overlooks" the equipment issue and let's the catcher play. If that catcher gets injured there will be some lawyer somewhere that could make life fairly miserable for the umpire. So yeah, if I check and don't see the NOCSAE mark - I'll have to request usage of proper equipment. Similar with the shell helmet/mask combo so prevalent in summer ball, but illegal in HS ball.  Theoretically HS's should be supplying equipment, but realistically with budgets the way they are - I know who fronts the bill.

BTW: Starting 1/1/2020, the baseballs also must meet NOCSAE.  It was supposed to be 2019, but apparently there were enough complaints about what schools would do with their supply of balls so it was delayed.

 

As an umpire and board member in our local association, here's how we'll handle it  unless the state gives us other guidance.

At the plate conference, we'll ask both coaches if their players are properly equipped and all their equipment is legal.

Both coaches will say yes.

We will inquire no further unless our attention is directed to it.

More and more pieces of equipment now require the NOCSAE approval. I wouldn't be surprised if jocks and cups joined the list at some point. Fielding a properly equipped team is the coach's responsibility and we get involved only if circumstances require us to.

If our attention is drawn to it, we would be obliged to enforce the rule as JohnF says above. It's not going to be something we look for. But it is something a responsible high school baseball coach will check--because it is his responsibility, not the umpire's.

 

The rule says that any chest protector worn after Jan 1, 2020, must have a NOCSAE seal saying it met the standard at time of manufacture. A chest protector made before the NOCSAE standard existed won't have the seal and won't be legal. 

So you're going to have to buy a new one before next spring. At least some NOCSAE compliant models are on sale now.

By the way, the standard is intended to provide better protection against the rare but potentially deadly heart arythmias associated with blows to the chest. It's not just a matter of sticking a seal on current models. The NOCSAE-compliant chest protectors will be built different to address this risk. Knowing that it's not just a label thing may soften the financial blow.

And I second Cabbagedad's praise of your screen name.

 

tequila posted:

My understanding is that it is up to the governing body i.e. NFHS, and associated state organizations, to add to their rules of play, and enforce. From the NFHS website, it is stated "The committee also revised Rule 1-5-3, which will require the catcher to wear a chest protector that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture, effective January 1, 2020." I'd probably check with my state activities association directly if I were unsure. Are you trying to determine whether or not to buy one for your son that meets the standard?

This does not say it has to have NOCSAE stamp on it.  It says effective January 1, 2020 it must meet those standards which most already do just do not have the stamp on them.  It is like the bat rule in some leagues.  You have to have the list or know the ones that do or don't.  Check your chest protector and see if it already meets the standard before you go buy one. 

PitchingFan posted:

 

tequila posted:

My understanding is that it is up to the governing body i.e. NFHS, and associated state organizations, to add to their rules of play, and enforce. From the NFHS website, it is stated "The committee also revised Rule 1-5-3, which will require the catcher to wear a chest protector that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture, effective January 1, 2020." I'd probably check with my state activities association directly if I were unsure. Are you trying to determine whether or not to buy one for your son that meets the standard?

This does not say it has to have NOCSAE stamp on it.  It says effective January 1, 2020 it must meet those standards which most already do just do not have the stamp on them.  It is like the bat rule in some leagues.  You have to have the list or know the ones that do or don't.  Check your chest protector and see if it already meets the standard before you go buy one. 

Just found the NOCSAE site and was glad to find a list of approved protectors that included the one my son uses. Thanks for the tip!

PitchingFan posted:

 

tequila posted:

My understanding is that it is up to the governing body i.e. NFHS, and associated state organizations, to add to their rules of play, and enforce. From the NFHS website, it is stated "The committee also revised Rule 1-5-3, which will require the catcher to wear a chest protector that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture, effective January 1, 2020." I'd probably check with my state activities association directly if I were unsure. Are you trying to determine whether or not to buy one for your son that meets the standard?

This does not say it has to have NOCSAE stamp on it.  It says effective January 1, 2020 it must meet those standards which most already do just do not have the stamp on them.  It is like the bat rule in some leagues.  You have to have the list or know the ones that do or don't.  Check your chest protector and see if it already meets the standard before you go buy one. 

Thanks!

 

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