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When I first started, I used the usual mask-hat combo and for this year I switched to a bucket. I like the bucket but it is cumbersome to take off on plays, and holding while trying to write or talk to coaches is a bit awkward. I'm considering trying a mask with a skull cap/field helmet. Does anyone currently do this or have any advice?

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I've given it some thought.  I'm torn on buying an F3 mask (if I can find one in silver) or doing a skull cap with a traditional mask.  I wish there was a local place (or buddy) that had a F3 mask so I could test one out and see if I'd like it.

But to your point... we're ahead of the curve on this. The masculine thought still seems to be that you wear a hat and a mask. While you see one umpire in the pros with a skull cap, he is the pathfinder/trend-setter and not a follower.   In our ranks, it's seen even less. 

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I recently carried one of my own mask w/me to Academy & tried it with the Wilson Matte Black skull cap they sell.  This was the one w/several ventilation slots.  I didn't like how far away from my eyes the thickness of the mask pushed out the eye guard bars.  Made the whole setup seem like it had poorer vision.  Of course I was standing in a retail store & not looking at pitches.  The standard skull cap seems to have a bill on it equivalent to an 8-stitch cap as well.  I wonder if the one being provided to MLB guys has been modified to address the bill length & additional thickness at forehead vs the regular 4-stitch plate hat or 6-stitch combo hat.

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9 minutes ago, Old Skool said:

I recently carried one of my own mask w/me to Academy & tried it with the Wilson Matte Black skull cap they sell.  This was the one w/several ventilation slots.  I didn't like how far away from my eyes the thickness of the mask pushed out the eye guard bars.  Made the whole setup seem like it had poorer vision.  Of course I was standing in a retail store & not looking at pitches.  The standard skull cap seems to have a bill on it equivalent to an 8-stitch cap as well.  I wonder if the one being provided to MLB guys has been modified to address the bill length & additional thickness at forehead vs the regular 4-stitch plate hat or 6-stitch combo hat.

Good point. I was talking to some one recently about the need of a smaller bill if we're going to try using one for umpires.  I think it'll come eventually, but like everything else we don't represent enough sales for them to do these changes rapidly or on a large enough scale to make it cost-effective for them.

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I would also be interested to know if the model given to the MLB guys is available for purchase. So far, Google isn't helping.

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 I wear a catcher's skull type helmet.  It works really well.  I do not have to worry

about getting hit in the head by baseballs  that bounce off the  close backstop or a low

top screen.  However,  some people do not like that I wear a helmet.  

 

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12 minutes ago, Lefty said:

 I wear a catcher's skull type helmet.  It works really well.  I do not have to worry

about getting hit in the head by baseballs  that bounce off the  close backstop or a low

top screen.  However,  some people do not like that I wear a helmet.  

 

If anyone had an issue with me wearing one, I would tell them to get over it unless they want to cover my medical bills and lost income due to a traumatic brain injury.

Do you wear it with the bill facing forward? If so, do you have problems getting your mask to fit?

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I wear mine with the bill facing forward.  I have the straps that hold the mask on loose.

The mask goes on and comes off with no problem.  If I get hit in the mask, the mask will turn

or come off.  Thus reducing the force that is applied  to my head by the impact.

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