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Guest Dave

Batters helmet

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Guest Dave

In high school baseball, does the protective headgear require a matte finish or may it be shiny?

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2018 NFHS rule 1-5-1

SECTION 5 PLAYER EQUIPMENT

ART. 1 . . . It is mandatory for on-deck batters, batters, runners, retired runners, players/students in the coaches boxes as well as non-adult bat/ball shaggers to wear a batting helmet that has a non-glare (not mirror-like) surface and meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture. The batting helmet shall have extended ear flaps that cover both ears and temples and also display the NOCSAE stamp and the exterior warning statement...

 

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1 hour ago, Guest Dave said:

may it be shiny?

@Senor Azul's citation gives you the "letter of the law", but this generally admonishes all typical batting helmets (dual ear flaps) whether they be gloss or matte finish. The only "shiny" one that was outright prohibited was the "chrome-dome" model UnderArmour put on retail shelves about 2-3 years ago. That was the only "mirror-like" finish that the rules were alluding to.

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2014 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations

SITUATION 21: As the home team prepares to take the field on defense, F2 pulls on his one-piece catcher’s mask/helmet as he sets up in the catcher’s box. Both the offensive team and umpire-in-chief notice that the catcher’s mask/helmet is one of the new ACME shiny-chrome, reflective-paint models. RULING: The umpire-in-chief instructs F2 to put on a compliant catcher’s mask/helmet, the outer cover of which shall have a non-glare surface. F2 explains that there is no other mask available; however, adding dull/matte black tape over the helmet would make the helmet less reflective, which would meet the criteria of the rule. There would be no penalty unless F2 does not comply with the umpire’s direction, then he would be ejected from the contest. (1-5-5)

SITUATION 22: R1 leads off the inning wearing a highly polished reflective batting helmet. The opposing coach inquires as to the legality of R1 wearing such a helmet as it would be distracting to his pitcher and the infielders. R1 and his coach explain that, a) the helmet meets the current NOCSAE performance standard for batting helmets; b) there is no rule prohibiting such product for use; and c) the player has a right to own and use the helmet when there is no rule preventing such use. RULING: The umpire explains that the use of such helmet presents a risk minimization issue for the team playing defense. The bright reflection of the sun off the helmet poses a dangerous situation for the defense. In a) and b), the fact that the helmet meets the NOCSAE performance standard for batting helmets is admirable and is compliant to NOCSAE standards; unfortunately, it is judged by the umpire to be unreasonably dangerous and is illegal for use. There are several rules references prohibiting the use of such equipment. (1-5-9,10) Regarding c), the player does have the right to own and use the helmet, just not for high school baseball competition. COMMENT: If the offensive team would like to use the batting helmet, it could make it less reflective by adding dull/matte black tape over the helmet in order to meet the intent of the rule.

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

2014 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations

SITUATION 21: As the home team prepares to take the field on defense, F2 pulls on his one-piece catcher’s mask/helmet as he sets up in the catcher’s box. Both the offensive team and umpire-in-chief notice that the catcher’s mask/helmet is one of the new ACME shiny-chrome, reflective-paint models. RULING: The umpire-in-chief instructs F2 to put on a compliant catcher’s mask/helmet, the outer cover of which shall have a non-glare surface. F2 explains that there is no other mask available; however, adding dull/matte black tape over the helmet would make the helmet less reflective, which would meet the criteria of the rule. There would be no penalty unless F2 does not comply with the umpire’s direction, then he would be ejected from the contest. (1-5-5)

SITUATION 22: R1 leads off the inning wearing a highly polished reflective batting helmet. The opposing coach inquires as to the legality of R1 wearing such a helmet as it would be distracting to his pitcher and the infielders. R1 and his coach explain that, a) the helmet meets the current NOCSAE performance standard for batting helmets; b) there is no rule prohibiting such product for use; and c) the player has a right to own and use the helmet when there is no rule preventing such use. RULING: The umpire explains that the use of such helmet presents a risk minimization issue for the team playing defense. The bright reflection of the sun off the helmet poses a dangerous situation for the defense. In a) and b), the fact that the helmet meets the NOCSAE performance standard for batting helmets is admirable and is compliant to NOCSAE standards; unfortunately, it is judged by the umpire to be unreasonably dangerous and is illegal for use. There are several rules references prohibiting the use of such equipment. (1-5-9,10) Regarding c), the player does have the right to own and use the helmet, just not for high school baseball competition. COMMENT: If the offensive team would like to use the batting helmet, it could make it less reflective by adding dull/matte black tape over the helmet in order to meet the intent of the rule.

What is with the use of tape?  Is tape allowed, because I thought it did something to the integrity of the helmet?

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8 hours ago, umpstu said:

What is with the use of tape?

This is how utterly petty and nitpicky the Fed Rules (and all the correlating situations) get. If you have a batter walk up with tape on his helmet, ambiguously, we (as umpires) are supposed to disallow it. The tape might be covering a crack, holding together / in a jaw pad or ear pad, there for the name of the player or school / team to be written on, or simply because the kid finds it cosmetically pleasing. We’re not supposed to discern that – we’re to unilaterally disallow that.

But then we have here the whole topic of shininess of helmets and protective gear. So it becomes an exercise in determining the “lesser of two evils”, and if tape applied to an otherwise intact helmet is what you direct a team or player to do to make it acceptably un-shiny, then that’s what to do. 

Or I suppose if it’s that “one coach”, you could ask him for the piece of sandpaper he’s rumored to carry, and use that to rub the shininess off.

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Next season I would venture that we will be dealing with the Stanton shield. I saw a lot of them on other than HS teams.

Image result for giancarlo stanton face shield

 

FED 1.5.2 . A face mask/guard may be attached to batting helmets at the time of manufacture. All face mask/guards shall meet the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture. A face mask/guard specifically designed for a particular helmet model may be attached after manufacture, provided that procedure is approved by the manufacturer and meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture.

Are they approved by the manufacturer?

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Boombah was the only approved vendor (for Little League) this year.  I'm sure we will see more and more manufacturers rolling this out.

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1 hour ago, Kevin_K said:

Next season I would venture that we will be dealing with the Stanton shield. I saw a lot of them on other than HS teams.

Image result for giancarlo stanton face shield

 

FED 1.5.2 . A face mask/guard may be attached to batting helmets at the time of manufacture. All face mask/guards shall meet the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture. A face mask/guard specifically designed for a particular helmet model may be attached after manufacture, provided that procedure is approved by the manufacturer and meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture.

Are they approved by the manufacturer?

Wasn't there an interpretation this year that they were not allowed because they were not tested as part of the helmet?

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Are we really going to tell a HS player to remove that piece of protective equipment ? I wouldn't. And shame on the opposing coach that insists on it's removal. Refer to signature sentence below.

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How will you evaluate whether it's actually protective?  I mean, what if it's of low quality?  And how will you defend yourself legally if that unapproved "protective" equipment shatters and a shard of it goes into the catcher's eye?  What will you do if it's your own eye?

If you follow the rules the way they're written, NOCSAE and NFHS are on the hook.  If you don't, it's you.

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On 9/11/2018 at 11:00 AM, Kevin_K said:

Next season I would venture that we will be dealing with the Stanton shield. I saw a lot of them on other than HS teams.

Image result for giancarlo stanton face shield

 

FED 1.5.2 . A face mask/guard may be attached to batting helmets at the time of manufacture. All face mask/guards shall meet the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture. A face mask/guard specifically designed for a particular helmet model may be attached after manufacture, provided that procedure is approved by the manufacturer and meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture.

Are they approved by the manufacturer?

C-Flap. Been around for decades. It will now become popular.

LL has the same restriction.

Very few are at the moment. I suspect that will be "fixed" over the winter.

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