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Rock Bottom

Throat Guard Question

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So, I have my first "real" non-little league game that I'm umping this coming Saturday (a DH actually, and another DH Sunday) so I'm making sure all my equipment is ready, etc.  I was debating between a 4" and 6" throat guard, and when I put either on (attached to the main mask and behind the mask guard, as is proper) I found that if I looked down at all the throat guard couldn't swing out too much because it hit the mask, and then it moved the face mask.  I've read many of the posts on why you should use the TG, so I'm going to do it, but does anyone else have this same problem, and if so, how did you solve it (or do you just not look down without taking off the mask?)?  

If it matters, my mask is an All-Star FM4000, and CP is a Schutt XV-HDX.  Thanks as always!!!   (I did do a search on this, but didn't find anything too quickly, but if I missed it my apologies if this has already been discussed.)

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Hmmm ...... I used an FM4000 all last season w/ a 6" All Star TG and never had a problem ....   maybe post a photo of your rig and set up?

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17 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Hmmm ...... I used an FM4000 all last season w/ a 6" All Star TG and never had a problem ....   maybe post a photo of your rig and set up?

Will do, I'll do that tonight, thanks!

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5 hours ago, Rock Bottom said:

I was debating between a 4" and 6" throat guard, and when I put either on (attached to the main mask and behind the mask guard, as is proper) I found that if I looked down at all the throat guard couldn't swing out too much because it hit the mask, and then it moved the face mask.

↑ This is why I don't wear them. :wow:

I can't stand the clack-clack of it hitting my fixed chin guard and/or my CP.  Plus, when I look down it moves.

Maybe you should consider wearing it on the front of your fixed chin guard of the mask like some pro guys do now.  It will offer better coverage than no throat guard, but not as much as it swinging freely would offer of course. 

Or maybe consider using a Spyder-styled throat guard. It's a little heavier and vinyl covered.  It doesn't clack and stays pretty consistently in place.  Also, I never found it to shift like the hard plastic throat guards do and "ride up" when I look down.

 

 

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Great question RB, but it should not be much of an issue. I say this because, when you are in your stance calling balls and strikes, your head should not be moving while tracking the pitch, especially in a downward direction. If you are set up correctly, you should be able to see everything you need to, without moving your head down. Now, if there is a situation that requires you to really look down for a ball in the dirt at or around your feet, then the mask should be coming off anyway as you clear the catcher, which is what your attention should be more focused on anyway. He will then take your eyes to the ball, if you are unsure where it is.

Hope that makes sense.

 

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I have had the same quandry about wearing a TG.  I have worn them in the past, I have had them work in the past, but I do understand what @Rock Bottom is saying.  You basically can't look down with the 6" TG on or the TG gets caught on your CP.  So, I'm back to sometimes I wear the TG and sometimes I don't.

 

Oh, and don't wear the 4", all it will do is hit you in the throat!

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I don't disagree with @blue32, but I will say that I don't remove my mask around the catcher until his mask is removed and on the ground. I also tend to drop my head on a ball obviously in the dirt to lessen that gap between CP and mask. I can do that and still keep my eyes focused on the batter to see if he swings.

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4 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

↑ This is why I don't wear them. :wow:

I can't stand the clack-clack of it hitting my fixed chin guard and/or my CP.  Plus, when I look down it moves.

We recently saw the post about a catcher getting hit in the throat, and leaving in an ambulance.  Trust me, I wish nothing bad on my fellow arbiters, but don't you think it's better than laying in the hospital thinking "clack - clack" to your self over and over?

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3 hours ago, catsbackr said:

I have had the same quandry about wearing a TG.  I have worn them in the past, I have had them work in the past, but I do understand what @Rock Bottom is saying.  You basically can't look down with the 6" TG on or the TG gets caught on your CP.  So, I'm back to sometimes I wear the TG and sometimes I don't.

 

Oh, and don't wear the 4", all it will do is hit you in the throat!

I have to disagree....If you are wearing your CP as high as you *should* be and you have the TG mounted in the proper place, then a 4" should not hit your throat....and if you aren't wearing that CP hi and tight then not only are you creating more of an opening for your throat to get smashed but you are also likely exposing your clavicles. My 4" has saved my bacon more than once....it bottoms out near the top of my CP when a ball bounces up and trys to get under the mask. The key is that we need to be disciplined and do what we are supposed to do...keep our eyes down and on the ball...even if it's in the dirt. If we try to look up or away from the ball in the dirt that's when we get hit under the chin/in the throat. I agree that the 6" could feel cumbersome and has a tendency to catch on your CP or shirt from time to time...which is why I prefer the 4".

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A lot of this is personal preference because of our different stances/bodies. Some of us have longer necks (more exposed area) than others, and some of us have more torso lean than others. If you have little to no torso lean, a 4 inch TG will come straight down and have nowhere to swing. If you get hit, it will do its job and hit your CP. If you have more torso lean your TG will swing back more when hit. A 4 inch TG could potentially swing back, miss your CP and ironically hit you in the throat. For this reason, I use a 6 inch TG. There's not really a "right answer" here. Do what makes you comfortable and use whatever makes you feel safe. 

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2 hours ago, ofhs93 said:

I have to disagree....If you are wearing your CP as high as you *should* be and you have the TG mounted in the proper place, then a 4" should not hit your throat....and if you aren't wearing that CP hi and tight then not only are you creating more of an opening for your throat to get smashed but you are also likely exposing your clavicles. My 4" has saved my bacon more than once....it bottoms out near the top of my CP when a ball bounces up and trys to get under the mask. The key is that we need to be disciplined and do what we are supposed to do...keep our eyes down and on the ball...even if it's in the dirt. If we try to look up or away from the ball in the dirt that's when we get hit under the chin/in the throat. I agree that the 6" could feel cumbersome and has a tendency to catch on your CP or shirt from time to time...which is why I prefer the 4".

The 4" comes nowhere near my CP.

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40 minutes ago, catsbackr said:

The 4" comes nowhere near my CP.

Not sure how you are wearing the CP or how you have the TG mounted....but mine bottoms out as long as my mechanics are correct....and I'm not a small guy....6'1" 240...maybe body type is at play?

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Stk004 has a point as well...I tend to try to really get up in the slot with my feet but do my best not to be leaning at all...I keep all of the workload on my legs and try to isolate my back from as much load bearing as possible....I need my back to hold out for 100 plates a year....leaning forward would likely not allow that to happen.

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Mask type could also be a contributor...not sure what you are sporting in that pic....I'm typically wearing a +Pos ZRO-G....maybe my mounting location is a bit lower or closer to the CP than it would be on your mask.

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6" is too long for me, a 4" covers the top part of the Schutt shell by about 2". It's stopped a foul ball off the catcher's mitt from going under my mask, so it stays. 

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Thanks for all the responses.  I got stuck at work and didn't get a chance to take a pic when I got home; I'll try and do that today.

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On 4/9/2019 at 4:29 AM, Mister B said:

6" is too long for me, a 4" covers the top part of the Schutt shell by about 2". It's stopped a foul ball off the catcher's mitt from going under my mask, so it stays. 

Same setup that I have. Schutt with a 4" TG....same results.

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Finally got the pics as well as umped my first game of the year today.  The 6" seemed to work okay; the 4" is too short for me.  Still moved if I looked down but since I was aware of it I didn't have a problem at least in this one game.  Here are some pics - one just standing up, one in a quasi-stance.  (Tried attaching them, but there were too big - hopefully the screenshots will work.)

 

image.png.7fd0655ec6e0adc8c9fcfe60084696e3.png

 

image.png.5087fd12c8936b515375be93ef872e85.png

 

 

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Here's the picture we need, and you'll need some assistance. Drop into your stance, and have someone take a pic from the side. That will show you your gap, and what, if anything, you need to solve it. Some don't need one. 

 

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Yep, how much body lean you have in your stance will dictate whether or not you need the TG and which one.

 

See my profile pic.  I didn't used to use one, but I have a ton of gap with my stance, so now I wear one.  I've only been hit once, but that was enough to scare the crap out of me.

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6 hours ago, catsbackr said:

that was enough to scare the crap out of me.

That's all it takes....For a $4 piece of equipment, no reason to risk it. 

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The way I look at it is, if I maintain the exact position at all times, my CP never slips, a 4" might be okay most of the time.  I wear a 6" all the time.  Why take a needless chance?  There's a lot of other opportunity to get hurt that we can't prevent. I have been "clacked" a couple of times hard enough to break the nylon zip ties. 

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1 hour ago, boyinr said:

if I maintain the exact position at all times, my CP never slips, a 4" might be okay most of the time.  I wear a 6" all the time.  Why take a needless chance?

Others have mentioned how it grabs onto their CP or shirt at a longer length. If it's not positioned to protect you, it's just as safe as not having one.

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3 hours ago, yawetag said:

Others have mentioned how it grabs onto their CP or shirt at a longer length. If it's not positioned to protect you, it's just as safe as not having one.

It's funny. That was one of the issues I had with the Spyder throat guard. Even after chopping my Diamond, it would still hang up on me. The plastic ones (be it a normal "shoe horn" 6 inch or the Zett) did not. I will have to wait for next weekend to see if the Samurai will. 

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