6 Best Softball Safety Masks | March 2017

We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. As anyone who has played the game knows, softballs are not particularly soft. So play your favorite game without fear, by donning one of these protective softball safety masks. These defensive headgear will keep fielders free from any head or face injuries. Skip to the best softball safety mask on Amazon.
6 Best Softball Safety Masks | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 5
Best Inexpensive
Constructed from a combination of both leather and durable vinyl, the Diamond Sports DFM-43 has a sturdy, hollow wire frame and an extended ear cage for maximum protection during those fast plays and intense periods of action.
Specifically engineered around the true conditions of both softball and baseball, the Bangerz Fielders Mask provides superior protection around the most sensitive areas, including the eyes, nose, and cheeks.
The Schutt Sports Youth Fielders Guard offers superior visibility and sightlines, which prevents unnecessary sight obstructions when trying to catch ground balls. Unfortunately, it's also a bit on the bulky side.
The Rip-It Defense is available in 5 different colors and features a steel safety cell that is designed to both reduce and transfer the force of impact from softballs during the game. Its blackout technology greatly reduces glare.
  • 30-day performance guarantee
  • chin cup is easy to adjust
  • available in both adult and youth sizes
Brand RIP-IT
Model DGBO-A-W
Weight 1.2 pounds
Crafted from extremely strong polycarbonate materials, the Markwort Game Face safety mask encourages player confidence with secure and complete facial protection. Its adjustable straps also allow for a completely customizable fit.
  • accommodates head sizes up to 21-7/8"
  • available in many different colors
  • helps to prevent jaw and dental injuries
Brand Markwort
Weight 6.4 ounces
Designed for slow-pitch players, the Worth Legit softball mask has a lightweight aluminum cage that is molded for style, safety, and superior impact performance. Its innovative ventilation system ensures increased airflow.
  • dial adjustable ring fit system
  • comfortable to wear
  • features a 2-tone finish
Brand Worth
Model W00551546
Weight 1.7 pounds

History Of Softball

The inaugural softball game commenced on Thanksgiving day in 1887. It was an impromptu event that took place between Yale fans and Harvard fans as they were sitting together in the Chicago Farragut Boat Club awaiting the outcome of a football game between the two colleges. When Yale was announced as the winner, a Yale fan jokingly threw a boxing glove at one of the Harvard fans, who swung at it with a stick. As he hit the ball, George Hancock, a Chicago Board of Trade reporter, yelled "Play ball!"

So commenced the first softball game, originally known as indoor baseball. It is believed that Hancock took the boxing glove and balled it up tighter using the incorporated tie strings. The players then scoured the area and found a broom handle, which was used as the bat. A small baseball diamond was drawn with chalk on the floor of the boat club and the game was on. It lasted roughly an hour, with a final score of 41 to 40. The players all had so much fun that Hancock decided to write down the rules. Eventually they even painted permanent lines on the boat club's floor.

Over the winter of 1888 and 1889, indoor baseball became very popular in Chicago as a way for baseball players to stay in shape when it was too cold to play outdoors. The game quickly spread throughout the Midwest and over the next decade went by a number of different names, including kitten baseball, mush ball, diamond ball, and pumpkin ball. It wasn't until 1926 that Walter Hakanson created the term softball. He used it while representing the YMCA at a National Recreation Congress meeting, and it became the game's official name in 1930.

Growing Popularity Of Softball

Originally started as an amateur sport, softball has broken through that label and seems to be becoming a pro level event. Millions of people watch the Women's College World Series of fastpitch softball every year, and this fastpitch version bears little resemblance to the indoor versions played years ago.

In fastpitch softball, the ball travels upwards of 75 MPH for women and 85 MPH for men on a standard pitch. The unique pitching style also allows for a variety of pitches that are not possible with baseball's overhand throwing style.

In not just college level softball that is growing in popularity. After baseball, softball is becoming one of the most played little league sports. Parents appreciate that it is considerably safer than many other sports, but still fosters the same team social skills and high activity levels.

Progressively, high schools are adding softball teams to their round up as well, and the number of college scholarships for fastpitch softball is also increasing. It's even been announced that fastpitch softball will be back on the program for the 2020 summer Olympics.

Softball Facial Injuries

Despite the name, softball can actually be a dangerous sport if proper safeguards aren't taken. Years ago, not too many players were wearing any kind of protective face mask, but with the rise in softball's popularity, more and more injuries have occurred.

In high school games, softballs can travel at speeds well over 50 MPH when hit by a batter, and pitchers, along with those at first and third base, have less than half a second to react when the ball is flying directly at them. No matter how soft the ball may be, when it makes contact with the face at those speeds, it can result in serious injury. 17.2% of all softball injuries are actually head and facial trauma.

A prime example of the possible dangers softball infielders face, can be seen by look at teenager Peyton Workman from Topeka, Kansas. She was pitching in a tournament game when she was hit in the face after a batter hit a line drive directly at her. The result was a broken nose and an emergency trip to the hospital. More examples like this one are easy to find.

Haylee Hamm, a high school softball shortstop in Kentucky, was also hit in the face by a line drive. It shattered the orbital floor of her left eye, fractured her nose, and gave her a concussion. She required plastic surgery and a titanium plate to fix the severe damage to her face. Senior Didi Duran was hit in the forehead and suffered a severe concussion which caused some minor memory loss and regular bouts of dizziness for months after the accident.

Currently in high school games, only batters are required to wear a face mask according to national requirements, but some high schools are taking it upon themselves to institute their own regulations. Schools in the Richardson Independent School District require face masks for first and third base players and at J.J. Pierce, also in the Richardson district, the coach requires all infielders to wear face masks. Unfortunately most schools still don't require them. Instead, the responsibility falls on the parent to ensure their kid's safety.

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Last updated: 03/28/2017 | Authorship Information