In a number of sports there is a threat to your person, baseball and softball are no different.
In cases such as this there is no one piece of equipment more important than a helmet.
With any protective clothing there is the high end and low end gear.
The different standards of protective gear have there place, but the right helmet should be chosen by considering your level of play.
You will find that most helmets are approved by NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) they are the safety regulator for helmets.
Usually the price of a helmet is determined by what material(s) it is made out of.
A high end helmet will be made with onus on the highest level of protection.
This means that it will be made with high impact padding to assist in energy absorption, it will also use soft padding for comfort.
Cheap Baseball Helmets
A lower end helmet will normally only have bulky soft padding that absorbs impacts.
This type of helmet is best for younger players, due to there comfortableness and abilities to expand and contract.
If you are playing at a high level, for example high school and above, it is essential to have a helmet that has some type of high density foam, which will prevent injuries.
You will notice that most helmets have two ear flaps. Although there are professionals that have one flap. It is also possible to get this type of helmet.
You only need this type of one ear flap helmet if you are playing at a very high level, where your age and experience can help you to prevent injury from the missing ear flap.
With one flap a player can hear more and has the advantage of a lighter helmet.
What you should keep in mind when getting a one eared helmet is, that if you’re a right handed batter, the left ear is covered and if you are a left handed batter, the right ear is covered.
Finding a helmet that fits is part of the journey of getting the perfect helmet.
To do this you will simply have to try on different helmets and choose the one that’s most comfortable on you.
It is not always possible or practical to go through the trying on process. Alternatively you can measure your head when ordering.
To measure your head correctly you can use a fabric measuring tape. This will help ensure you measure around the circumference of your head just above your ears.
You can view the chart below to help you when sizing.
The best type of fit for your helmet is a nice snug fit that is not uncomfortably tight.
You need to also make sure the helmet is not to big also.
A good helmet test if you will be trying on your helmet is to shake your head from side to side quickly; if the helmet moves while doing this, it is too big.
Making Your Helmet Fit Just Right
In some cases to make a size of a helmet a bit smaller you can use a padding fit kit.
Using a kit is the best way to make your helmet smaller, done by adding extra pads the inside of the helmet.
A padding kit is usually brand specific, but it is also possible to cut them to fit any helmet.
What Not To Do
It may seem like a good idea, but never buy a helmet with the intention of growing into it later.
It’s been proven that your head doesn’t grow much after the age of 10.
The problem with an oversized helmet is that there is a chance of it moving around and causing you an injury.
How Your Helmet Should Be Worn
When a helmet fits you properly the brim should be pulled down to the forehead, to the extent it is parallel to the ground.
A helmet that is too high up will exposes your forehead and eyes.
Conversely if it’s too low, it will cover your eyes and expose the base of the back of your head.
If you have a pony tail, it’s possible to get a helmet with a slot along the padding which will give that extra room in the helmet so that you still feel comfortable even with your pony tail.
Getting A Helmet With Masks and Cages
The best practice for buying a helmet is to do so without a cage. You then buy a matching facing mask, which most helmets have, that can be easily attached.
Because of the different shapes with the different brands it is difficult to get a face mask that can fit on different helmet brands.
Fortunately attaching a face mask to it is a very straightforward process. Generally it only requires a few screws.
When wearing a face mask it is also recommended that a chin strap is also bought with it. This will help to keep the helmet secure when you are running.