NOCSAE Catcher's Helmet and Mask Certification Information

Beginning January 1, 2003, the NOCSAE standard for a catcher's headgear is in effect.  The NOCSAE standard for a catcher's helmet and mask only applies to products where the helmet and face guard (mask) are attached together by some means, either permanent means or something as simple as Velcro.  It is not possible for a catcher's face guard (mask) or a catcher's helmet to be NOCSAE tested and certified as individual units.  If however these individual units are used together in a combination intended by the manufacturer(s), they have to be tested together to the NOCSAE standard in that combination in order to be legal.  Remember the face guard (mask) portion must attach to the helmet, and only the helmets will have the NOCSAE stamp.  This means that it will be virtually impossible for umpires on the field to determine if different manufactured components have been tested and certified together. 

If the umpires have any doubt regarding the legality of any combination, then the umpires shall require the head coach to provided written documentation verifying the legality of that combination in question.  The written verification shall include a statement indicating that the individually manufactured components of the combination have been tested and certified together as called for in the standard.  Any helmet and mask combination that has been manufactured together as a single unit (hockey style helmets) and has been certified to meet the NOCSAE standard will have their stamp on it.  Umpires can then tell if it is a legal helmet by the identifying stamp.

Courtesy of the National Federation of State High School Associations (nfhs.org)