Catcher’s Gear Rule Changes for 2020

. Be sure to check that your high school and college players are wearing a chest protector that is NOCSAE certified before this season. For leagues younger than high school age there are no changes but these types of regulations trickle down over the years so look out for it in the coming years.

What does NOCSAE stand for?

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is an independent and nonprofit standards development body with the sole mission to enhance athletic safety through scientific research and the creation of performance standards for athletic equipment (Source: NOCSAE has performance and test standards for batting helmets, catching helmets, face guards, chest protectors, fielder’s head gear, and baseballs.

Why does a chest protector need to be certified?

Over the years, chest protectors have developed into functional pieces of safety equipment that have saved many lives. While some may argue that they do very little, the fact that they do something is enough to make it a requirement to wear them. The main purpose is to prevent from commotio cordis but it can also be used as a tool in facilitating the control of the ball in the dirt for a catcher without suffering major injuries.

What is commotio cordis and what should you do?

Commotio cordi is a disruption in the rhythm of the heart that occurs when a blunt force hits the chest. This is usually caused by a ball or a player. Among other baseball infuries, commotio cordis is the deadliest. Your first step in preventing it is to buy equipment (NOCSAE certified) that has been proven to help prevent the injury. In the event that you witness someone suffering from commotio cordis, call 911 and get a defibrillator on site as soon as possible. Most athletic facilities have one on their grounds. Figure out where it is before your players take part in any activities. While CPR could be helpful, statistics show no particular increase in survival rate without an AED.

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