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Mask on/off for pop-ups (ver. 25,553)

Mar 6, 2016
174
43
Its really the helmets that are formed around the head makes it more difficult to remove.
AKA Tear your own head off situation.

If it was only a mask that came off...
My mask (no helmet) was
'off immediatly' and thrown into the backstop screen.
Metal frisbee style~ZING~

*Now with the equipment used.
*Keep helmet/mask on.
*Safer during fielding plays with runners.
*Safer diving for pop ups into fences.

Little story
Decades ago with some h.s. team friends went to watch Cal State Fullerton play.
Their Catcher took her mask off and dropped it beside her.
Then proceeded to step on it thrashing her ankle.

*Seeing that really influenced me throwing my mask far away.
Farrrr Awayyyy
View attachment 18285
Yes this is the mask i used in college.
:) GO BEACH !!!
Couple more pics can see where the weld broke...
Still used it in games...
and with tape on it.
View attachment 18286
View attachment 18287
That rust filled tetanus awaits mask looks straight out of a Mad Max movie. LoL
 
Apr 25, 2019
113
43
In my opinion, I do not like taking the mask off. It takes time. It's disorienting. It's not needed. Again, in my opinion. This is the reason why I taught my DD to not take her mask off. Quick little foul balls would hit the ground otherwise.

 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
Good discussion to point out
masks have different design of metal bars to look through.
Some helmet and mask combos
'For vision purposes'
fit better on some than others.

Good to tryout brands for helmet fit
and looking
Out
Up
Down
 
Apr 25, 2019
113
43
@BRsoftballDad

What camera system you using? How did you mount that?
My Samsung phone streaming to Facebook Live and the following....

1 of these....

2 of these....

One side grabs the chain link and the other holds onto my phone. Cheap and easy. There is a post on here about it somewhere. It works well, although I do have to use a small bungie when attaching to a net backstop.
 
Apr 21, 2019
43
8
My daughter attends The Catching Camp (previously New England Catching Camp) and they are huge proponents of mask on.
 
Apr 28, 2019
1,243
83
I went back through the recent threads, and it looks like it's been over a year since it was really discussed (which is a good sign, IMO). Looking for feedback / opinions on removing it for pop-ups (not plays at the plate) at the 10U/12U level. I teach leave it on, but during recent practices was hearing an instructor telling one of our catchers to get the mask off on a pop-up. I'm now only an AC, so I need to resort to logic and persuasion, rather than just dictating it as a team rule. :) If I've missed anything in the list of reasons below, please add to it.

1. Vision - Hockey style masks are better designed, to allow for a wider field of view, especially in regards to peripheral vision

2. Vision / Obstructed View - If vision is still obstructed, chances are the mask isn't fitted properly for the player. As @Tatonka mentioned in this thread:

3. Ball Height - at this level, I'm just not seeing the towering pop-ups like in baseball - they're staying low, with the majority only being 10'-15' high. I don't believe you have time to remove the helmet, find the ball, get rid of the helmet, and then catch the ball. You only have time to find the ball (maybe someday the pitcher will decide to help her out, but maybe that's just crazy talk...) and go get the ball.

4. Field Size - We're years away from playing in a stadium. Some of our HS fields have lots of foul territory, but our tournaments are all at complexes where there's barely room for an on-deck batter. Quick reaction is at a premium with the lower ball height, and there's limited opportunity to drift around behind the plate before finding a fence or dugout. Which leads me to...

5. Field Size / Safety - When she's playing in OKC in a few years, sure, take the mask off on a towering pop-up as you wander around the acre of foul territory. But in our typical tiny sandboxes, I don't want my player staring straight up and:
  • Walking / running into the fence
  • Tripping into the dugout
  • Tripping into a gate/pole
  • Walking / running in a gate/pole!
  • Discarding the helmet then immediately stepping on said helmet
  • Discarding the helmet and damaging the helmet
6. [ETA] Comfort / Fit - sort of related to #2 - if the helmet fits properly, it shouldn't be that easy to "rip it off". And if the catcher is wearing sunglasses - I've never had much luck keeping them on my head anytime I tried to remove my helmet.

If anyone has any good video or podcast clips I could reference, that would be very helpful - google wasn't really showing me much. Not that I'm expecting parents / other coaches to say "prove it" when I suggest that Jen Schroeder, Mike Candrea, and multiple catching academies all teach "leave it on", but it never hurts to have a link or two ready just in case.

Thanks as always for the invaluable feedback I always get from this community.
Personal preference. I prefer taking the helmet off. I know when I catch my senses seem muffled with the helmet on.
As a catcher like an outfielder you have to be aware of your surroundings You shouldn’t be running into fences/backstops.
On low fast happening events like failed pop-up bunt attempt right in front of you leave the mask on and react to low foul/fair ball.
Anything high and behind or off to the side helmet comes off in a controlled manner and tossed out of the way so you don’t trip over it.
The days where you rip the mask off and just drop it behind you are gone.
But like I mentioned there are times for both methods to be used.
 

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