Softball can be a very dangerous sport without the right safety equipment. This is why many leagues require or encourage the use of the best softball face mask. Aside from that, these masks give newbie players confidence and peace of mind while on the field. For this post, we’ve tested and reviewed 8 of the best softball masks/faceguards that you can use on your next game.
List of Contents
- 1. Worth Slow Pitch Softball Pitcher’s Mask
- 2. RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask
- 3. Schutt Sports Softball Fielder’s Face Mask
- 4. SKLZ Field Shield Softball Protection Mask
- 5. Mizuno Fielder’s Mask
- 6. Schutt Sports Titanium Softball Fielders Guard
- 7. CHAMPRO Grill Defensive Fielder’s Mask
- 8. Athletic Specialties Game Face Sports Face Mask
1. Worth Slow Pitch Softball Pitcher’s Mask
For the best pitcher protection, the Worth Slow Pitch Softball Mask is the ideal choice. This has a molded helmet that’s highly-impact resistant and well-ventilated. Also, it sports an aluminum cage with lavish chin padding.
The Worth Pitcher’s Mask is designed for slowpitch baseball. It has a snugly fit, thanks to the adjustable dial ring system. It’s so comfortable that you can even wear sunglasses underneath.
Take note that this helmet fits players’ head between 6 ½” and 7 5/8”. This mask is made to last for multiple seasons without any issues.
Just a reminder: you’re not supposed to use this on baseball. A baseball can get through it easily.
-Made with large chin padding
-Excellent ventilation system
-Has a lightweight yet durable aluminum cage
-It doesn’t have a chin strap
2. RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask
If you want a less bulky mask, the RIP-IT Defense Softball Fielder’s Mask will not disappoint. This has a steel safety cell that bears the same impact protection used in the car industry. The steel will flex upon contact and the force will be spread all over the cage for excellent protection.
RIP-IT has a great angling view that players will even forget that they are wearing a mask. It also comes with a ponytail strap that will let the player pull their ponytail through the opening for a comfy fit.
This mask also comes with a chin cup with a Velcro backing. It allows the player to adjust the fit for better positioning.
-Impact protection at par with the car industry
-Adjustable chin cup
-Zero obstruction angling view
-Not very adjustable for players with long faces
3. Schutt Sports Softball Fielder’s Face Mask
The Schutt Sports Fielder’s Face Mask is made with solid steel construction that gives excellent dental and facial protection. It’s made with an ultra-light and modern design for utmost comfort during the game.
This face mask offers zero obstruction even for ground balls. Rest assured that you’ll be on top of your game even with this mask on.
The Schutt Sport mask comes with a machine-washable forehead pad and a fully adjustable harness. Its chin cup is form-fitting to achieve the best fit.
This mask is available in youth and adult sizes as well as more than a dozen colors.
-Zero obstruction even on ground balls
-Machine-washable forehead pad
-Ideal for slowpitch softball only
4. SKLZ Field Shield Softball Protection Mask
The SKLZ Field Shield Softball mask is made from a strong polycarbonate material that’s shatterproof and lightweight. It’s padded with ¾” thick foam and an adjustable chin cup.
This mask has excellent ventilation and a smaller eye opening so the ball won’t enter the cage. Just make sure that you adjust the straps well to prevent the mask from moving while you run.
Overall, this mask is great for softball players age 7 and up. There’s also enough room to wear eyeglasses beneath.
This mask is available in adult and youth (small and medium) sizes. You can play hard without worrying about catching a ball on your face.
-Made from solid polycarbonate material
-Excellent visibility and ventilation
-Smaller eye opening to prevent the ball from entering the cage
-Not as durable as metal softball masks
5. Mizuno Fielder’s Mask
If comfort is the issue, the Mizuno Fielder’s Mask will fix the problem. It comes with thick forehead padding that provides comfort and sweat-wicking characteristics. The chin cup is also larger than most faceguards for total comfort during the game.
What we love the most about the Mizuno softball mask is its matte finish. The cage’s polycarbonate material is also reliable against speeding balls.
The strapping system is precise which lets you achieve the right fit. It’s super lightweight but always remember that this version is available in adult size only.
-Very durable polycarbonate material
-Large chin cup
-Highly adjustable straps
-Available in adult size only
6. Schutt Sports Titanium Softball Fielders Guard
For those looking for the most durable faceguard, the Schutt Sports Titanium Fielders Face Mask is unbeatable. Its cage is made with titanium alloy that’s both durable and 60% lighter than steel counterparts.
This Schutt softball mask offers excellent dental and facial protection without obstructing the player’s line of sight. It also has a form-fitting chin cup and straps for the right fit. The forehead pad is also machine-washable.
There’s enough room inside the cage so you can wear sunglasses. This is available in both adult and youth sizes. As a bonus, you can choose from dozens of colors.
-Titanium alloy cage
-60% lighter than most steel softball masks
-Enough room to wear sunglasses beneath
-The forehead pad may slip when sweating if not tightened properly.
7. CHAMPRO Grill Defensive Fielder’s Mask
This softball face mask from CHAMPRO has a low profile flat beam that protects the face while giving the player complete field visibility. It also has a removable liner system and an adjustable harness equipped with a ponytail slot.
This fielder’s mask has a comfy forehead pad and a repositionable chin cup. The CHAMPRO mask is available in both adult and youth sizes. Overall, this fits 6 ¼” to 7 ½” head sizes.
It runs a little wide on the face but it will be comfortable to wear after breaking it in.
-Complete field visibility
-Removable liner system
-Adjustable harness with ponytail slot
-Runs a little wide on the face
8. Athletic Specialties Game Face Sports Face Mask
The Athletic Specialties Game Face Sports Mask has full facial protection made from aa strong polycarbonate material. It’s super lightweight and guaranteed to give the player excellent field visibility.
This mask is designed to shield the cheeks, eyes, nose, and mouth from direct impact. It also has horizontal bars that allow a custom fit.
The Athletic Specialties Game Face Mask has a form-fitting chin cup and clear cage. The forehead padding has a molded construction for added ventilation.
You wear sunglasses beneath this softball mask. If you like, you can wear a cap on top.
-Made from strong polycarbonate material
-Horizontal bars for excellent adjustability
-Full facial protection
-Not as durable as metal fielding masks
Why do you need to wear a softball face mask?
Softball face masks are safety equipment that will shield your head against direct impact. Also, it lets young softball players play without worrying about getting hit by a ball. This reduces the reluctance and fear while on the field which will translate to better performance.
A 2018 study of Morris, Gellner, and Rowson published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering examined if softball masks reduce the facial fracture. The results showed that even though these masks won’t eliminate the risk, it reduces it drastically. The study used face masks from major sports brands including Rawlings, Schutt, CHAMPRO, Defender Sports, Markwort, and All-Star.
As you know, softballs can travel as fast as 85 mph. If a player got hit on the skull area, it can result in a concussion. Back in 2014, Didi Duran, a senior student and player at Ferris High School, got hit by a line drive straight to the head.
For three months, Duran had trouble getting down the stairs and had reported highly recurring attacks of dizziness. She recovered and was able to get back on the field.
Still, it could be worse for some hits. Unlike what others say, face masks won’t distract you as long as you have the right design and fit. This simple equipment can be a lifesaver.
Best Softball Face Mask Buying Guide
You have a lot of option when it comes to softball masks. Here are some of the points you should remember before buying one.
Before we dive into the specifications, you should know the parts of the softball mask first.
This is the metal/polycarbonate frame that protects your face. It will come in different designs and configurations depending on the manufacturer. The metal frame will run on top of your forehead down to the chin.
The chin cup is made from a form-fitting material that contours around your chin. This keeps the mask in place while shielding your chin from chafing. Usually, it comes with fabric padding.
-Padding and straps
Softball face masks will have padding on the chin and forehead area. It’s made from a variety of fabric and foam. Meanwhile, the straps allow the player to adjust the fit and to keep the mask intact during the game.
Nowadays, softball fielding masks are made from a variety of materials. The most common in the market are steel, titanium, and even plastic.
Steel masks are the most common since it’s also the most affordable. It’s known for durability and rust-resistance. Also, steel has a relatively high tensile strength which means it can endure intense force without breaking. When hit by a speeding ball, steel can deflect the ball or dent to cushion the blow.
Titanium, on the other hand, provides more strength and durability. Unlike steel, titanium masks are lighter but tougher against direct hits. Also, titanium is non-magnetic which is a plus point. Since some players complain about heavy softball masks, sports brands produce titanium versions which are lighter but not short of durability.
Aluminum has excellent corrosion resistance and it will endure harsh chemicals. Sports brands use aluminum on their softball masks since it is lightweight (only a third of iron) and very easy to weld. Aluminum mask frames need almost zero maintenance.
Brands like Rawlings and Mizuno produce polycarbonate softball masks as an effort to make the equipment lightweight, affordable, and translucent. The issue with plastic masks is that it’s the least durable of all material. It also stands the chance of shattering during serious hits.
Sizing and design
Most softball face masks will have a one-size-fits-most design. Still, you can choose between adult and youth sizes with specific head sizes. Nevertheless, the straps of the mask will let you adjust the fit.
Aside from sizing, make sure that you check the design of the mask. Make sure that it won’t block your vision or make you uncomfortable to move
In softball, the following positions usually wear face guards or masks.
-Other infielder positions
Aside from the playing position, softball face masks are commonly used on younger players. Some youth leagues will even require 7u division players to wear one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are face masks required in softball?
A: Only softball batters are required to wear a mask in softball. In USSSA leagues, face masks are a personal choice for pitchers and infielders. In Missouri, there’s a new rule requiring all high school pitchers to wear a mask. For infielders, it’s a personal choice.
Q: Do college softball players wear a face mask?
A: Again, wearing a face mask in college softball is a matter of choice. Still, it is added safety for the player but it’s rare for leagues to require this yet.
Q: Who wears a mask in softball
A: Usually, only the batter is required to wear a face mask. Still, other positions like pitchers and catchers can wear one for added safety. Some would opt out, citing performance distraction as the reason.
Using the best softball face mask will give added protection on the field. What do you think of our personal picks here? Have you tried any of it? Let us know below by leaving a comment!