Foul tip impact attenuation of baseball catcher masks using head impact metrics

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© 2018 Eckersley et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Currently, no scientific consensus exists on the relative safety of catcher mask styles and materials. Due to differences in mass and material properties, the style and material of a catcher mask influences the impact metrics observed during simulated foul ball impacts. The catcher surrogate was a Hybrid III head and neck equipped with a six degree of freedom sensor package to obtain linear accelerations and angular rates. Four mask styles were impacted using an air cannon for six 30 m/s and six 35 m/s impacts to the nasion. To quantify impact severity, the metrics peak linear acceleration, peak angular acceleration, Head Injury Criterion, Head Impact Power, and Gadd Severity Index were used. An Analysis of Covariance and a Tukey’s HSD Test were conducted to compare the least squares mean between masks for each head injury metric. For each injury metric a P-Value less than 0.05 was found indicating a significant difference in mask performance. Tukey’s HSD test found for each metric, the traditional style titanium mask fell in the lowest performance category while the hockey style mask was in the highest performance category. Limitations of this study prevented a direct correlation from mask testing performance to mild traumatic brain injury.




Eckersley, C. P., White, T. R., Cutcliffe, H. C., Shridharani, J. K., Wood, G. W., & Bass, C. R. (2018). Foul tip impact attenuation of baseball catcher masks using head impact metrics. PLoS ONE, 13(6).

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