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Baseball Helmet Information

Great Falls Little League (GFLL) makes every effort to make sure that our players are as safe as possible while participating in on and off field baseball activities. As of January 1, 2019, GFLL has an updated helmet policy and guidance on GFLL-approved helmets, consistent with Little League International rules and policies. 

Great Falls Little League Baseball Helmet Requirements 

As in prior years, every batter MUST wear a batting helmet when they step onto the field.  For Tee Ball, Coach Pitch, AA and AAA divisions this helmet must have a cage facemask properly attached.  This is consistent with how GFLL has operated for many years.

In the Majors Division, players have had the choice of using a helmet that has a cage facemask or a C-Flap attached.  The use of one of these two guards is still required.  There are currently no changes to the way cage facemasks are used.  However if your player uses a C-Flap the following guidance must be adhered to.  

Effective January 1, 2019, Great Falls Little League will require all players that use a C-Flap to wear a helmet certified by the National Operating Committee in Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), with a C-Flap. A “C-Flap” is an additional piece of plastic that extends to cover the batter’s cheek and jaw. Helmets with cage facemasks are also acceptable provided they are NOCSAE-certified. Any player who wishes to wear his or her own helmet must ensure that the helmet complies with NOCSAE standards and this guidance. GFLL will not be held responsible for injuries resulting from a player wearing a disqualified helmet in violation of this guidance. 

FAQs regarding this Helmet Guidance

What type of batting helmet does Little League International require?
Little League International requires that all players wear a batting helmet that is certified by NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment). 

What is NOCSAE?
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 development. 

How is Great Falls' Helmet Policy different than Little League International’s Requirement?
In addition to the NOCSAE certification requirement, GFLL also requires that all batting helmets have a cage facemask for all divisions of baseball with the option of using a “C-Flap” helmet in the Majors division. As noted above, a “C-Flap” is an additional piece of plastic that extends to cover the batter’s cheek and jaw. Great Falls Little League has required all players to wear a helmet with a cage or c-flap for the past several years as we believe these promote safety by further protecting a batter’s cheek and jaw, reducing the likelihood of a batter getting hit in the face with a pitched or batted ball. While Little League International requires all helmets to be NOCSAE-certified, LLI does not require cages or C-Flaps.

What is a disqualified helmet with C-Flap?
NOCSAE has taken the position that a helmet is no longer “certified” if it has been drilled into or otherwise modified from its original form, as such actions may void original manufacturer warranties. For this reason, helmets with “after-market” C-Flaps installed are no longer considered NOCSAE-certified and therefore no longer permitted by Little League International. Newer helmets with “pre-drilled” holes for C-Flaps may be NOCSAE certified and, if so, are permitted by Little League International and GFLL. 

Are NOCSAE-certified helmets with C-Flaps now available for purchase?
Yes.  The following helmet manufacturers are now producing helmets with C-Flaps that meet NOCSAE certification requirements:
  • Easton- https://www.easton.com/baseball-equipment/baseball-helmets/batting-helmets/
  • Boombah- https://www.boombah.com/us/equipment/batting-helmets.html
  • Rawlings- https://www.rawlings.com/product/MACHEXTRJR.html

Please note that manufacturers are changing all of the time and additional helmets may become available.

Does this mean I need to purchase a new batting helmet for the Spring 2019 season?
Not necessarily, as some players proactively purchased these approved helmets during the Spring 2018 season.  This requirement applies to Majors players only.  All other divisions must wear compliant cage facemask helmets.  These same helmets can be worn in the Majors division as well.  However if your Majors players wants to wear their own helmet with a C-Flap in the Spring 2019 season and they have an old helmet with an unauthorized C-flap, they will need to purchase a new NOCSAE-certified helmet with C-Flap if they have not already done so. 

My player’s old helmet has pre-drilled holes, so can’t I just attach any C-Flap that fits?
No. NOCSAE does not currently certify helmets that use after-market C-Flaps even if the original helmet has pre-drilled holes for other reasons. While discovering a method for “making” an after-market C-Flap fit on an older helmet is possible, the integrity of the C-Flap could be compromised by attaching it through non-standard means. More importantly, since NOCSAE will not certify such a helmet, it would be disqualified under Little League International and Great Falls Little League rules.

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