From: B. Elliot Hopkins, MLD, CAA, Director of Sports, Sanctioning and Student Services
The NFHS recently identified that a NOCSAE certified chest pad that protects the heart and the cardiac silhouette is being offered by chest protector manufacturers to fit on top of an existing non-NOCSAE approved chest protector making the chest protector compliant with our rules. This pad meets the criteria of our NFHS Baseball Rule 1-5-3. Coaches are responsible for knowing if their catcher’s chest/body protector equipment meets the rule and should affirm that fact with the umpire-in-chief prior to the start of the ball game.
This new pad adds another alternative to the new chest/body protector rule. You now have three options: 1) a new traditional chest protector that protects the heart/cardiac silhouette and meets the NOCSAE performance standard; 2) a body protector (compression shirt with heart guard built into the shirt) that that protects the heart/cardiac silhouette and meets the NOCSAE performance standard under the traditional chest protector; 3) a chest pad that that protects the heart/cardiac silhouette and meets the NOCSAE performance standard that fits on top of the traditional chest protector. As we receive more information as to what these pads look like, we will share their images with you.
NOTE: Chest pads that meet the NOCSAE performance standard are not proprietary to a specific chest protector manufacturer. (ex. A Brodell brand chest pad can be worn on a Dolan brand chest protector. It is not specific to only a Brodell brand chest protector.)