The most important thing to look for on a baseball or softball helmet is the NOCSAE stamp. To acquire a NOCSAE stamp, the piece of equipment in question must undergo extensive testing and pass all of the established performance standards that NOSCAE requires. This stamp ensures that the helmet is legal for play.
Having helmet padding that is thick and dense not only provides players with a secure fit but it also helps reduce the impact of a hit from a baseball or softball. The padding of a helmet should be layered so that the padding closest to the shell is extremely dense and the layer of padding that insulates a players head is a little less dense. The purpose of this less-dense layer is so that the padding is flexible enough to conform comfortably to the head of the athlete. Layered padding is ideal so that players get the best of both worlds: protection and comfort.
Every time baseball and softball players step out onto the field during a spring or summer game, they run the risk of being overheated or dehydrated. These two common occurrences can be easily avoided if simple measures are taken in order to prevent them. One minor feature on your helmet can make a big difference, air vents. Helmets with air vents allow players to experience fresh cool air, even with their helmet on. Without air vents, players may likely get overheated due to trapped hot air and moisture within their helmet.
For a number of years, batter's guards have been a requirement in all fastpitch leagues. Although they are not a requirement in most baseball leagues, wearing a batter's guard may be a good idea for young players as a preventative measure until they get older and more experienced with the game. Like helmets, a batter's guard will also have a NOCSAE safety standard stamp on the side.
Having a helmet that wobbles is something that should be avoided at all costs. Worst case scenario, a helmet could potentially fall off a player's head in a game situation, causing them to be prone to injury. To prevent this, overlapping sizes are a good way to ensure that athletes have the correct size helmet that will securely fit on their head.