Anyone into contact sports knows the importance of safety equipment. Wrestling makes no exception since it poses a high risk for various injuries, rending the headgear equipment to be fundamental.
Bear in mind that headgear isn’t used only in wrestling since martial arts also require players to wear headgear.
What are the most common risks for health when wrestling?
The wrestling headgear is designed so that its cup protects the chin, whereas the ear guards protect the ears.
If you’re new to wrestling, here are some of the most common injuries caused by wrestling:
- Cauliflower ear
The name says it all, and the cauliflower ear is caused by the constant trauma of the ear while wrestling. The listener is going to get inflammation, resulting in a pocket of blood (hematoma). The deformity of the ear is easy to notice, and it does resemble a cauliflower.
- Injury of the chin
Back in the days, the chin injuries were pretty common amongst the wrestlers, since it’s such a vulnerable part of the body when wrestling. It’s the first thing that wrestlers hit, which is why protecting it is fundamental. Wrestlers used to quit a game due to a chin injury. That’s not the case anymore since the headgear also protects the chin.
- Facial fractures
In all fairness, lowering the risk for bone-related injuries in wrestling (and other contact sports) is impossible. Fundamentally, a bone fracture is taking care of right after it happens.
Even if the headgear isn’t going to eliminate the risk for facial fractures for good, it helps the wrestler hang in there until medical assistance’s arrival. Apart from the alleviating pain ability, the headgear is also going to lower the effects of the fracture.
- General injuries
Getting an injury while wrestling isn’t difficult at all. Dislocations of the shoulders sprained joints, and many more can result in a wrestling match. The better the protection of the wrestlers, the higher the chances for him to be able to finish the game well and sound (as much as wrestling allows).
What’s the best wrestling headgear?
Even the best wrestling headgear may become useless and ineffective when not used right. Since wrestling is such a challenging contact sport, you need to select the gear that allows you a comfortable and safe movement on the mat, without ever compromising your performance.
There are many options to choose from, especially if you’re new to wrestling. Don’t hesitate to ask around and to take your time before placing your order. Level of comfort, size, material, and wallet can play a bit part when making the final decision.
How does wrestling headgear function?
Headgear is designed for many other contact sports, but the wrestling headgear is made only for protecting the ears and the chin. During a wrestling match, the ears and the chin are the most exposed parts of the head.
Wrestlers may have to wear wrestling headgear in some competitions, which is why finding the right equipment is fundamental.
Wrestling headgear comes with padding, which absorbs the impact of the strikes and improves the comfort of the player.
We should also mention that wearing wrestling headgear doesn’t mean that you’re cheating. By the contrary, it means that you’re cautious about your game and your opponent.
What matters when selecting the wrestling headgear?
The size is fundamental (keep scrolling for the details), but there are a couple of other aspects to consider when selecting the wrestling headgear:
The “shell” of the helmet can be made of various materials, with every type working in different situations.
Here are some of the most common choices:
- Softshell- it’s made from a polymer (any material resembling rubber or cloth). It’s good to use for young wrestlers, providing fantastic comfort. It also protects the opponent.
- Hardshell- it’s light, and it’s made of durable and rigid plastic. It features an opening for allowing a hearing. Keep in mind that Greco-Roman competitions and international freestyle may not approve of it.
- Straps- The majority of wrestling headgear comes with 3-straps that connect the shells for protecting the ears. Gear with several straps lets you adjust it better and stays in place throughout the game.
Tip: Wrestlers should know how to adjust the straps for obtaining the best fit and efficiency of the headgear. It’s useless to wear it if it doesn’t provide a snug fit or shifts during the game. Loose gear fails on being protective and may also cause rubbing against the ears, defeating its primary purpose.
There are only two sizes for the wrestling gear: youth and adult. Headgear is “one size fits all,” and it’s the straps that allow you to obtain the snug fit. You should take your time and play with the straps until you get the most comfortable and securing fit.
Securing the headgear to your head, with zero risks for sliding/moving around, is fundamental when using wrestling headgear.
Don’ hesitate to go to stores and see for yourself which size or model fits you the best. Measuring the head is just essential, so here are some tips to remember:
- Ask someone to measure the circumference of your head. Go 1in above the eyebrows. 23in around is a medium, but that’s just an example.
- Check the size chart of the manufacturer to see which size you should choose. You can adjust the straps for getting the best out of the wrestling headgear.
Our final suggestions
You must take a good look at the wrestling gear. It has to be very well made and present durability feel to it. The Velcro or the snaps for the straps should be durable so that the straps stay in place throughout the entire practice/game. For more help, take a look here “What Your Kid Needs for Wrestling“.
Take a good look at the build and the craftsmanship. Do you like how the chin cup feels? Even if the headgear feels sturdy, under no circumstance, it should be uncomfortable. You don’t want it to rub against the chin nor have a scratchy feel against your ears.
You realize that cauliflower and all the other injuries possible caused by wrestling aren’t a piece of cake. Therefore, never sit on the fence about whether you need headgear or not while wrestling.