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Why Do Athletes Wear Face Guards During Games After an Injury?



Samuel Ward Wearing Face Guard

From professional athletes like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and other athletes in the NBA, hockey, football, baseball and more. All these players wore face guards in response to a new or existing injury that required protection so that they could keep on playing.


A facial injury is any injury to the facial area, such as a broken nose. The facial injuries may be severe enough to break bones and cause bleeding in the facial tissues. These facial injuries can also cause loss of teeth or damage to the sinuses, eyes, and other sensitive structures that are located within this region of the body.


Most athletes and professionals wear sports protection guard masks in response to a new injury that they are recovering from because it protects them against another potential facial injury.


Reasons behind wearing a Sports Face Guard


If facial injuries are not treated properly then the injury could become worse and cause other issues. In addition, facial injuries may take a long time to heal which would make it difficult for athletes to return to the sports they love.


Wearing a sports protection mask or face guard can help everyday users and athletes get back to the game or help support them in getting back to training in the respective fields.


Are Facial Guards Mandatory in Sports?


There are different rules and guidelines about facial protection around the world, depending on where you play or which body governs that sport. The decision is ultimately up to the governing body of each individual game as well as their team coach/manager & medical staff who will decide whether they want players to play with facial protection or without facial protection.


Why don't we see more Players in different Sports use a Face Guard?


There is a stigma around facial protection in sports. Players who use face guards are seen as weaker, unable to handle hits and harder to play with by teammates or competitors.

Ratu Tagive Wearing face guard

In addition, there is a lot of red tape around the use of face guards or sports protection masks as different bodies who represent these sports can reference this equipment as hazardous to other players in a close contact sport like Rugby.


Despite this, many players with the medical advisors seek sports protection masks to help players during the initial healing stages after initial injury. 3D Ortho Pro recently supplied our own Raptor Mask to Ratu Tagive who plays for the Glasgow Warriors in Rugby (read more here).


Do face Guards Affect the Performance of Players?


3D Ortho Pro in 2021 interviewed Samuel Ward who is a hockey player that played for Great Britain in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics where he used our face guard and he concluded that whilst others always referenced him wearing the mask, it soon became second nature and did not affect his games.


He later would comment on the fact that he has also been hit on the mask at certain times and it has provided him with the necessary protection he would expect.


Again, many sports organizations have strict guidelines around facial protection in contact games like Rugby and American Football due to the physicality between each other on the field. This is due to the facial masks being a potential hazard in these games.


What are the Benefits of Wearing a Sports Face Guard?


There are many benefits of wearing a facial mask in contact sports.


Most facial injuries take time to heal and the facial masks provide protection during this period so that players can get back on the field or court as soon as possible without worrying about re-injury.


It also protects against traumatic facial injuries which could be caused by another player, puck, ball, stick or other equipment. This facial mask can provide protection against another injury that could potentially be more severe than the initial facial injury if it is not treated immediately and with care.


Wearing a face guard also helps players to get back into their normal daily routines while they are recovering from these facial injuries as well as protecting them from potential facial injuries.