Optional Protective Equipment

Optional protective equipment includes those items not required by rule but worn or used by personal choice. In all cases, they must be worn or used as intended by the manufacturer.

Braces/casts/elbow guards/splints

These items may be worn as long as the equipment is well-padded to protect not only the affected player, but also her opponents. If it has exposed rivets, pins, sharp edges, or an exterior fastener that would present a hazard must be properly padded.
The pitcher wears a such a device on their non-pitching arm, the umpire will determine if it is distracting. The pitcher may wear them on her pitching arm provided the device does not cause safety risks or create an unfair competitive advantage. It must be neutral in color and must not alter the natural motion of the pitching arm.

Headgear protective equipment

An offensive player may wear a helmet with a commercially manufactured protective face mask attached. The face mask should meet NOCSAE standards and must be permanently attached by the manufacture or attached by a procedure approved by the manufacturer.
A defensive player may wear a helmet with the same prohibitions as offensive helmets – no highly reflective, mirror-like finish. If more than one player wears a helmet while on defense, the helmets must be the same color. The defensive player may also wear a face mask, whether attached to a helmet or not.

Elbow/knee/shin pads

These items may be worn by defensive players.
Play: Infielders want to wear their kneepads on their shins while on defense and batting and only move them to their knees while running the bases.
Ruling: Legal, as these items are designed to minimize bruises or protect current injuries from intensifying on the legs.

Effects for optional protective equipment

For all the above, if the umpire judges that any item is not completely compliant with the appropriate rule:
• If possible, the player shall remove the item upon the umpire’s request.
• If impossible or the player chooses not to comply, she may be substituted for or ejected from the game.