Early in 2023, the BSF passed a motion requiring all players under the age of 18 in both fastpitch and slowpitch softball to wear a helmet with a built-in faceguard when batting and baserunning.
This followed a regulation passed by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) requiring the use of helmets with faceguards for under-16 players, and the BSF decided to extend this to under-18s.
However, the BSF suspended this regulation for 2023 because of the difficulty in finding this equipment in the UK and the excessive costs of importing it. At the recent League Heads Forum meeting on 17 October 2023, the BSF promised an announcement soon on whether the regulation would be applied in 2024.
The BSF has now decided that this regulation will be applied in 2024 because helmets with faceguards are now much more readily available in the UK.
The full regulations for under-18 players for 2024 can be found on the BSF website here.
How to source helmets with faceguards
Baseball Outlet, which has a store on site at Farnham Park as well as online (https://www.baseballoutlet.co.uk/softball#), has widened its range and will have a mixture of helmets that faceguards can be added to as well as some where faceguards are already fitted. These are shown below.
Easton Alpha Helmet -- £32.50.
Easton Universal Faceguard -- £26.50 (this will fit on Alpha Z5 2.0 helmets).
Easton Alpha Helmets with Faceguard -- £49.99
Easton Two Tone Ghost Helmet with Faceguard -- £69.99
The Easton Ghost is a higher spec than the Alpha helmet. Specs can be found here on the Easton website: