UMPS (Umpire Mask Protection System)
After recognizing the increased potential of impact injuries to major and minor league baseball umpires, Team Wendy designed and developed a high-performance face mask pad compatible with most standard umpire face masks. Our goal with this product was to fulfill a current need and offer the safest umpire face mask on the market.
From the early stages of this process, it was clear that we needed to define the injury criteria. Our engineers began development by defining and understanding the issues related to baseball impact head injuries, and we quickly discovered there are no umpire mask protection standards in place. Our research also showed the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) ND024 Catcher’s Helmet Standard only protects against severe injuries, like skull fractures, and not more common injuries like concussions. We also learned that the current NOCSAE standard does not test impacts to the forehead or face area, and that it only tests impacts from a baseball up to 60 miles per hour.
Our engineers determined that by upping these standards, equipment could play a significant role in reducing the number of concussions in baseball.
With this better understanding of the problem, our team was able to design and develop our UMPS pads that offer force impact reduction of more than 40 percent compared to the industry standard pads. They are now worn by more than 100 major and minor league baseball umpires, and are exclusively endorsed by MLB umpire, Ed Rapuano. With this improvement in protection, our UMPS pads will keep umpires safer behind the plate.