As more research emerges, heart guard shirts for baseball are becoming one of the fastest growing purchases in the sport. In the past, protecting the chest was primarily a concern for catchers only. However, the risks of commotio cordis (CC) have become more documented. So, the heart guard shirts for baseball are becoming more prevalent. CC is a rare condition that results when a blow to the chest disrupts the heart's normal rhythm. This is the second leading cause of cardiovascular death in young athletes. Approximately 10-20 cases occur annually in the United States. Most of these cases happen to boys 14 and younger while playing baseball, hockey, or lacrosse. The risk decreases as the athletes' rib cages and surrounding muscles grow stronger. So, that is why you see so many young players wearing the heart guard shirt.
The manufacturers of heart guard shirts for baseball claim their products reduce the risk of CC. By distributing the energy away from the heart during blows to the chest, there is less chance for injury.
New Regulations for Baseball Heart Guard Shirts
In January 2017, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment passed the first performance standard for heart guards. These new standards will go into effect in January 2018 with the goal of reducing CC. Chest protection products will now need to reduce impact forces when struck by baseballs traveling at 30 and 50 mph.
The heart guard shirts for baseball usually range in price from $30-60. These protective products can be found at most sporting goods stores, as well as online. Popular manufacturers include: EvoShield, McDavid, All Star, and G-Form. These compression shirts are made with high-quality material designed to wick away moisture and keep players comfortable. The high density polyethylene dome absorbs the impact energy and draws force away from the heart. SO, the impact on the heart is less severe.
Heart guard shirts for baseball could protect young athletes from suffering serious injuries or death during practices or games.