Clear and unobstructed vision is essential for any athlete participating in a contact sport so he may function at his best and with the greatest degree of safety.1-3 This is particularly important in football where speed and heavy impact blocking are such vital factors in the proper execution of the plays.4 The rigid plastic helmet and the plastic face guard have done much to protect the player from severe facial injuries and have permitted a more fearless type of tackling and blocking. This paper treats only the effect of the face guard on the players' field of vision; it purposely avoids, in general, elaboration on the advantages or disadvantages of the rigid helmet or face mask.
It has been some years since Coach Paul Brown abandoned the old "nose guard" and provided the first "protruding bar" face guard for the protection of one of his star players. This
Schneider RC, Antine BE. Visual-Field Impairment Related to Football Headgear and Face Guards. JAMA. 1965;192(7):616-618. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080200034010