The PULSE Softball Mask was my project from my final semester in the Industrial Design program at California State University Long Beach. This project began by interviewing players from the school’s DIvision I softball team and getting feedback on the equipment and footwear they use. The players expressed issues with the fit of the uniforms and comfort of their footwear, but the problem I found that needed attention was protective masks for pitchers and infielders. The players explained that because of softball’s pitching motion and smaller field they are exposed to getting hit by linedrives. Only one player on the team wore a facemask while pitching because the others complained about the look and bulkiness of current options.
Over the course of this project I consulted with the team’s trainer Dr. Nakajima for data about injuries in softball and feedback on my design solutions. Dr. Nakajima provided guidance on what areas of the mask I needed to focus on and vital knowledge about what causes concussions and how to prevent them.
My approach to this project was to design a protective mask
that would not only protect against concussions and injuries,
but also have more appealing athletic aesthetics for the players.