If you wrestle or participate in any grappling sports, headgear is one piece of protective gear that we highly recommend. It is required for all scholastic competition, including junior high, high school, and collegiate wrestling. Most Youth wrestling leagues require it as well. The question is, aside from looking really silly at times and being required by schools, what does this thing actually do?
Although it is technically worn on the head, headgear’s main job is to protect your ears in order to prevent ear injuries. While there are some new technologies beginning to emerge for head protection, the current models are not intended to prevent head injuries such as concussions. For this reason, there are other more accurate names for them like “ear guards” or “ear protectors.”
Ears are weird anyway, so why should you care about them? Good question. In wrestling, your head is constantly being used as a weapon, a line of defense, and a target. During this time, your ears are highly exposed and will take a beating if you don’t protect them. The repeated beating, folding, and crunching of the ears can cause a hematoma in the ear.
This injury is commonly referred to as “Cauliflower Ear.” Basically, your ear fills up with blood and has nowhere to go because your ears have terrible circulation. Unless you get it drained by a healthcare professional, that pocket of blood that was once your ear will harden and become permanently deformed. Cauliflower is painful and can be super annoying to deal with, especially if it happens right in the middle of the season.
There are a handful of variations of the different styles of headgear. You’ll see the ‘classic’ style, which has the hard plastic inner shell, foam outer, and vinyl straps. The great thing about these is they are super durable and stay set very firmly once adjusted. Their downside is that they tend to be harder to hear out of and can be difficult to adjust. The other major style consists of Velcro straps, a hard but flexible outer shell, and super soft over-ear padding. In comparison, these are much easier to adjust and hear out of.
Bottom line, even though you may think cauliflower ear looks cool or gnarly or tough, we recommend doing what you can to avoid this inconvenience. We have a wide selection of styles, colors, and brands, and have a staff full of experienced wrestlers here to help you find the right one. If you have any questions at all, please give us a call at 1-888-887-8893.