Prior to the start of any Little League® game, it is the responsibility of the umpires to inspect the condition of the playing equipment to be used by the players participating in the ensuing game. To do so thoroughly and effectively, the home plate umpire and his partner(s) are to examine each of the batting helmets that may be worn, and the equipment to be worn by the catcher, including the helmet, chest protector and shin guards.
The batting helmets must be affixed with the NOCSAE symbol, be free of cracks or other visible damage, and all of the internal padding must not be missing, tattered, torn or frayed. No stickers are permitted on the helmets, unless there is a letter of certification from the helmet manufacturer affirming the stickers are permitted to be affixed to the helmet.
It is strongly recommended that the umpires complete this inspection process together. If a piece of equipment is deemed unsafe, bring the decision to the attention of the team manager, identify the pieces of equipment, and instruct that it be immediately removed from the dugout. If the equipment can be repaired to the satisfaction of the home plate umpire prior to the start of the game, it is the judgement of the home plate umpire or crew chief to allow the equipment to be used in the game.
The process is the same for any piece of catcher’s equipment that could be used in the game.
Like all application of Little League rules, decisions are made in accordance with the current rules, regulations, and policies, and in conjunction with the judgement of the umpires.
It is the responsibility of the team manager to understand this process, and why it is to be done prior to each game throughout the regular season.