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Face masks and basketball: NCAA division I consumer trends and a review of over‐the‐counter face masks



This study aims to: 1) determine the current consumer trends of over-the-counter (OTC) and custom-made face mask usage among National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletic programs; and 2) provide a literature review of OTC face guards and a classified database.

Study design

Literature review and survey.


Consumer trends were obtained by contacting all 352 NCAA Division I programs. Athletic trainers present in the office when called answered the following questions: 1) "When an athlete breaks his or her nose, is a custom or generic face guard used?" and 2) "What brand is the generic face guard that is used?" Data was analyzed to determine trends among athletic programs. Also, a database of OTC devices available was generated using PubMed, Google, and manufacturer Web sites.


Among the 352 NCAA Division I athletic programs, 254 programs participated in the survey (72% response rate). The majority preferred custom-made guards (46%). Disadvantages included high cost and slow manufacture turnaround time. Only 20% of the programs strictly used generic brands. For the face mask database, 10 OTC products were identified and classified into four categories based on design, with pricing ranging between $35.99 and $69.95.


Only a handful of face masks exist for U.S. consumers, but none of them have been reviewed or classified by product design, sport application, price, and collegiate consumer use. This project details usage trends among NCAA Division I athletic programs and provides a list of available devices that can be purchased to protect the nose and face during sports.

Level of evidence

NA. Laryngoscope, 126:1054-1060, 2016.

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