Why Eye Protection is Needed


Facts about the game … These extracts are from a survey of 197 competition and social players from 7 squash centres in and around Melbourne conducted in September through October in 1995 by Caroline Finch and Paul Vear and accepted for publication in December 1997 by the Sports Medical Journal. Squash is one of the most popular sports played in Australia. At that time there were 1.25 million players with 300,000 social and competitive players participating on a weekly basis. The ball is played at various angles, the racquet stroke requires a wide arc at speed and there is a need to face the back of the court on occasion. It is easy to see why there is a risk of being hit by the ball or the racquet. Squash has consequently been established as a major contributor to the incidence of sports related eye trauma. The ultimate goal therefore is the compulsory wearing of protective eye wear by all players when on court. In 1996 the World Squash Federation took the major decision of recommending the mandatory wearing of safety eye wear for all juniors and their coaches.

  • The impact of a squash ball at 150KPH is equal to the same energy impact of a .22 bullet
  • This speed is well within the scope of most juniors and women
  • The impact of a squash ball at 200KPH has 4 times the energy of a .22 bullet
  • The racquet head speed has the potential of approaching 161KPH (Maylack,1988) (The major cause of facial injuries in squash is raquet strike.)
  • It is estimated that there may be a 25% risk of eye injury in a lifetime of playing squash
  • The Australian and New Zealand safety STANDARD AS/NZS 4066 is (according to the publication) superior to the American safety STANDARD ASTM.F803-94

(Finch / Clavisi 1998) Three quarters of the injuries were males aged between 15 and 64 years. Over half the players (54%) had been playing for at least 20 years before their current injury. Only 5 players had been playing less than 1 year Open lenseless eye guards are ineffective in preventing ocular injury even at speeds as low as 80KPH The use of improper eye wear (eg. Dress spectacles or sunglasses) can potentially cause penetrating ocular trauma. (Finch and Vear VSF field trials of protective eye wear 1998) Survey respondents from the field tests rated i-MASK visors as superior in all areas. View Photo Gallery of injuries sustained. (Not for the faint hearted!)

Think about the following example of the value of the i-MASK.

Subject: How i-Mask protected me from serious injury From: Charlie Bannister. UK. He wrote: Just to report an incident on Sunday evening. I was wearing the visor for only the second time on Sunday and was playing George at Racquetball. We were both playing very competitively – as always – when I got too closeclose to George’s racquet. He must have hit me with a full blown shot and follow-through. Even though wearing the visor, he cut an area just above my eyelid because the visor was dislodged. Had I not been wearing the visor I honestly believe I would be minus an eye now. It shocked George who said that from now on he will be wearing a visor for all racquet games. Thank goodness for i-MASK.