March 4, 2021 – By NJP
There is a considerable amount of turbulence regarding the subject of wearing masks while playing high school and college volleyball. We are not here to debate the yes or no. The guidelines being set for NJ high school is that these masks are required. So we follow that lead. Same for the college level. So we are now focused on determining what are the best masks to wear while playing.
Like picking a baseball bat or a chef knife, it’s really a personal choice. Each player will develop preferences based on feel, breathability, fit, and safety as well as other personal items. The right mask for one player may just not work for another player, and vice versa. And the cost factor also comes into play here. From our research, prices on masks range from $1 to $90 so it’s quite a large range of options.
So we want to share what we found out and also encourage the NJ volleyball community to weigh-in and share their comments and experience. We have collected feedback from an abundance of NJ players so far but, encourage continued feedback. Less is not more in this case so please feel free to comment.
We are presenting the top 5 options here giving a wide variety of choices for players. There are purchase links attached to the mask picture for your convenience. NJP is an independent writing this article and is not compensated by any brand or manufacturer. So please don’t feel any obligation to use the links for your purchases, if you decide to buy one of these masks.
Adidas – Cloth, reusable. Three masks for $20, Earloops (non-adjustable), 2 sizes, black only. Free shipping. $6.67/mask is an affordable option.
Mission – Multi-layer Cloth, adjustable strap for custom fit, 3 colors, 1 size fits all, reusable, lightweight and breathable. Priced at $19.99. Buy 3 get one free. Free shipping on order greater than $45. Free Gaiter included with buy three offer.
Under Armour – Cloth (Polyester), reusable, Earloops (non-adjustable), 5 sizes, 5 colors, water resistant, reusable, Priced at $30 or 2 for $40. Free shipping on orders $60 or more currently. $4.99 shipping on base $30 product.
KN95 – Amazon Option non-woven fabric, 5 ply, disposable, elastic strap, 3 colors, one size, current pricing $39.74 for box of 25 masks. $1.59/mask option is affordable but disposable. 10% coupon available. Amazon shipping (free prime, non-prime shipping fees). Medal nose adjustment for snug fit.
Zensah – Reusable, breathable, tight fitting, top and bottom elastic strap, antibacterial, quick drying, 15 colors, one size, $16 per mask, free standard shipping on orders over $70. No ear pain with strap design. $4 shipping on standard order of one mask.
Our staff has used these options personally with the exception of the Zensah which we recently found and has very high ratings. We just ordered it so we will have an update once we test it out. The Mission option was found to be an excellent option if you want to spend $20. It has a snug fit and never feels like it’s going to drop down. It’s full enough to cover most faces and has a super light weight feel that is extremely breathable.
Gaiters for volleyball are just a challenge. We have seen numerous players try to wear these as face coverings and they often slide under the nose or are pulled down by the player defeating the entire purpose of the face covering. For this reason, we have not presented those options.
Advice on wearing a mask during sports at this link: https://www.nike.com/a/how-to-train-in-a-mask
Based on any additional input, we will add more to the mix and update this post. Obviously, using standard light blue and disposable surgical type masks are very common and not presented. And many players have cloth masks that they apply for personal use. We are trying to show some higher end options geared just toward sports performance in this article.