All wrestlers in sanctioned scholastic and collegiate events must wear approved wrestling headgear during matches. This is a nonnegotiable safety measure intended to prevent impact injuries to the head and ears.

Of course, you only get adequate protection if the wrestling equipment you use is wholly intact, so the moment you discover that a snap is damaged and no longer works, you should take immediate action to repair or replace it. Here’s a quick guide on how to do so.

Wrestling Headgear
Wrestling Headgear

Tools and materials

Needle-nose pliers
Flathead screwdriver
Hammer
Vise-grips
Replacement snap

Repair:

  1. Inspect the snap to locate bent or misaligned ridges.
  2. Using the pliers, pull the bent portions back into position.
  3. Test the snap several times to verify that it now works. If it still fails to open and close smoothly, try replacing it.

Replace:

  1. Use the screwdriver and pliers to remove the broken snap. If the piece is stuck tight, try knocking it loose with your hammer and screwdriver.
  2. Insert the replacement snap by pushing the stud side through the hole. The stud should be pointed towards the inside of the ear guard.
  3. Secure the base side of the snap to the interior of your wrestling headgear by threading the post through.
  4. Use the vise-grips to clamp the snap.

In an ideal world, your wrestling headgear would last a full season or more. But since the risk of impact damage is high, learning how to make minor repairs can extend the life of the product and save you money in the long run. Keep the above fixes in mind so you’ll know exactly what to do the next time you have a problem with your snaps.