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Football Nose Guards

What is football nose guards? Get ready to learn about nose guards in football.


What are football nose guards?

Football nose guards were the precursor to today's facemasks, designed to protect the nose of the wearer from potential hits to the face. Before the helmets and facemasks that have become ubiquitous with the sport of football today, players would sometimes wear nose guards. They were cumbersome and strange and made the game awkward to play.

Early History

The first nose guard to ever be thrown together was by a Harvard Football player named John Cranston who created a wire mask for his previously injured nose in 1889. His teammate, Arthur J. Cumnock, tweaked it so it would be less likely to hurt others on the field, creating the first official nose guard in 1891.

The original nose guard stretched from forehead to mouth, with space between the nose and the apparatus. It was made of a hard material that would not give upon impact. A strap around the forehead along with an area to bite kept the device in place.

Over the years, the nose guard went through various iterations, changing the material used, adding more holes for breathing, and eventually expanding to cover the entire face.


Today, football players use facemasks attached to their helmets as they are much more effective in protecting the face.

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