Wrestling headgear is protection that a person wears over the ears and chin during wrestling matches.
The main purpose of headgear is to protect the ears of the wrestler, not really the head as the name implies. Thus, wrestling headgear equipment are also simply called ear guards or ear protectors. The headgear often covers the ears of the wearer, has two straps that go behind the head, two that go over the front and top part of the head, and one strap that goes under the chin (in some cases the strap will go on the chin). Headgear is often made of durable plastic, Velcro, and button snaps.
Wrestling headgear is made to protect the wearer from long term injury. The constant bashing and beating on a wrestler's ears that comes from not wearing headgear can cause blood vessels in the ears to burst. These types of injuries do not cause any external bleeding; however incredibly painful sacs of blood will start to develop in the ears often resulting in permanent disfiguration of the ears. This condition is known as cauliflower ear.
Headgear is required to be worn in high school and college wrestling in the United States. In Canada, and in international competition (freestyle and Greco-Roman), headgear is allowed but not required.