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Sport: Equipment
Optical Illusion Hockey Mask   (+7)  [vote for, against]
Creates the illusion that the goaltender is looking in a different direction which distracts the attacking player

Hockey goaltenders (ice and field) wear protective face masks which are often decorated with wild paintjobs which reflect their personal interests or team affiliations. [link]. They are often designed to look aggressive with various snarling animal motifs which is presumably intended to intimidate onrushing players from the other team. But in reality, I don't think a modern sportsperson is particularly alarmed by seeing an airbrushed snarling lion or scary skull painted on the mask and helmet of the opposing goaltender.

My product would give the illusion that the goaltender was actually looking off to the left or right rather than at the onrushing player. This would be done by disguising the real eyeholes within dark stripes painted on the mask similar to those on an angelfish. Fake eyes and nose holes would be painted offset to the left as if the goaltender is gazing off into the stands. This could be jazzed up with an asymmetrical helmet which wraps a bit further around on the right hand side of the mask.

I think it would be very offputting for an attacking player to be onrushing towards the goalie while deciding where to shoot the puck or ball, when it appears that the goaltender isn't even looking at the attacker. Hopefully, the shot would go straight towards the goaltender's 'fake' blindside and be easily stopped.
-- AusCan531, May 09 2012

Examples of airbrushed Ice Hockey Goalie masks http://www.eyecandy...ssortedeyecandy.htm
[AusCan531, May 09 2012]

The 50 best Goalie Mask designs in NHL History http://bleacherrepo...igns-in-nhl-history
[AusCan531, May 09 2012]

Inverted mask http://www.michaelb...low-face/index.html
[MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2012]

Valentino Rossi's motorbike helmet
[hippo, May 09 2012]

Wall of Inverted Faces
At Puzzling World in Wanaka, New Zealand [AusCan531, May 09 2012]

If you really want to mess with the player's heads, make a mask which has an inverted mask glued on the front of it - when the goalie turns his head one way, it will appear to turn in the opposite direction (link).
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2012

This sounds similar to Valentino Rossi's motorbike helmet (linked).

[MaxB] - very clever...
-- hippo, May 09 2012

//very clever...// Aww shucks, it's just, like, this thing I do.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2012

Interesting idea -- and opens up a whole new area of exploration for sports uniforms.

Referees tend to be zebras -- and you probably can't have a uniform that is similar to a referees. But as active fabrics become available, there will probably need to be a whole slew of prohibitions against stealth
-- theircompetitor, May 09 2012

Good idea Mr. Buchanan. I saw an entire wall of inverted faces at Puzzling World in Lake Wanaka, NZ. The phenomenom is uncanny and would indeed be off putting. Either method would be more unsettling to the opposing player than a snarling animal design.
-- AusCan531, May 09 2012

This is clever. As a former defenseman, I always wished I could have a fearsome custom helmet as well. I just had to settle for a fearsome face.

I wish I could find a pic of that Aliens goalie mask. It was wicked cool.
-- Alterother, May 09 2012

Actually, there must be someone out there who would be willing to have the necessary cosmetic surgery to give them an inside-out face.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2012

Thinking about the inside out face thing, I'm not sure it would work well, as the inverted faces always seem to be watching you no matter which way you go. This is what a good goaltender would be doing anyway. It might be of some value if 2 attackers were coming in on the goalie as each one of them would have the impression that the goalie was watching them which is sorta the status quo.

The idea as originally posted would be more disconcerting as it would appear that the goaltender isn't even paying attention and you could shoot anywhere - but you'd also know that it wasn't true then would start second guessing yourself as to where he is really looking and where to place the shot.
-- AusCan531, May 09 2012

I think I'd prefer to see a severed head, bleeding neck stump on the top of the helmet and blood- matted hair hanging from the chin. That would freak a few people out.
-- UnaBubba, May 10 2012

Does anyone still use the old Jason style masks anymore?

That inverted face wall video is pretty amazing. I also learned that Abraham Lincoln was apparently the first president of the United States, which is something I did not know before.
-- ytk, May 10 2012

//I think I'd prefer to see a severed head, bleeding neck stump on the top of the helmet and blood- matted hair hanging from the chin//

Ahhh I see. May I recommend our Ferris Wheel Train for Sir? Or perhaps he would be interested in trying our River Crossing Trebuchet?
-- AusCan531, May 10 2012

random, halfbakery