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NFL bans non-standard facemasks

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The NFL continues its crusade to make the world's great sport as boring as possible, as it has banned all customized facemasks for players, even those receiving medical clearance to do so.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport obtained a league memo from NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent stating that the NFL will prohibit the use of non-standard/overbuilt facemasks for the 2014 season.

According to the memo, research from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment showed that the non-standard facemasks more frequently fail safety and certification tests and aren't up to NFL safety standards.

Among the characteristics of the banned facemasks are "more bars, smaller spaces between the bars, and a generally larger coverage area," Vincent wrote in the memo.

Players with medical approval for facemasks in 2013 must be re-evaluated prior to the 2014 season and strict guidelines for future medical exemptions in regards to facemasks will be enforced, the memo stated.

The NFL had already issued a ban on custom facemasks last year, but they've made the ban stricter now.

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett had planned to wear a customized mask last year, as well as New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who wore a mask with 12 diagonal bars and five horizontal bars last summer.