Self-report surveys are a common method of collecting data on protective equipment use in sport. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of self-reported use of appropriate protective eyewear by squash players. Surveys of squash players' appropriate protective eyewear behaviours were conducted over two consecutive years (2002 and 2003) at randomly-selected squash venues in Melbourne, Australia. Over the two years, 1219 adult players were surveyed (response rate of 92%). Trained observers also recorded the actual on-court appropriate protective eyewear behaviours of all players during the survey sessions. Eyewear use rates calculated from both data sources were compared. The self-reported appropriate protective eyewear use rate (9.4%; 95% CI 7.8, 11.0) was significantly higher (1.6 times more) than the observed rate (5.9%; 95%CI 4.6, 7.2). This suggests that players may over-report their use of appropriate protective equipment, though some may have incorrectly classified their eyewear as being appropriate or suitably protective. Studies that rely only on self-report data on protective equipment use need to take into account that this could lead to biased estimates.