Face Masks In Sports

Topics: Softball, Baseball, Face Pages: 7 (1709 words) Published: March 17, 2017

Since the origin of sports, the evolution of protective gear has dramatically increased with the hopes of decreasing the probability of obtaining major injuries. There remains a continuous debate on whether a further inclusion of protection gear should be implemented, but the incorporation remains nonexistent. Face masks worn on softball pitchers are very rare, especially at college and professional levels. Most of the players choose not to wear one because of the stigma of being “afraid” of the ball, and essentially would not be recruited by a college coach, or they have a complaint of a lack of comfort and impaired vision exerted by the mask. On the other hand, in the last several years, the implementation of face masks occur in young athletes...

Over several years, there has been a detected parallel in the growth of facial injuries and the increased speed of play in fastball softball. In the last year, there has been 8,000 concussions (To Mask or Not to Mask?, 2015) with an overall twenty percent of all injuries in softball are related to head and face impact in 2003 (Silverman, 2014). The numbers are continuing to grow, especially without the implementation in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules that face masks should be always worn by pitchers. The purpose to initiate a required face mask on all batting helmets was to prevent injuries that occur while batting. Why not the same for pitchers? As girls get older, the game of softball gets faster, and the batters become better hitters at which the ball is coming off the bat at high rates, some of which need more than just fast reactions. Athletic trainer, Mike Flynn with the Topeka’s Cotton-O’Neil Clinic explains that, “If there’s enough force to fracture your cheekbone or nose or to fracture you jaw, there’s enough force to contuse or bruise your brain” (Brunner, 2014). Several players continue to resist masks, yet there continues to be a knowledgeable head injuries that could have been...

When beginning to learn how to throw and catch, this praised saying controlled the thoughts when thinking of a glove as the main protection shield from injury. Without having a face mask cover the player's entire face, there is no excuse for not seeing the ball since there is no plastic or metal bars blocking the directional path of the fast-moving yellow sphere. There is a common stigma that the player’s who wear the masks are afraid of the ball, stripping them of their identity as the tough, intimidating player they want to be known for. This also contributes to the myth that college coaches do not consider recruiting players with masks because of the common misconception, a mask means the athlete is scared of the ball. This is not always true, as college coaches recruit because of talent, and several other factors when thinking about a successful team. As long as the player is comfortable either way, the coach will always be looking out for the player’s well being no matter if the pitcher wears a mask or...
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