why more players don’t wear the protective face mask

The game of softball is the most participated sport in the U.S. Given this level of participation and the possible severity of facial injuries, it just makes sense that players in high risk positions should be required to wear a softball protective face mask.

The unfortunate reality is that most people will not wear safety gear until they are required to do so. A couple of years ago, face masks on batting helmets became mandatory. In the year prior to that rule, my daughter’s softball team was the only team in our fastpitch softball league that voluntarily put face masks on batting helmets. That’s just one team out of approximately 50 teams.

I’m not sure why more players don’t wear the protective face mask. I suspect some parents are not aware that it exists and many other parents don’t want to spend the $40.00 because the odds are so slim. Imagine what the cost might be for a trip to the emergency room, a week in the hospital, and two or three re-constructive surgeries. That’s just the actual financial cost. Also consider the potential of losing sight in one eye, or the mental damage associated with having scars from 189 stitches. Those costs can’t be measured.

Now that you have been made aware of the safety issue, the severity of the injury, the knowledge that there are softball protective face masks on the market, what will your position be? Will you be proactive with your local league? If you coach, will you be proactive with your team? Finally, will you be proactive with your daughter, or with yourself if you play softball?

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