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NoleCC

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm curious, what is everyone's opinion of fielder's masks?

I ask because I'm a 30 year old guy that played baseball for years, and last fall had my ball days ended in a rec league softball game. I took a liner off the right side of my face while playing 3rd that left me with really awful tripod fracture. Frankly, I was lucky I didn't lose my eye, but I did end up with plates and screws in my head, some of which are now permanent and others which had to be removed in a 2nd surgery. Basically it was hell for 3 months, and if / when I have a child I'd be hard pressed not to force a mask on them for certain positions.

I was 60 feet away when I took the hit, some of the women in college softball are 30 feet away when they crash in. Pitchers are also vulnerable. Is the argument that it's good coaching to make sure a player doesn't rely on equipment like that, and a mask might create a false sense of security or not needing to get the glove up in defense?

I realize the severest of injuries are rare, but what would it take to make masks on the corners more acceptable to players and / or coaches? Will we ever see an increase in their use voluntarily? Will something like that ever be made mandatory? Should it?
toroman

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 1,207
Reply with quote  #2 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoleCC
I'm curious, what is everyone's opinion of fielder's masks?

I ask because I'm a 30 year old guy that played baseball for years, and last fall had my ball days ended in a rec league softball game. I took a liner off the right side of my face while playing 3rd that left me with really awful tripod fracture. Frankly, I was lucky I didn't lose my eye, but I did end up with plates and screws in my head, some of which are now permanent and others which had to be removed in a 2nd surgery. Basically it was hell for 3 months, and if / when I have a child I'd be hard pressed not to force a mask on them for certain positions.

I was 60 feet away when I took the hit, some of the women in college softball are 30 feet away when they crash in. Pitchers are also vulnerable. Is the argument that it's good coaching to make sure a player doesn't rely on equipment like that, and a mask might create a false sense of security or not needing to get the glove up in defense?

I realize the severest of injuries are rare, but what would it take to make masks on the corners more acceptable to players and / or coaches? Will we ever see an increase in their use voluntarily? Will something like that ever be made mandatory? Should it?

If a player wants to wear a face mask or a chest protectors playing in the field or even a batter's helmet that is their choice... BUT don't mandate them.
If you were 60ft away in a rec league, what were you playing, slow pitch with some 300lb guy swinging a Miken Ultra.  There is a point that players shouldn't be playing the game both offensively and defensively. As for High school, gold, or college ball in its current state, I really think facial fractures are rare.  Its a matter of playing at one's level.  You wouldn't want a top D1 team playing a JV high school team.  You wouldn't want a team of 300lb linemen playing against a womens team.  I believe that above average strength male players exceed the field deminsions, thus facial fractures might be more prevelent in Men's rec leagues where the competition has different levels (JV v D1)analogy.
NoleCC

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toroman

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoleCC
I'm curious, what is everyone's opinion of fielder's masks?

I ask because I'm a 30 year old guy that played baseball for years, and last fall had my ball days ended in a rec league softball game. I took a liner off the right side of my face while playing 3rd that left me with really awful tripod fracture. Frankly, I was lucky I didn't lose my eye, but I did end up with plates and screws in my head, some of which are now permanent and others which had to be removed in a 2nd surgery. Basically it was hell for 3 months, and if / when I have a child I'd be hard pressed not to force a mask on them for certain positions.

I was 60 feet away when I took the hit, some of the women in college softball are 30 feet away when they crash in. Pitchers are also vulnerable. Is the argument that it's good coaching to make sure a player doesn't rely on equipment like that, and a mask might create a false sense of security or not needing to get the glove up in defense?

I realize the severest of injuries are rare, but what would it take to make masks on the corners more acceptable to players and / or coaches? Will we ever see an increase in their use voluntarily? Will something like that ever be made mandatory? Should it?

If a player wants to wear a face mask or a chest protectors playing in the field or even a batter's helmet that is their choice... BUT don't mandate them.
If you were 60ft away in a rec league, what were you playing, slow pitch with some 300lb guy swinging a Miken Ultra.  There is a point that players shouldn't be playing the game both offensively and defensively. As for High school, gold, or college ball in its current state, I really think facial fractures are rare.  Its a matter of playing at one's level.  You wouldn't want a top D1 team playing a JV high school team.  You wouldn't want a team of 300lb linemen playing against a womens team.  I believe that above average strength male players exceed the field deminsions, thus facial fractures might be more prevelent in Men's rec leagues where the competition has different levels (JV v D1)analogy.


Oh I certainly agree what happened was freak. I'm sure a good portion of it was the bat technology, and yes it was slow pitch rec league. The other side of that was that the ball came off like a knuckleball with 0 spin on it. It didn't fly straight. I'm really not trying to compare the two games, per se, I'm just shocked there aren't more issues with injuries at a women's fast pitch level when 3B plays 30 feet away sometimes.

You make an excellent point about the size of the field vs the strength of the player.

Also, I'm asking is because there seems to be a stigma attached to the masks, by both players and coaches when I've talked to them in person. I just wonder if wearing the mask would penalize a player in the eyes of many coaches for her toughness or perceived skill.
BillSmith

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 5,563
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
I just wonder if wearing the mask would penalize a player in the eyes of many coaches for her toughness or perceived skill.

 
There are still college coaches that give batters who use a cage on their helmet a fish-eye. Fielding masks? Most college coaches with whom I've had conversations on this subject seem leery about seeing a recruit with using a mask. Not always closed-minded, just not at ease with the use of this particular piece of protective equipment.

I've witnessed some near disasters. Been privy to stories about even more. There always will be risk of injury in the game of softball. Some relief could be afforded fielders by bringing bats into spec. Heck, soften the ball a little. Not everyone in the batting order should be a home run threat.

Unless the bat and ball are dumbed down, I can imagine we are just one horrific injury from the decision being moot. It'll be legislated as mandatory.

__________________
Bill Smith
West Bay Nuggets
NorCal Women's Fastpitch Summer League
info: nuggetsoftball@aol.com

Sometimes you are the mole, sometimes the mushroom.
toroman

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 1,207
Reply with quote  #5 
I think some people may think that overprotective parents in youth rec ball are forcing their kids to wear these protectors.  They are becoming more and more "accepted" in the younger age groups.  I have heard the following arguments... if there is a safety device for my daughter why not use it... I think the opposing position is... if you have players playing at the same "level" such mask are crutches / subsitutes for poor technique or coaching.  It just depends which side of the fence you fall.

I personally don't care what the other players wear, just don't Mandate it. 
BillSmith

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 5,563
Reply with quote  #6 
Toroman,

At present, I agree with your sentiment. Choice.

__________________
Bill Smith
West Bay Nuggets
NorCal Women's Fastpitch Summer League
info: nuggetsoftball@aol.com

Sometimes you are the mole, sometimes the mushroom.
SoftballIsLove

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #7 
I was hit in the nose by a line drive in 6th grade while pitching, and I had to wear a facemask for the rest of that summer. At the time, I was the first person who wore one in my area...ever. It was a terrible experience and I hated that mask. I could never imagine wearing one now.

I know they have new "models" of facemasks, but mine was thick and black. I could not see laterally and I could not see down to field a ground ball. I really believe it is a crutch. I have been hit more times than I can count...twice in the head. It just teaches you to not throw fatties (even though the best hitters can hit any pitch back up the middle) and to increase your reaction time for fielding, and that accidents happen...but its part of the game!
OoklaSoftball

Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 61
Reply with quote  #8 

Monica Harrison will likely be wearing a fielding mask for the rest of her playing career.  But for her and I assume most current college players, it really is a last resort kind of thing.

SBUFAN

Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toroman

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoleCC
I'm curious, what is everyone's opinion of fielder's masks?

I ask because I'm a 30 year old guy that played baseball for years, and last fall had my ball days ended in a rec league softball game. I took a liner off the right side of my face while playing 3rd that left me with really awful tripod fracture. Frankly, I was lucky I didn't lose my eye, but I did end up with plates and screws in my head, some of which are now permanent and others which had to be removed in a 2nd surgery. Basically it was hell for 3 months, and if / when I have a child I'd be hard pressed not to force a mask on them for certain positions.

I was 60 feet away when I took the hit, some of the women in college softball are 30 feet away when they crash in. Pitchers are also vulnerable. Is the argument that it's good coaching to make sure a player doesn't rely on equipment like that, and a mask might create a false sense of security or not needing to get the glove up in defense?

I realize the severest of injuries are rare, but what would it take to make masks on the corners more acceptable to players and / or coaches? Will we ever see an increase in their use voluntarily? Will something like that ever be made mandatory? Should it?

If a player wants to wear a face mask or a chest protectors playing in the field or even a batter's helmet that is their choice... BUT don't mandate them.
If you were 60ft away in a rec league, what were you playing, slow pitch with some 300lb guy swinging a Miken Ultra.  There is a point that players shouldn't be playing the game both offensively and defensively. As for High school, gold, or college ball in its current state, I really think facial fractures are rare.  Its a matter of playing at one's level.  You wouldn't want a top D1 team playing a JV high school team.  You wouldn't want a team of 300lb linemen playing against a womens team.  I believe that above average strength male players exceed the field deminsions, thus facial fractures might be more prevelent in Men's rec leagues where the competition has different levels (JV v D1)analogy.
In most mens leagues today they shave the insides of the bats, or they have them rolled which breaks down the inner liner, either way it juices the bat and the ball rockets off the bat.
Pakman

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #10 
I was not sure about the fielders mask until I witnessed a play I will never forget. I was coaching a 10U team in a tournament and we were playing a very good team. Our pitcher took a line drive off her face mask that our center fielder caught, in the air, about 150 ft. from home plate. The shot leveled our pitcher but she never lost consciousness. Without that mask I am sure she would have been seriously injured. My daughter pitches (and plays third) and she is not allowed near the mound (or third base) without her mask. 

I do not buy the argument that it is a crutch for poor fielding skills or coaching. How many coaches practice those kind of shots during infield practice? My guess is none. We do not want to hurt a player during practice. My corners and pitchers all wear them and we have actually improved our fielding because they feel more safe. I think as you see more of the younger players (10 & 12U) get closer to college age you will see more masks showing up in college games. They are comfortable playing with them.

What will happen when a college third basemen wants to wear a mask and her coach tells her no and she ends up taking a line drive and getting seriously injured? That could get ugly in a hurry!

JMHO
indyrun

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 6,020
Reply with quote  #11 
Are there actually coaches that would tell their pitchers or "corners" that they COULDN'T wear the mask?

That's hard for me to believe and, if such exist, prospective players/parents should avoid such a program, if possible (how you would find out without being there, is another question), and NOT just because of the mask issue.  I'd expect such a philosophy would be prominent in other aspects of his/her coaching, and wouldn't want them coaching my kid.
coley1959

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 846
Reply with quote  #12 
While I'm not a proponent of the mask being mandatory, I do believe that if a parent or player wants to use one they should and do have that option.  My dd was hit by a line drive while pitching in regional hs play her freshman year and by the grace of god she didn't have any permanent damage or any that required surgery.  She was lucky.  Bottom line, she was pitching too many "fatties".  She is an excellent fielder and did deflect a little of the blow before it hit her.  She was back on the mound less than two weeks later in club and I had looked into the face mask, but she and her father adamantly refused to consider it.  She played the corners as well, but never had any close calls there, you have a little more time and are just focused on defense there.  I wish I could find the pictures of her face so I could post one.  It was gruesome, she did crack her orbit a little and a small fracture of her sinus cavity and she was a little lopsided for quite some time from the swelling. 
She quit pitching in club after about sophomore year, but did pitch for her hs team for four years and after that experience, never had another close call like that.  I think it did make her focus on throwing around the plate, not over the plate.
irishmafia

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 171
Reply with quote  #13 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBUFAN

 In most mens leagues today they shave the insides of the bats, or they have them rolled which breaks down the inner liner, either way it juices the bat and the ball rockets off the bat.


Well, that just isn't true, not in the leagues.  Not even "most" in tournament play.  It does occur more in tournament ball, but not "most" of the players.

The newer approved bats that are rolled do not bring the exit speed beyond the allowable 98mph.  Prior to last year, they absolutely did until ASA closed a perceived loophole in their agreement and demanded all bats be manufactured to meet spec throughout the bat's life, not just new out of the wrapper.

However, rolling a bat still causes the structure of the composite bat to breakdown in an irregular manner which makes the bat unsafe.  Doing so also reduces the bat's life by nearly 50%.

And, BTW, maybe you didn't notice the altered bat scandal at the 2009 NCAA baseball championships.
3xsbmom

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 839
Reply with quote  #14 

Quote:

Are there actually coaches that would tell their pitchers or "corners" that they COULDN'T wear the mask?

I'm pretty confident in saying most college coaches ( probably of more competitive teams) will not recruit a player they see wearing the face mask on the field, so it probably wouldn't be an issue.  I have heard this from a number of DI coaches.

indyrun

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 6,020
Reply with quote  #15 
You have "actually heard" this from a number of college coaches?  They go around and publicize their negative feelings on this matter?  Strange.

Well...even if "they" are out there, I continue to doubt that if one of their recruits decided they needed one AFTER they got there, would be told they couldn't wear it.

I don't believe they should be mandated, but certainly should be allowed if a player felt they had to use such an item. 
bruin

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #16 
Your question of "what will it take for the masks to be required"? The answer: a death, or horrible injury! And sooner or later, it will happen. With the engineering of the bats in use now, it is just a matter of time before a pitcher or third baseman is going to be seriously hurt or killed.

I think the mask should be required. That way, there would be no advantage or disadvantage to anyone...because all would have to wear them.

There is RISK in the game...no doubt. Accidents do happen, however the most vulnerable positions now are the corners and pitchers.

Make it a part of the game. Prevent a serious accident before it happens.
3xsbmom

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 839
Reply with quote  #17 

Yes, I actually have heard first hand. You tend to overheard comments from coaches while watching games. 

You are probably right on one hand - if a player got hurt and wanted to wear one, I'm sure they would be allowed to wear it as a precaution to further injury.

3xsbmom

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 839
Reply with quote  #18 

When they start making the boys wear them, then I will agree with you.

doobhomsap

Registered: 04/14/09
Posts: 184
Reply with quote  #19 
Doesn't seem unreasonable for a pitcher; they're pretty vulnerable after throwing.

For a third baseman? That's what your glove is for. If girls start getting too strong/fast such that the third baseman needs to risk injury on every play or give up a bunt hit, then it's time for the infield dimensions to change. I don't think that's the case right now. I've seen plenty of hard hit balls by some of the top players in the country, and none have been beyond the reaction time of a good third baseman playing at the correct distance.

If I were coaching, I wouldn't stop players from wearing a mask, especially if there was an injury history, but I certainly would prefer they catch them rather than take it off the face.

On the other hand, if I had a good third baseman, maybe I'd want her to wear a mask in order to sucker the other team into thinking she's bad and bunting/slapping a lot her way.
Pudge

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 4,018
Reply with quote  #20 

I have always found this subject to be interesting on this board. And I have always wondered why everyone seems to go straight to the bats, and no one ever seems to question why the players (corners) play at 30 feet. If you have the skill to play the corners, you shouldn't need to play at 30 feet to stop the bunt! Am I wrong in thinking that maybe we should stop letting slow people play the corners in order to avoid the need to whine about the bats or need a suit of armor to play softball? The bats, are OK for most teams. There are a couple of teams that have bats that are so far past the perfomance of everyone else. The balls are crap (bring back the .50 cor!). The game is exciting now. Let's stop *****ing about the bats and look at the two main causes (IMO) for POTENTIAL injury, poor pitching and corners playing too close because of a lack of quickness that the position requires.


__________________
Softball is my passion!
bruin

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #21 
Don't think anybody's whining.  Just doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that with the engineering of the bats (now), depending on the situation...there is the possibility that NO FIELDER is fast enough to keep from swallowing a shot.


LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,359
Reply with quote  #22 
"Dad, I saw the ball coming at me, it was all unfolding in slow motion, and I knew my glove wasn't going to get there in time." 

As I sat there watching in the stands the crack of the bat and the crack of the ball hitting her knee cap happened almost simultaneously.  She was playing only 40 feet from the batter and I saw her fall to a lump into the fetal position on the ground with the ball sitting about 5 feet from her.

"I tried to get to the ball but I couldn't feel my leg and it wouldn't respond," she said afterward as the shortstop came by and picked up the ball.  "When I fell I turned my body away from the fans because the urge to cry was overwhelming and I didn't want them to seem me crying on the field."

The coach had to remove her from the game and she sat out the second game of the double header during her freshman year.  It was early in her freshman year and everything was faster, much faster.  An adjustment to that speed didn't come until her sophomore year.

"I wasn't quick enough to be third baseman." she told me later, "At least during my freshman year.  But I was the only one on the team that had experience at third base so I got elected."

So, while it's easy to say that only quick people should be playing third base, what do you do if you don't have quick people? 


Edit: I had originally said she was at 70 feet.  That was a typo, she was at 40 feet.
indyrun

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 6,020
Reply with quote  #23 
And - I completely disagree that these injuries occur at the corners "because the athletes are playing too close because they just aren't quick/good enough". 

Know you all have seen shots, with the 3rd baseman up (and NOT because they are to slow/not quick enough to field adequately, by playing deeper, but because a bunt is possible/probable, because a runner is at 3rd that you want to keep from scoring, etc.), that are hit SO hard, catching only becomes instinctive, and certainly not automatic.  Just takes one of those, and a young lady can be physically destroyed (and, again, the concept/thought that this ONLY happens to the lessor athlete, is hog wash). Heck, we have all seen major league all star 3rd basemen, get nailed, at 90+ feet - just don't tie what can happen to inadequacy of the player - just ain't so.

LMU - Such injuries are petrifying for parents - went thru one at a FB game with my son, his last year in HS.  His mother still had nightmares years after. Just happy your daughter got thru hers.
LMUfan

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 7,359
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indyrun
LMU - Such injuries are petrifying for parents - went thru one at a FB game with my son, his last year in HS.  His mother still had nightmares years after. Just happy your daughter got thru hers.


That particular injury wasn't terrifying as it only hit her knee.  What was terrifying was the rest of the season knowing that a shot like that might hit her in the chest or face.

However, it's not unique to the corners.  She had some shots while at shortstop where a very hard hit ball took a bad hop and came up into her body or face.  Those can be just as bad.  However, even with such scares, I'm not one to promote body armor.  She never wore a face mask on her batting helmet, to my dismay.  She's the adult here and she must make such decisions herself.  My wife and I can give input but we can't demand that she do it.  
Pudge

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 4,018
Reply with quote  #25 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruin
Don't think anybody's whining.  Just doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that with the engineering of the bats (now), depending on the situation...there is the possibility that NO FIELDER is fast enough to keep from swallowing a shot.


The bats are getting WORSE each season, for almost all of the teams and players! So how are these bats being engineered to hurt the players MORE now, than in 2004? That is my "argument". I can thing of maybe ONE program that actually has better equipment than the rest of the softball world. To prove my point, and it has been stated on this board a few times last post-season, the Easton teams from last year went back to the previous years bats because the 2009 versions were terrible. Louisville, Easton, Worth and Demarini aren't making better performing bats in 2010 than they were in 2004.  So, why are people still focusing on the bat, when they are getting worse each season?


__________________
Softball is my passion!
Pudge

Registered: 08/08/04
Posts: 4,018
Reply with quote  #26 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indyrun
And - I completely disagree that these injuries occur at the corners "because the athletes are playing too close because they just aren't quick/good enough". 

Know you all have seen shots, with the 3rd baseman up (and NOT because they are to slow/not quick enough to field adequately, by playing deeper, but because a bunt is possible/probable, because a runner is at 3rd that you want to keep from scoring, etc.), that are hit SO hard, catching only becomes instinctive, and certainly not automatic.  Just takes one of those, and a young lady can be physically destroyed (and, again, the concept/thought that this ONLY happens to the lessor athlete, is hog wash). Heck, we have all seen major league all star 3rd basemen, get nailed, at 90+ feet - just don't tie what can happen to inadequacy of the player - just ain't so.

LMU - Such injuries are petrifying for parents - went thru one at a FB game with my son, his last year in HS.  His mother still had nightmares years after. Just happy your daughter got thru hers.


How many MLB 3rd basemen play at 45 feet? Most third baseman don't play at 90 feet! They are behind the bag. If a college or any 3rd baseman has to play at 30 feet to play defense, they DO NOT have the ability or they are improperly coached to play the position. Because that is an insane distance to think about playing at.

__________________
Softball is my passion!
indyrun

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 6,020
Reply with quote  #27 
Your 1st question - likely none, except in that play where all in the ball park know a squeeze is coming.  Probably from 65-70 ft to 90-95 for normal plays, and they still occasionally get the line shot to their chest/shoulder, or bad hop to the face.

Don't know the actual "feet" here, as never really calculated or measured, BUT I would have to guess, based on YOUR comment, that Candrea is that guy that is "improperly coaching his kids" (in your words), then.  I've never seen our 3rd basemen NOT play what appears to be dangerously close to home - lateral to back of circle, I'd guess - for many, many plays.  While it certainly looks WAY to close to me (30'? - have no idea), these gals do an excellent job, but "do" occasionally get popped (so far, as I can recall, none seriously - yet). 

I just can't buy the argument that a third baseman that plays "to close" (pudge defines as 30 feet???), is either too slow/not good enough to be playing there (good ones would play back, as they could still make all the plays), or the coaching is deficient.
bruin

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #28 
Pudge,
Doesn't matter if the bats are not as exceptional as 2004.  The worst bat being used today can propel a ball into a deadly impact of someone's skull...if said player is charging, playing up, or reduces the distance when/then the situation changes, i.e. bunt scenario but batter slaps or hits.  You're making this way too complicated.  It's just common sense.  It's not a matter of "if" but "when" a rule is instituted requiring the equipment.  I just hope the "when" happens BEFORE someone is killed.  It's got NOTHING to do w/talent level, coaching, or effort.  There just hasn't been a serious enough injury YET.  I pray it never happens!  It's sort of like a traffic signal that's not installed at a major intersection until a deadly wreck occurs.  Then when it does, it is installed to prevent another wreck...which is all well and good for the driver afterward....but sure doesn't help the one killed in the wreck.  This is COMMON SENSE, not hysteria.

Pakman

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
The bats are getting WORSE each season, for almost all of the teams and players! So how are these bats being engineered to hurt the players MORE now, than in 2004? That is my "argument". I can thing of maybe ONE program that actually has better equipment than the rest of the softball world. To prove my point, and it has been stated on this board a few times last post-season, the Easton teams from last year went back to the previous years bats because the 2009 versions were terrible. Louisville, Easton, Worth and Demarini aren't making better performing bats in 2010 than they were in 2004.  So, why are people still focusing on the bat, when they are getting worse each season?


Pudge - I agree but the bats used in the last five years are the highest performing ever. I believe that the athletes that are swinging these bats are stronger and better trained than ever before. It is not just the bats or just the players. It is both coming together at the same time.
CAL4LIFE

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 214
Reply with quote  #30 

Agree with 3x. I know for a fact some coaches won't recruit players wearing a mask. Some coaches are old school. Personally I think it should be the choice of the player. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable. Especially in the infield. When I see outfielders with them it bothers me. If you need it that far away it would make me think twice about recruiting them. Even if I feel that way I wouldn't prevent that person from wearing one. Confidence plays a big part in becoming a successful athlete. If you are uncomfortable or afraid that will prevent you from being the best you can be. Every year it happens in baseball and softball. If you count the number of plays overall its rare more than the norm. I wouldn't make it mandatory for everyone.

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