KHSAA requires facemasks for softball now...why not baseball?

  1. #1
    TylerDurden's Avatar
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    KHSAA requires facemasks for softball now...why not baseball?

    Is there an obvious difference in the two that I'm not getting? Why wouldn't they require both sports to have face protection?
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  2. #2
    Wireman's Avatar
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    I think the infield is closer in softball

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    60 foot bases compared to 90.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet16 View Post
    60 foot bases compared to 90.
    Plus, girls hit the ball harder.

    Seriously Sweet16 nailed it, the distances and reaction time is so much shorter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_Dad View Post
    Plus, girls hit the ball harder.

    Seriously Sweet16 nailed it, the distances and reaction time is so much shorter.
    Plus some of those third baseman play 45 feet from the batter.

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    Corner infielders in softball play much closer to the batter. And the pitcher is much closer. However, even though I'm a baseball guy, and can't imagine wearing a mask, I see no legitimate reason why baseball players shouldn't wear the either.

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    Just wondering but will the mask convince players that they can play even closer to the batter than they do already?

    So is the next rule change going to be to dress them up like catchers and stand a foot or two in front of the batter?

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    ESPN sports science video about the differences explains it pretty well.
    Sport Science: Hitting a softball - YouTube
    One thing they didn't talk about is the size of the ball.
    From an aerodynamics standpoint, which would be worse, a knuckle ball off the bat with a softball or baseball? I would think the larger surface area with more stitches would be more erratic.
    Similar question with spin. I would expect that the larger surface area would create greater variances in air resistance on the sides, causing more dramatic curve. But then again, with the shorter distance, there may not be enough time for this to cause much.

    I think the rule should apply to base coaches as well. @RCC9 and @Lawnboy13 aren't spring chickens any more.
    Plus we already know @RCC9 needs to wear a helmet when hitting infield!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoldguy View Post
    Just wondering but will the mask convince players that they can play even closer to the batter than they do already?

    So is the next rule change going to be to dress them up like catchers and stand a foot or two in front of the batter?
    No, but also think about this. In high school girls, there is such a difference in the level of play and experience. For example, last year we had a masher that went to Louisville. Within our district, we had two teams with third basemen that had never played softball before. And they played third without a mask. While I was coaching third, I was nervous as a rattlesnake for their player every time our player came up. In fact, I would ask the opposing coach to move them back, assuring that I was not going to bunt my player.

    Over time, I ended up sitting my 2-5 hitters during those games because I was afraid of injury for the other team.

    I say this just to illustrate my point. In girls, the level and skill between players can be a huge gap depending on who you are playing. And some of the players and coaches don't know better to protect their kids. This forces programs to do it.

    Softball is played differently than baseball. You have a lot more bunting, you have slappers that hit from the left side and are lightening fast, but can also hit a line drive at you if you play too close and you have kids that can pull back and hit (fake a bunt to get you charging and then pull back and smash it down your throat!) In softball, your 1st and 3rd are constantly moving in and out to adjust to batters.

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    I don't think you'll ever see the requirement in baseball, unless they make something for pitchers. Softball corners can play so much closer to the batter than a baseball corner. I played a corner spot in baseball, and the closest I ever played to the batter was about 70'. In softball, they can be as close as 40', if not closer. The girls can hit, and these composite bats are hot. The ball comes flying off of them. I cringe every time I see a corner infielder not wearing one. I recommend that everyone wears one at a young age to get used to them as girls can be stubborn when they get older. They're only $25 dollars. $25 is cheap compared to a hospital bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCC9 View Post
    No, but also think about this. In high school girls, there is such a difference in the level of play and experience. For example, last year we had a masher that went to Louisville. Within our district, we had two teams with third basemen that had never played softball before. And they played third without a mask. While I was coaching third, I was nervous as a rattlesnake for their player every time our player came up. In fact, I would ask the opposing coach to move them back, assuring that I was not going to bunt my player.

    Over time, I ended up sitting my 2-5 hitters during those games because I was afraid of injury for the other team.

    I say this just to illustrate my point. In girls, the level and skill between players can be a huge gap depending on who you are playing. And some of the players and coaches don't know better to protect their kids. This forces programs to do it.

    Softball is played differently than baseball. You have a lot more bunting, you have slappers that hit from the left side and are lightening fast, but can also hit a line drive at you if you play too close and you have kids that can pull back and hit (fake a bunt to get you charging and then pull back and smash it down your throat!) In softball, your 1st and 3rd are constantly moving in and out to adjust to batters.
    I understand, honestly I really do, (I worry about some baseball teams who place a 3rd baseman 3/4 down the third base line thinking a bunt is coming) but with the equipment covering the players, will they become unafraid of getting hurt and thus get hurt but not in the face or will it change the game, as to who it was suppose to be played?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoldguy View Post
    I understand, honestly I really do, (I worry about some baseball teams who place a 3rd baseman 3/4 down the third base line thinking a bunt is coming) but with the equipment covering the players, will they become unafraid of getting hurt and thus get hurt but not in the face or will it change the game, as to who it was suppose to be played?
    I hear ya! There is a fine line between too much and what should be.

    I would be lying to you if I told you as a coach I haven't thought of putting full catcher's gear on some of my third baseman!! LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nees1212 View Post
    I don't think you'll ever see the requirement in baseball, unless they make something for pitchers. Softball corners can play so much closer to the batter than a baseball corner. I played a corner spot in baseball, and the closest I ever played to the batter was about 70'. In softball, they can be as close as 40', if not closer. The girls can hit, and these composite bats are hot. The ball comes flying off of them. I cringe every time I see a corner infielder not wearing one. I recommend that everyone wears one at a young age to get used to them as girls can be stubborn when they get older. They're only $25 dollars. $25 is cheap compared to a hospital bill.
    I doubt you'll ever see it in baseball for infielders, although I do see a possibility of requiring something for pitchers. Too much tough guy, macho, testosterone stuff in men's sports. And I'd probably have been one of the first to have complained about being forced to wear something. I caught and wore the half skull style catchers helmet from high school, all the way through college and semi-pro which left my ears and back of my head exposed, which nowadays seems like a very silly thing to do. But in 30+years of playing and coaching high level baseball, I've seen some nasty injuries that could have easily been prevented by wearing more protective equipment/facemasks. While those types of injuries are rare, why not prevent them if it can be done so easily?

  14. #14
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    Just saw a video of a buddy pitching in a slow pitch softball game and he got drilled. Luckily it didn't hit him in the face. Also worked with a guy who lost his son who was pitching in a collegiate level league and got hit in the head and killed him.
    It's dangerous!

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    My daughter played third. There were times she would be 30 feet from the plate. Plus softball don't have grass infields and as hard as some of the fields are, you might as well be playing on asphalt.

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