Elmwood Park HS Requires Girls’ Softball Players to Wear Facemasks [POLL]
In a story that will get talked about first right here on the Late Show, I want to know if you feel that girl high school softball players who play the infield should be required to wear face masks?
You may remember the scene in “A League of Their Own”, when Tom Hanks says the immortal line, “….there’s no crying in baseball!”
Similarly, should there be facemasks in girls’ high school softball?
You’d think the rough and tumble sport would not require that extra piece of equipment since there’s an inherent risk of injury in playing fast pitch softball.
In Elmwood Park…they’re not taking that risk, and they’re now requiring its softball players to wear protection.
Just last year, a scene unfolded involving an Elmwood Park high-school pitcher.
Elmwood Park Memorial High School Athletic Director Joe Colangelo told Channel 2, “All the bones — the orbital bone, the cheek bone and parts of one player’s jaw — were damaged,”
The injury was so severe that the Board of Education now requires the softball team’s infielders to wear face masks.
Elmwood Park varsity softball coach Jillian Torrento said….“The rule is that you put the mask on or you don’t play,”
The girls recently took the field for the last practice of the season, taking a few more ground balls with masks on. But when the season started, there was a little protesting.
Second baseman Caitlin Gilmore said. “I think they’re kind of ugly,” “So I think that a lot of the girls on the team didn’t really want to wear them.”
But third baseman Brittany Matsko certainly did after suffering a concussion last year.
But why not the boys…and for that matter, why not body armor?
Torrento explained….“My first and third basemen are probably playing — at closest — 25 or 30 feet away from the batter, so it’s pretty close,”
And composite bats make a big difference, too.
“They’re hitting the ball a lot faster and harder,” Torrento added.
Center fielder Milana Gilaga doesn’t have to wear one, and she admits that she’s a little jealous, as those hard-hit ground balls make her nervous.
And even though she thinks that they’re ugly, the second baseman admits that wearing one has its perks.
“If the ball is coming at you, or you miss the ball and it hits you in the face, then you don’t get hurt,” Gilmore acknowledged.
The entire town, from the recreation level all the way to varsity, is now wearing facemasks for fast-pitch softball.
So again, the question….do you think it should be required for all players.
Not just the girls!