Protective helmets have been worn by motorcycle riders, cricketers, fastpitch softball players and baseball players for years to protect their noggins against head injury. Over the years, Softball players throughout the world have suffered everything from a small bump opn the head to serious brain injury. Despite this, a large percentage of slow pitch softball players in the UK (and Manchester) still do not wear one.
Whilst they are called ‘batting helmets’, because this is slow pitch softball, the real danger occurs when the players is running the bases, not actually batting. A player can get hit on the head in many ways, and its not always the ball that can do the damage.
Without question, the most common head injury comes from a thrown ball hitting someone on the head. At the end of the day the runner and the ball are often heading for the same point on a softball diamond. Being hit by the ball ‘off the bat’ is another concern and would result in serious injury.
Concussions can also be sustained in collisions between base runners and fielders, collisions between a runner and a catcher, or a runner sliding into a baseman. A collision, in fact, between a player’s head and another object need not even take place: a significant jolt to the head can cause one.
Here are a few things to think about:
1. It might save your life or prevent serious head injury
2. Don’t wait until you get hit before you buy a helmet
3. Safety comes before coolness. I can guarentee that if you wear a helmet, people will say “thats a good idea” more often than they say “you look so uncool”.
4. Be an example. If people see you wearing a helmet, it will encourage them to do the same.
5. It’s not just you. Pro-athletes of several sports have at some point been forced to convert to safer equipment. I take that back. Not forced—more like, persuaded by situation, in an, “Oh, NOW we get it, hand over the safe stuff!” way. Its a different sport but Lest we forget NHL’s ever-evolving goalie mask. It all started with Jacques Plante taking a wayward backhand shot to the face. With several nasty cuts on his mug, he refused to return to the game unless he was allowed to wear a mask. Smart guy.
Are you taking notes? You, Vain Batter, could be the Jacques Plante of softball. The good news is, softball helmets don’t look like something Hannibal Lecter might sport. These days batting helments are light, well designed and fairly stylish.
6. It might save your life. Come on now…I feel like I had this conversation with my mother when I was five years old. I didn’t want to wear helmets, or knee pads, or any other “geeky” form of protective mountain biking gear. Granted, all of my helmets came with holographic stickers to ease the humiliation of looking like a goofus. Vain Batter, please don’t make me go that far. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Will stickers do the trick?
7. This is not about tradition. Some of you are playing the “tradition” card as your excuse for not wearing a safer helmet. You’re right, its different, but hey, lets make this the new tradition.
8. There pretty cheap these days and can be delivered to your door. Here are a few currently available from Amazon which you can buy for between £20 – £35.