On March 31, USA Softball’s twitter account posted a tweet that has created a lot of confusion regarding fielder's masks in the softball community.
The tweet, which has since been deleted, was likely just meant to be an April Fools’ joke.
However, the tweet and the initial positive response over the tweet from parents and players suggests that there is a disconnect between the organizations that run the leagues and the desire of the softball community they serve.
The disconnect stems from the fact that our sport is managed by individuals who were elite players. The best of the best. However what is not being recognized by those individuals is the vast number of players who are not elite yet and the concerns of their parents regarding injury.
I am hopeful that those who serve the softball community can seek to better understand the importance of providing the most inviting and least intimidating environment for our daughters and the parents who fund their activities. This is because every girl who plays softball isn’t just playing a game, but learning the values of teamwork, leadership, and accountability. Skills that will be significantly more valuable to their success than whether or not they are tough enough to take a line drive to the face.
If you would like to make your voice heard and make our sport of softball a little less scary for players and parents please sign our online petition now and help let the rules committees know where you stand on face masks for infielders.