Softball isn’t often in the news for causing head trauma, but local lawmaker Eileen Naughton thinks that is an oversight. The Democratic Representative from Warwick introduced legislation last week requiring Interscholastic League pitchers, first basemen and third basemen to wear protective facemasks.
Naughton is herself a former high school softball player, and she says that while people pay more attention to women’s sports than they did in her youth, dangerous injuries in girls’ athletics are still not getting the attention they deserve.
“We’ve been paying attention thank goodness to the injuries in football, but we need similar attention to the injuries in girls and women.” She said, noting that softball also poses a serious and underreported risk. But Naughton hopes the legislation will go further than just mandating new equipment. She hopes it will spark a broader discussion about women and sports injuries.
“I’m hoping that girls and women that have been on winning teams and loved the sport come forward with better ways to protect athletes and win games.” She said.
A companion bill introduced by Minority Leader Dennis Algiere is working its way through the Senate.