According to the Balimore Sun,
"We're telling 8- and 9-year-olds that when a ball is coming at you 50, 60, 65 miles per hour, if you get out of the way, great. If not, and it takes your eye out, that's the way it goes," said Sen. James Brochin, Democrat of Baltimore County.The reason for the bill is arguably that such protective gear would cut down on injuries to young athletes. Admittedly a noble cause, but in doing so do we take the fun out of the game? If a kid gets hurt in a game, most often the injury is minor, it heals and the child learns a lesson, he or she may even carry the bruise around with pride.
And so it went for nearly an hour, a debate in which seasoned senators spoke out like ordinary mothers and fathers and grandparents.
Under the proposed law, the state's Health and Mental Hygiene Department would dictate the types of safety equipment that youth baseball leagues throughout Maryland would have to use in play.
Though the specific safety gear is up for discussion, high on the priority list are face masks for batters and protective goggles for fielders.
I played soccer as a kid and would get some pretty nasty scrapes on my legs, including some really bad ones on my upper thighs from slide tackling. I would show these off with pride. I know, it is stupid when I look back on it, but it was part of the game. Injuries happen and modern safety equipment has helped prevent some injuries and certainly lessen the impact of many others, you cannot legislate out risk.
If parents want to protect their child a little more, fine, make face masks and eye guards available, some will buy them. But to make it mandatory just tells parents that the state knows better than they how to protect their children and if need be the state will protect kids from their parents.