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Editorial -- staff
Time for One Bat Standard
Sept. 1, 2003 – Terry Hennessy CEOUnilateral action by individual national softball organizations in banning bats over the past two years has created chaos for players, managers and equipment manufacturers.
These moves to ban bats have been taken with good intentions by different national organizations ˆ which are worried about the overall safety of the sport. However, the different emerging standards and decisions ˆ especially those coming in the middle of the season ˆ have done much more harm than good.
These decisions are especially troubling because we have seen no evidence of increased serious batted-ball injuries in senior softball over the past two years.
To help ensure safety, we have adopted a lower compression ball and the "pitcher's box," which allows the defensive player most at risk ˆ the pitcher ˆ an extra 6 feet to react to the ball.
We believe that the combination of lower-compression balls and the pitching box keeps the sport safe and as active as possible ˆ without banning previously approved bats.
Having said all of that, we firmly believe that a single national bat standard is in the best interests of the sport ˆ even if we need to change our own standard at Senior Softball-USA for the 2004 season.
ASA is presenting its standard in Dallas and has invited the other national softball organizations to attend the meeting and discuss the standard. It is becoming increasingly clear that cooperation among national softball organizations to adopt a common bat standard is essential for the continued strong, healthy growth of senior softball.
Sometimes leadership requires compromise.