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Kentucky Legislators May Consider Tougher Safety Measures for High School Fast-Pitch Softball

Kentucky state Capitol
Kentucky state Capitol

Kentucky lawmakers will likely be asked in the 2015 session to toughen safety standards for girl's high school fast-pitch softball.

The proposal would require the pitcher, plus players at first and third base to wear protective masks.

Among the measure’s supporters is Meade County High softball Coach Mike Harreld, who testified this month before a legislative panel.

"It doesn't make sense to me that they made a rule that the batters had to wear a face mask because the pitchers were throwing 60 and 65 miles an hour and some of them were getting hit," Harreld said. "Yet, the ball is being hit back at these pitchers and corners at a hundred to a 120 mile an hour."

State Rep. Hubie Collins, a Wittensville Democrat, said he believes the Kentucky High School Athletic Association should act on the issue before it is considered by lawmakers.

But KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said it is an important safety issue, and legislative action would help speed up the process.

Tackett said the matter has been discussed at the national level.

"The 2014 meeting in the spring was the first time the national office has really considered the rule," Tackett said. "But, for us, it's a little slower process. This would accelerate it and being a safety issue, it's certainly something we should look at."