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Archive for January 17, 2007

Jan. 17, 2007 — Lessons from other sports

The influence of some doctors allied with sports equipment companies has been felt in several sports, which are now being afflicted with “equipment creep.”

We mentioned a few days ago about USA Hockey mandating that coaches wear helmets during practice. Not a game, not a game — we’re talking about practice.

We’ve noted that “goggle creep” has taken root in the sport of squash. In this sport, players and coaches are now being required to wear them in all kinds of activities — games, clinics, exhibitions.

Here’s the reason why the addition of eyewear for squash is quite silly: it’s a finesse game, not a power game like racquetball. Touch, craft, and control are the order of the day for the squash player, not speed.

If you’ve ever seen a squash match (either hard-ball or soft-ball), you’d understand that the “kill shot” for the game is a series of deflections off the front and side walls, not the passing shot that you would see in racquetball.

Goggle creep hasn’t stopped there, though. Some doctors have advocated goggles for everything from soccer to basketball to wrestling.

We’ll have more on that tomorrow once you’ve stopped chortling.