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Archive for January 18, 2007

Jan. 18, 2007 — Consider the source

So, who exactly are the experts are pushing eyewear in youth sports?

There are many, but the one main provocateur is Paul Vinger, a professor of opthamology at Tufts University. His imprimatur is all over the eyewear mandates nationwide (if you don’t believe me, try a Google search), partially from his work with the U.S. Olympic Committee. He has even received an award from USA Hockey.

Vinger was the main activist in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s decision to mandate them in field hockey. And it is obviously no coincidence that many neighboring states (Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire) have adopted them as well.

His activism in the realm of eyewear has even extended to making drivers wear protective eyewear if they are in a car with airbags.

Now that you have stopped laughing again, there are some people starting to see through the fear-mongering. A poster named Jim G on the Optiboard.com message site says the following:

“Dr. Vinger is on a quest to eradicate eye injuries from existance irrespective of the lengths necessary. Tho[ugh] slowed in his quest by the outcome of the meeting, we can rest assured he will return to wage another battle on another day. “

Which is, of course, why two failed votes and a rules change mandating a seven-yard free-hit zone instead of a five-yard one is not enough.

In addition, we understand that there have been times that goggle-pushers have not played fair in presenting their case to the governing bodies of sport. At this time one year ago, data was submitted about the reduction of head injuries in Big Ten women’s lacrosse.

The problem: the data was falsified. The Big Ten does not sanction lacrosse as an NCAA sport, although members Penn State, Northwestern, and Ohio State do compete.

We, the field hockey community of the United States, must remain resolute and send a message to the meddling medics. Send your comments using this link, then change the popup menus to “sports” and “field hockey.”