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Chinese Christian Softball Association

Request for comments on mandatory helmet use

The CCSA is proposing a mandatory helmet rule for the 2018 season and beyond to make wearing helmets mandatory for all youth players (under 18) in the following positions: base runners, batters, on-deck batters, pitchers, base coaches, and catchers.

We are seeking your feedback on these additions we are further considering:

a)       Mandatory helmet use for adults playing the above positions

b)       Mandatory helmet use for umpires

As we are accountable to the league, we are seeking your comments regarding the proposals on helmet requirements above. Alternatively, if you believe a different proposal should be considered, we'd like to hear that too.

This motion is tentatively scheduled for the Jan 15 CCSA Directors' meeting. Rule changes for 2018 should be announced in mid January to give our teams ample time to familiarize and prepare for them. We invite CCSA players, parents, leaders, and church representatives to attend and join the discussion!

Background and rationale

Softball Canada rules currently require the use of helmets for youth (under 18 years of age) in the following positions: batters, on-deck batters, batter-runners, runners, catchers, players coaching first and third base, and batboys and girls (Softball Canada Rule 3-6d). The Softball Canada helmet rule has been in place since before 2011.

Helmets protect the head against skull fracture and hemorrhage due to impact as well as providing some protection against concussion. Research on baseball and softball-related head injury in youth consistently find that adolescent brain injury is particularly damaging at this stage of brain development. A recent scientific review[1] found that serious brain injuries occurred about once in every 2000 games and practices[2]. The CCSA has 1500 players, each participating in 10 or more games and 20 practices on average per season. Although the CCSA plays at a recreational skill level and we therefore expect a lower incidence of injury, this statistic is high enough to still raise serious concern.

Furthermore, a recent tragic incident this year where a softball impact to the head resulted in a player's death[3] had prompted softball leagues across Canada to review helmet requirements. In particular, this, and similar recent incidents demonstrate that traumatic brain injury can have serious negative sequelae in adults as well. Many recreational leagues have decided to mandate helmets for adult players in their leagues as a result.

In light of the substantial risk of head injury, the effectiveness of helmets at preventing major traumatic brain injury, and the relatively low cost of helmets (less than $40), the CCSA is considering various forms of mandatory helmet rules and would thus like to seek your comments as we prayerfully consider the future of the league.

Submitting your feedback

Before discussion and implementation of these additional rules, the CCSA is requesting comments from the league. We invite you to comment online using the button below, by email to, and to attend our Jan 15th CCSA Directors' meeting. More details on the meeting will follow!

Complete survey

The survey deadline is 23:59 on 2018 Jan 7.

[1] Cusmano and Zhu, "Systematic Review of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Baseball and Softball",