If Little League genuinely cares about player safety, it will mandate C-Flaps on helmets

Connecticut runner Julian Rock hustles to first base against New Jersey.

It’s called a C-Flap – that extra piece on a baseball helmet, designed to protect the batter’s jaw on the side facing the pitcher.

More and more Major Leaguers are using these safer helmets, though they are not required. But for Little Leaguers playing in the annual World Series that concludes this Sunday, the fact that C-Flaps are not mandatory is unconscionable. 

Pitchers at all levels are stronger and throw harder than ever, increasing the risk for batters. 

In May, Jacob Webb of the Atlanta Braves hit the New York Mets’ Kevin Pillar in the face with a 95-mph fastball, causing multiple fractures. Following successful surgery Pillar returned to the lineup, with one significant change. His helmet now has a C-Flap. 

New York Mets' Kevin Pillar watches his three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Little League fails to protect players

At the World Series this year, Little League’s failure to require all batters – none of whom is older than 12 – to have the side of their faces protected is frightening. It’s also completely unnecessary. 

In Monday’s Little League game between Texas and Michigan, for example, Cason Parrish of the Texas team was hit high on his shoulder, just inches from his jaw. Though some players wore C-Flap helmets that day, Parrish did not. How is that possible? 

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