While I was watching the LLWS, I noticed that a lot of teams used the eye black material, ostensibly to shade the glare into their eyes so they could hit and catch better. (I have never been convinced that helps, but shows you what kind of athlete I was! Marathon runners don't need that $hit!)
Anyway, I noticed also that some of the players went a little overboard! There were designs such as a devil's fork, shark teeth, huge fins.....etc. Cute! But not funny!
About 10 years ago, NASO had an article about youth football players who actually had their moms put on the eye black and then add some designs with red lip liners or such. The intent was to try to gain some psychological advantage. The theme of the Referee article was that team sports uniforms should be.....well,.....UNIFORM! And the odd face art was non-uniform and therefore to be sanctioned against.
I think the NCAA has put a stop to the eye patches where guys like Tim Tebow would write some Biblical passage, and other low-lifes (probably from Fla State and USC) would write "B1te Me!" and so forth. Now, all those eye patches must be standard and unedited. I suppose that with the plethora of $$$$ coming in from ESPN and ABC, close-ups of the faces should not have anything tawdry or politcal......maybe.
I doubt if I would try to enforce anything under "non-uniformities" of the equipment, but I think it's a sad state when kids have to try stupid tricks to stoke their own egos.
All it says is "Look at me!" and I believe it does take away from the "team" concept of LL basball.
Just a rant before Labor Day!
Mike, I also saw the LL'ers with "extended" eye black. My experience personally is that the eye black reduces sun glare from the sunlight reflected up from the very top of the cheek bone. It does work. However, there seems to be a line limit that WP should endorse. I suggest simply to extend the black out to under the eye, and no more than 1" past the closed eye lids, AND no more than 1" wide. An easy rule to remember. War paint is getting out of hand.
Mike, as a fellow Washington, DC area inhabitant, you should know that it's all Bryce Harper's fault.
Frankly, I really don't care what they do, as long as it doesn't prove to be a distraction that affects play. Traditionalists hate what baseball players do with their hats (flatten the brims, wear them ****-eyed, etc.), pants (wear them over their shoes), and other parts of their uniforms.
Funny thing is, I don't think I've seen anybody in MLB play do the same thing with eye black. Maybe something has already been put out to the players union that I'm not aware of. I remember recently that a pitcher with excessive tattoos on his arms was told to wear a long-sleeved undershirt. Perhaps this was interpreted that any unusual skin paint
to include eye blackis not acceptable.
Mike- pretty sure you need a long weekend.
The eye black doesn't bother me (even with writing) as long as it is not profane. I imagine LL and ESPN would prefer the eye black we saw over the stick on eye black patches that have advertising on them (unless, of course, LL and ESPN get their cut).
I want the players to look alike, but over the last few years you have the high and low pants bottoms. Some pulled down over shoes and held down by cleats and some wearing them high with the bottoms just below the knees. Certainly the most obvious example of non-uniformity.
My pet peeve is a cap worn sideways. I now leave that alone. A few years back on the big field, I was PU and F1 had cap turned sideways (about 35-45 degrees to the left). It was driving me crazy. As he came out in the second inning I caught him and told him I would appreciate it if he would straighten his cap, he answered "but Blue, the sun is that way" I smiled and said "nevermind".
All I need is some kid getting hit and saying that the umpire made him straighten his cap and now the sun was in his eyes. I guess the same thing could happen with eye black.
At least on the little field, I think they do it for fun, not intimidation. On the big field, if opposition thought it was intimidating, next pitch high and inside.
The MLB pitcher that was told to cover up his arm tatoos was Justin Miller, Toronto Blue Jays...during spring training, 2004.
His whole body, from neck down, was covered with tattoos.
Put me down for being against LL players using eye-black for any other use other than for which intended.
Recall a player in the recently completed LLWS who sustained an face injury
Re: "Eye Makeup" ?-he had "painted" a portion of his face with eye-black.
I wonder if he HAD suffered an open cut if that stuff would of caused a "problem."
As it was I believe it was the LL medic who wanted that stuff removed while examining the kid to determine the exact extent of his facial injury.
I don't want to be the one that has to measure the size of the eye black or worse, deal with the opposing manager whose says the eye black is too big on the pitcher (and by rule he is right).
The players in the games I call don't have their faces on ESPN every other day for a week, let LL deal with the players at the LLWS and leave this out of the rule book.
College ball put the ban in because few knuckleheads were putting gang stuff (area codes, etc) on their stick-on patches.
If we go down this road in LL, we're going to also be enforcing sock length, undershirt and belt color hue. How far do we want to take this? Honestly, I couldn't care less.
I hear ya!
But when the LLWS part of the season starts, each league issues relatively new uniforms; if they are lucky enough to win regionals, the region or maybe LL Hq issues brand new uniforms INCLUDING equipment (helmets, catcher's gear, etc.)
When I was a kid, we all got uniform shirts & caps, but we had to go get our own pants, socks, etc.
In tournies, I think it IS reasonable to expect uniformity. Two years ago in Majors LL Softball, a girl was ejected and suspended for a semifinal game because she did not wear her ISSUED uniform correctly after being given several warnings by the umpire. (This was an interest item by LL at the time.) I mean, she's playing at the LLWS in Portland with new uniforms provided by LL, you'd think she'd have enough common sense to wear the uniform correctly.
Her parents sued, by the way. The judged them to shut up and color! She violated the rules and was given more than ample opportunities to remedy the same.
In regular season, I agree, we don't need to worry about the little stuff; but when tourney time comes, if these kids want to represent their communities, Districts, States, Region, and country, then they ought to look like ball players.
Myth Busters tested out the eye black theory and came up with the conclusion that the eye black COULD make a difference when it came to sun reflection.
And I thought I heard at the time that Bryce Harper was drafted, that the Lerner family (majority owners of the Nationals) were going to prohibit Bryce from continuing his face decoration, so long as he was in the Nats organization.
That may be; I haven't heard. But I haven't seen Harper wearing the stuff in any public appearances recently, such as when he hit a few pre-game pitches in Nats Park a week or so ago.
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