Law Change May Not Be a Hit

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Senate Bill 2194, introduced by District 6 Sen. Alan Nunnelee from Tupelo, the bill proposes that public school competitive league baseball or softball games in Mississippi no longer use anything but wooden bats in competition.

Nunnlee says the purpose for the bill is because there's been a dramatic increase in the speed which baseballs are propelled off of non-wood bats. He says this has resulted in an increase in serious injuries to children.

However, not all agree. For almost 40 years West Lauderdale school athletic director Jerry Boatner has coached baseball.

"I've been coaching 37 years and I don't know of but two who were injured as a result of a metal bat."

While Coach Boatner says he doesn’t not want anyone hurt, he says overall, many of the injuries in baseball come from coaching eras and thus he says that the biggest problem with the proposal is the costs.

"When I first started coaching we had wooden bats and they break so easy! We have five or six metal bats now sometimes and the whole team uses the same bat whereas with a wooden bat, you're could break four or five bats a game or inning."

Boatner does admit that aluminum bats can be more dangerous in some areas. In fact, while only wooden bats are allowed in Major League play, he says that's a precaution that needs to be taken because professional players are stronger and better than those in high school and younger.

Meanwhile, with Mississippi schools bracing to possibly face a shortfall of about $65,000,000 for next school year, some officials say if passed the bill could costs some big bucks in terms of having to buy more bats more often.

We have since learned that the bill has now died in committee. However, as in years past, we're told that the proposal could resurface for consideration during a future legislative session.

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