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April 19, 2011

It’s Always Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt. Or Maybe Just Bruised a Little.

No parent wants to think about it, but the danger is there. Your young son or daughter, laughing happily one moment, and the next have speeding towards their head at many times the speed of a falling leaf, a deadly plastic perforated orb of impending doom.

We speak of the “wiffle ball,” or “ball of death” as it might be characterized by the New York State Health Department bureaucrats who deemed the game of Wiffle Ball along with Red Rover and Capture the Flag as posing “significant risk of injury” and so subject to state regulation.

Now, before you get all riled up saying this is no longer the same nation that defeated the Nazis in the Napoleonic Wars, you should know that the new regulations are fully supported by the New York State Camp Directors Association (NYSCDA), an industry group which felt it was vital to close a “loophole” in the law that had been allowing parents to give their money to people who were not members of the NYSCDA.

With the new regulations in place, small indoor camps that offer as few as two activities, one of which is on the danger list, come under the same expensive and onerous regulations as the big camps which offer sports like archery and horseback riding, also considered to pose “significant risk of injury.”  Just like Wiffle Ball.

As Adam Langbart, President of the NYSCDA points out,

“People are dissecting the law and dissecting the rules and regulations and basically taking things out of context. You gotta look at the big picture and not just say, ‘Oh. The state wants to regulate Wiffle Ball.’ They don’t.”

Exactly. They don’t want to.  They have to. For the children.  The children of members of the NYSCDA, anyway.

Wiffle Ball Injuries We should note that New York State regulators did exempt such activities as Frisbee from the list, even though, according to the New York State Department of Health statistics, Frisbee results in more injuries than Wiffle Ball and Red Rover combined. 

Which just goes to show, don’t mess with the powerful Frisbee industry.

Injury by Activity 2009 Leaving that aside, we can’t ignore the inherent danger of Wiffle Ball.  Think about it.  Plastic ball.  Plastic bat.  Why not just give the kids a stick of dynamite and a hammer?

The carnage is undeniable. In 2009 (the latest year for which data is available), Wiffle Ball was responsible for no fewer than 2 injuries in the state.

We don’t know the stories behind those tragedies, but we’re pretty sure that at some point, Tylenol was involved.

Why can’t kids do something safe, like dancing?

Okay, dancing resulted in five times the injuries of Wiffle Ball.

How about “arts and crafts?”  That sounds safe and peaceful.

Those produced twice the injuries.

In fact, “traveling between activities” produced over ten times the injuries while the ever-dangerous “playing” produced over 30 times the injuries.

Okay, fine, how about they just go to camp and  sleep.

Sleeping produced over three times the number of injuries.

Come to think of it, if you really want your children to be safe, maybe you should just have them play Wiffle Ball.


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April 19, 2011 at 07:01 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Freaking brilliant my friend. =)

Posted by: fleeceme | Apr 19, 2011 7:41:37 PM

Thanks! It was particularly hard to write through all the bubble wrap, but you cxan't put s pricve onm safetyt!

Posted by: Planet Moron | Apr 20, 2011 7:16:47 AM

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