Members of young boys’ baseball leagues in New York City are getting free defibrillators under a government incentive, while their female counterparts are shut out.
Softball coaches are furious that their predominantly female teams are omitted from a law which provides life-saving defibrillators to youth baseball leagues only, the New York Daily News reports.
Defibrillators or AEDs (automated external defibrillator) are widely used in sports, as the device provides shock to the body to restart the heart should there be an accident that causes commotio cordis like a hard ball to the chest.
The incentive is under a new law which was signed by the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio in May. It was implemented to aid a child who has been severely hit during play, but only covers the junior baseball leagues, despite softball being equally dangerous in the same regard.
Softball has the same play motions, the ball has the same density as that of a baseball, and at 12-inches, softballs are much larger and athletic professionals are claiming that they could potentially do more damage.
The decision to supply defibrillators to sports largely made up of male players was based on funding.
City Councilman, Steven Matteo, who sponsored the AED bill told New York Daily News that he initially wanted to include all youth sports, but it was not financially viable.
Studies show that young males have a much greater risk of commotio cordis, so the NYC government gave baseball leagues precedence, as more boys tend to play baseball than softball, his spokesperson told the New York Daily News.
“These devices will save the lives of young athletes who face the highest risk of sudden cardiac arrest due to commotio cordis,” Matteo said.
Australia does not currently have a such an incentive for sporting clubs nor does it have a legal requirement to have an AED on site at sports clubs, schools or workplaces.