Shorts vs. Pants

Why do the players on college teams wear pants while younger girls play with shorts and knee-high socks? What is the difference? Why the difference? Which is better? While current softball rules on all levels do not make a preference of shorts or pants, but require the entire team to we wear the same thing. Uniforms not only depict solidarity, but are supposed to be a means of protective wear in athletic sports, but shorts do not provide the protection necessary for the sport. Many coaches and teams prefer pants because it removes the fear of sliding and getting injured, but shorts are still very popular, from little league to college. Does the variation in a female softball player’s uniform reinforce the society’s consistent sexualization and objectification of the female body?

Source 1: Youth, Appearance, and Emotion: Commentator Framing of the 2009 Softball College World Series

This article discusses the ways in which women are discussed within sports, specifically the 2009 Softball College Worlds Series. This shows the way in which commentators reinforce the ways in which sports are portrayed as inappropriate for women. The authors provide an in depth analysis of the ways female athletes are framed by their personal lives to give them legitimacy as an athlete. This also provides a description of female athletes attribution of success to appearance.

Source 2: Effects of Uniforms on Perceptions of Pictures of Athletes

This article presents a study conducted in 1974 documenting the importance of uniforms for athletic teams.  The result from the research shows how pictures of athletes are rated better if the athlete is wearing a uniform. The article explains how uniforms add a “dimension of professionalism, team spirit, coordination, natural ability, and muscular strength.” The uses of these statistics add an historical context and explanation to the when and why uniforms were first utilized.

Source 3: Baseball and Softball Sliding Injuries

This article in The American Journal of Sports Medicine discusses the incidences and effects of the techniques necessary for sliding for collegiate baseball and softball players. The research conducted compares the injuries that take place in softball and baseball when sliding head-first or feet-first into bases. The study demonstrates how feet-first sliding injuries have a larger precedent in softball. This article would aid my research because it indicates the reason in which shorts do not protect and serve their purpose as a uniform. Wearing shorts allows for the possibility of injury when sliding by the skin becoming scratched or bruised.

McCallister, Leslie, and Jessica Mahone. “Youth, Appearance, and Emotion: Commentator Framing of the 2009 Softball College World Series.” Journal of Sports Media 7.2 (2012): 75-93. Project Muse. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

Harris, Mary B., Sandra Ramsey, Diana Sims, and Marcia Stevenson. “Effects of Uniforms on Perceptions of Pictures of Athletes.” Perceptual and Motor Skills 39 (1974): 59-62. University of New Mexico. Web. 26 Feb. 2014

Hosey, Robert G., and James C. Puffer. “Baseball and Softball Sliding Injuries.” The American Journal of Sports Medicine 28.3 (2000): 360-63. American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. Web.

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2 Responses to Shorts vs. Pants

  1. Sarah McCullough says:

    You found some good articles dealing with an under-reseached topic. I’d enjoy hearing more about how you see each article contributing to your question and final paper. For example, how might you extend or utilize the article on uniforms and professionality to understand the difference in how people perceive these uniform variations in softball? I’d also enjoy more details about the first article, to understand how the author’s argument functions, along with a better understanding of how you will use the article.

  2. kyle says:

    Shorts definitely are not sufficient in my opinion. I played baseball for the entirity of my youth (ages 5-18) and I know first hand that trying to slide in dirt without them can be brutal. I am now 25 and I just watched the WCWS for the first time in my life, which made me wonder when they changed that rule. So ty for answering my question!

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