Left-handed Sports Equipment

left-handed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy throws the ceremonial first pitch before one of Japan’s baseball season games, Rakuten Eagles versus Orix Buffaloes, at Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi, in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) – Yahoo News

John Kennedy Schlossberg
Hiroshi Mikitani (e-commerce firm Rakuten Chairman and CEO)
Caroline Kennedy
john schlossberg_rakuten_mikitani_carolinekennedy

Rakuten Mikitani’s message favoring a LDP candidate Takuya Hirai (in Japanese)
Hiroshi Mikitani

Takuya Hirai LDP
Chairman, Special Mission Committee on IT Strategy

Sports equipment from baseball gloves to hockey sticks and beyond has been made predominantly for the right-handed athlete for years. However, with fewer left handed people being forced as children to be right handed or ambidextrous, more and more equipment is being made specifically for the left handed athlete.

Baseball gloves have long been available for the right hand for those left-handed players who actually throw left-handed and the great majority of other equipment for America’s national past time is not hand-dependent, but the same is not true for other sports.

Hockey sticks for the right-handed are not so easily wielded by the left-handed and the surface that should be the front of the stick was out of place, putting the left handed hockey player at a severe disadvantage. The problem with hand specific sports equipment mostly is with sticks and clubs that require a specific weight balance or surface to hit the puck or the ball. After all, one cannot simply turn a golf wedge around and use the other side to make it left-handed.

Another overlooked sport with this problem is bowling. Though many enthusiasts of the sport have their own custom-made equipment, beginners are often stuck with whatever is at the alley. And whatever is at the alley is likely to be right handed.

That means the holes are cut and placed on the ball for a person who intends to throw the ball from the right hand. The entire aerodynamic aspect of the sport is lost to the person throwing a ball balanced to be thrown from the other side.

However, at least getting a left-handed bowling ball isn’t difficult. All advanced equipment for the sport is custom-made and therefore accessible to the left handed. The same has not always been true of sports like hockey and golf. Often, athletes in those sports were forced to use their right hand because hockey sticks and golf clubs were only manufactured in one style–right handed.

More recently, sports equipment for the left handed has become more available with websites promoting everything from the expected golf clubs and hockey sticks, to left handed gun stocks and fishing poles. Websites around the world are dedicated the left handed sports enthusiast and finding them the equipment that is designed to best suit their needs.

Those who claim a baseball origin explain the term “southpaw” by the “fact” that the ball park in Chicago was so located that the pitcher’s left arm was toward the south in order to keep the sun out of the players’ eyes. But this plausible explanation does not agree with the lexical evidence. The term had been used decades prior to that to indicate “not-usual”.

Obama bowling
The life of Barack Obama
The path of the president-elect, from childhood to party leader

Southpaw pitcher Obama

left-handed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy: “If confirmed, I look forward to working with American business to promote American exports, expand trade and support initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
(Ambassador to Japan Nomination Hearing Sep 19, 2013)

left-handed U.S. president Barack Obama
The President Signs Bills that Modernize U.S. Trade Policy
The White House
On Trade, Here’s What the President Signed into Law: | whitehouse.gov
“Congress passed two bills that will help rewrite the rules for our trade policy: Trade Promotion Authority and the Trade Preferences Extension Act, which includes Trade Adjustment Assistance. Today, President Obama signed them into law.”
“That’s a good thing, because as President Obama has said, past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype. Now, thanks to the new rules of the road laid out by Congress, our latest trade deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — can put in place high, enforceable standards that reflect our values on the environment, on workers’ rights, on transparency, and more.”