Smash Mouth

Does anyone else remember that game we’d all play in primary school called ‘rounders’? Its existence had been totally erased from my memory until I was out with friends the other day and someone mentioned it. The more I think about the game, the more amusing it is. You literally just hit the ball and run. That’s the main premise. Now, you could argue that softball, baseball, and cricket operate in the same way but as someone who plays softball competitively, I can tell you that’s just not the case.

In these other sports, you have a rough aim as to where you need to hit the ball for it to count. Sometimes you also have to strategically decide where you’ll hit the ball. For starters, the ball is softer. In softball, I copped a ball to the mouth and needed dental implants! Also, what was with that giant paddle? Now, I’m in my 20s and am an amateur softball player who competes around Australia. I have also been able to go overseas once to compete in Japan against the Tokyo women’s team. It was undeniably one of the greatest experiences in my life. 

I’ll tell you one thing, the name might be ‘softball’ but there is nothing soft about that ball. My family had a good week mocking me and my toothless smile. I won’t lie, I looked absolutely hilarious. I’d also take the opportunity to projectile shoot water out of my tooth gap and onto my brother whenever he’d make fun of me at the dinner table. I did have to miss a week of work due to the missing teeth. There was no way I’d go to my supermarket cashier shift with my front teeth missing. I could not handle that conversation multiple times across multiple days. Luckily there was a dentist near Bayside who could take me in for an appointment. I ended up going from my actual front teeth, to no front teeth, to pearly white fake front teeth all in a week! I always wear a mouthguard now when I play.