the problems we solve
The numbers do not lie: The sport of baseball lacks diversity even on the men’s professional level, with 2% of players being Asian, 27% being Latino and only 7.8% of players being Black, compared to 18% in the 1980s (Source: Society for American Baseball Research). Now, what does this look like on the youth baseball level, especially among girls? With girl’s baseball still being so young, statistics such as these do not show themselves yet, but through personal experiences and demographics drawn from the sport of softball, we know that the racial disparities in girl’s baseball are even greater than in professional baseball. Using racial demographics from NCAA College softball, it is seen that white athletes outnumber every other racial group significantly. But why? Two large components contribute to this disparity: Lack of resources and Cost (Continued).
Let's take a glance at the large costs needed to attend a typical baseball tournament using information from our annual tournament host, Baseball for All. Baseball for All has been a catalyst in providing thousands of girls around the US with baseball opportunities while also providing assistance to girls who have been unjustly rejected from playing high school baseball. Most notably, the organization has recruited thousands of athletes from over 40 states and 5 countries to play in their annual Baseball for All National Tournament, but each athlete is responsible for all costs relating to the tournament. Here is what a typical financial contribution looks like needed to attend the week-long tournament per player:
This whopping cost is nearly 1.5x the average NYC low-income monthly apartment cost of $1,300 (Source: lowincomehousing.us). How can low-income families be expected to attend these tournaments especially if the family has multiple members? This is why Reinas Baseball wants to provide an opportunity for each family’s daughter to get the baseball experience she deserves. If the entire family cannot attend, at least their daughter will have an amazing baseball experience.
Lack of resources
The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) has done research examining the racial disparities and inadequate resources among girls and their participation in sports. Here are a few notes from the WSF that can deepen the understanding as to why there is such a large disparity among girls in sports and how these statistics can be applied to girl’s baseball.
“The disparate rates at which African-American and white girls participate in physical activity have been attributed to African-American girls more likely attending schools with few resources and higher poverty rates, impacting material resources (gymnasiums and fields); human resources (coaches) and programs and opportunities to play”
“The ability of families to provide financial support for their daughters to participate in sport does impact the opportunities available for girls, particularly girls of color. In a nationwide survey, 33% of African-American parents reported that their daughter never participated in sport or had to stop because the family could not support them in playing. That compares with 18% of parents of white girls.”
“Urban girls, especially girls of color, often face unique barriers to participation. Many have jobs in order to supplement family incomes, while others take care of siblings at home. In some ethnic groups, parental support for girls’ athletic participation may be lacking.”
The WSF also notes that on a collegiate level, women of color are grossly absent from many sports. One of these sports is softball. If girls of color are absent from softball; a more common and socially accepted sport for girls to play compared to baseball, how do we expect them to be present for girl’s baseball?