A couple of real life examples that I have witnessed first hand. A few years back when my daughters softball team was just a 10 year old team, we had the opportunity to play a High School Junior Varsity team.
During that game, one of our 10 year old girls hit a line shot back at the pitcher. The pitcher was just able to move her head enough that the ball glanced off the side of her head just above her ear.
She immediately fell to the ground and everyone rushed the field to see about her. Fortunately the ball had glanced off of her rather than a straight on blunt impact. She only suffered from a rather severe abrasion on her head, a swollen ear, and a pretty good size knot on her head. Understand that I’m talking about a fairly athletic 14 year old girl only had the chance to react and turn her head about 45 degrees to avoid a ball hit by a 10 year old girl.
Just this season I was watching a fastpitch softball game of 12 year old girls. I was sitting by the father of the 3rd baseman and we were discussing how scary it is that coach’s have the 3rd baseman play so close to home plate. Many 3rd baseman now play about 20 feet inside 3rd base and even closer when the coach thinks the other team is going to bunt. Later that same inning, a batter ripped a line drive about 18 inches directly over his daughter’s head. She didn’t even have time to flinch. Honestly, it was so sudden she didn’t have time to duck or move her hands for protection. The dad, relieved that his daughter was okay, said, “That’s it. I’m online tonight and will buy a protective face mask. She won’t play 3rd base again without one.”