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High schools reject ban on aluminum bats

Members of the organization that oversees high school sports in the North Coast and East Bay voted down a proposal Monday that would have banned aluminum bats in the upcoming playoffs.

The Marin County Athletic League pushed for the ban in the wake of a horrific injury to one of its players, 16-year-old Gunnar Sandberg, who was hit in the head March 11 by a line drive off a metal bat.

But at today's managers' meeting of the North Coast Section, members turned down the proposal by a margin of 37 to 12.

Gil Lemmon, the organization's commissioner of athletics, said he could not find any evidence in his research of metal bats stating that their use posed any risk greater than using those made of wood.

Asked if today's vote will put players at heightened risk of injury, Lemmon said, "Absolutely not. If I believed there was a safety factor here I would not have been recommending to the board that they vote &‘no' on this proposal."

The Marin County Athletic League banned metal bats through the end of this season.

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, has introduced a bill that would impose a three-year ban on using metal bats. Huffman could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.


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