The Success and The Failures of Lefthanders In Sports
We've talked about how lefthanders fare in some of the most popular sports
Basketball is a sport where the best players are the ones that can shoot or dribble with either hand, and there have been plenty of lefthanded basketball players in the NBA, including Bill Russell, Bob Lanier, Gail Goodrich, Nate Archibald, and many others. While that is enough to show that there are no rules against them, there are no statistics to show if the number of lefthanders is significant, or if there are so few lefthanders that everybody seems to notice them.
While the best players can dribble and shoot with either hand so fluently that you might not be able to tell if they are lefthanded or righthanded, the average players tend to some their preference and only use their opposite hand when forced to. The problem for lefthanders in basketball occurs at an early age, where if they can't make a righthanded layup or dribble well with their right hand, they might never get a chance to show their coach how well they can make a lefthanded layup or dribble with their left hand.
Hockey is a sport with a pre-dominance of left-handed shooting forward and defensemen, but they are not necessarily all lefthanded people. Hockey follows the philosophy of having the stronger hand at the top of the stick, so righthanders would shoot lefthanded while lefthanders would shoot righthanded.
Hockey goalies are also predominantly righthanded, wearing their catching glove on their left hand while controlling their stick with their right hand. There are some lefthanded goalies in the game, catching glove on their right hand while controlling their stick with ther left hand. It use to be very rare to see a "lefthanded goalie" because it was very difficult to find a righthand goalie mitt. Now those gloves are more available, and much easier for a lefthander to find one and play the way that feels natural to to them.
There are sports where people are not allowed to play lefthanded, polo and field hockey.
In Polo, there is a realistic concern for safely, because if a lefthanded polo player and a righthanded polo player were heading towards each other, the horses they were riding would be very likely to collide.
In Field Hockey, the concern is that the back-swing of a lefthanded shot might be hard for players to get out of the way.
More information about how lefthanders fare in other sports coming soon.