International Left Handers Day

Aug 7th 2018

Attention, lefties. It’s your day to be honored for all of your sacrifices. You’ve lived with ink all over the side of your hand from writing, knocked elbows with the right-hander next to you at the dinner table, and dug deep to find that one leftie glove in the P.E. bin. On August 13, you’ll get your due as the world celebrates Left Handers Day.

(Pixabay / Michael Gaida)

Lefties are unique in a right-handed world; it’s estimated that just 10 percent of the population uses their left hand instead of their right. In this slim minority, lefties are forced to deal with a glut of daily-use products that were designed with right-handers in mind. These include three-ring binders, scissors, ball point pens, signature pads, digital clocks, playing cards, and zippers.

It was the Left Handers Club (yes, there is such a thing) that declared the first version of the international observance back in 1992. It lives on every August 13 with a host of activities across the globe designed to raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed.

In athletics, a player’s dominant hand can vary in importance, depending on the sport. In baseball, lineups are built based on players’ handedness. Research shows that left-handed players of table tennis, cricket, and other sports demanding quickness are at a distinct advantage. This may be because their right-handed opponents find their moves unfamiliar and can’t react to them as fast. Lefties don’t seem to possess more prowess on the basketball court on the merits of their handedness only, but few can argue with their aesthetics. After all, what’s more alluring than watching a beautiful, left-handed jump shot?

Here’s a quick look at some unforgettable left-handed basketball players:

  • Bill Russell. During his 13 years playing center for the Boston Celtics, the team won 11 NBA championships. Russell was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player. He was lauded for his left-handed hook.
  • David Robinson. A 10-time NBA All-Star and NBA MVP, Robinson’s PER (player efficiency rating) led the NBA three times. His left-handedness was clearly not a hindrance.
  • Isaiah Thomas. Thomas is unique in a couple ways. Not only is he left-handed, but he is also a mere 5’9” Neither of these factors stopped him from being an NBA All-Star (2016 and 2017). He currently plays for the Denver Nuggets.
  • Joe Ingles. We’ve saved our favorite for last: our very own forward from Australia. Ingles has been called our “secret weapon” and “silent assassin” and one of the top 10 small forwards in the NBA.

If you favor your right hand, hug a leftie on August 13. If you’re left-handed, pat yourself on the back for holding your own in a right-handed world just like Ingles and other basketball greats do.