2009 Safety Tip
During Baseball season it’s important to keep yourself
safe and healthy, particularly on the field. Below are a few tips to keep
you “in the game” for a few more innings.
- Pitching Too Long or Too Many Innings -- Many injuries occur from
excessive pitching. Most organized baseball leagues have guidelines
about the number of innings that can be pitched, usually based on the
player's age. While there is no concrete guideline for the number of
pitches allowed, a reasonable approach is to count the number of pitches
thrown and use 80 to 100 pitches as a maximum in a game, and 30 to 40
pitches in a practice. Any persistent pain should disqualify a person
from playing until pain subsides.
- Breakaway bases -- Many players get injured while sliding into bases.
Installing breakaway bases on playing fields could significantly lower
the number of these mishaps. A breakaway base is snapped onto grommets
attached to an anchored rubber mat that holds it in place during play.
When a runner slides into the base, it can be dislodged to avoid direct
contact and injury. During normal base running, the breakaway base is
stable and will not detach.
- Protective gear -- Protective equipment is one of the most important
factors in minimizing the risk of injury in baseball. This equipment
must fit properly and be worn correctly.
Wear a batting helmet at the plate, when waiting a turn at bat, and
when running bases. Face masks that are attached to batting helmets
are available in some youth leagues. These devices can help reduce the
risk of a serious facial injury if hit by a ball.
- The catcher must always use a catcher's mitt. If you play another
position, ask your coach about specific size requirements for your mitt.
- Catchers should always wear a helmet, face mask, throat guard, long-model
chest protector, protective supporter, and shin guards when catching
batting practice and during games.
- Most youth leagues prohibit the use of shoes with steel spikes. Instead,
wear molded, cleated baseball shoes.
- Inspect the playing field for holes, glass, rocks, and other debris.
- Stay in condition year-round with some form of regular exercise. Start
with something as simple as brisk walking.
- Someone (a teammate, referee or spectator) should know first aid.
Make sure someone on your team carries first aid equipment, particularly
ice or ice packs.
- Don't go straight from your car onto the field. Arrive early and warm
up with a walk or an easy jog. With sports where there are bursts of
vigorous activity interspersed with inactivity, it's a good idea to
move around or stretch during the idle periods.
- Stretch before the game, but not when your muscles are cold. Warm
up a little first, and then stretch gently. Afterwards, if you have
had a vigorous workout, you can stretch more intensely. Learn stretches
that are appropriate for your sport.
- Drink plenty of water or other fluids such as sports drinks during
and after the game.
- If you start to feel pain, discomfort or fatigue, get your coach to
put in a substitute. Don't overdo it.
to List of Past Safety Tips Disclaimer:
Please refer to statement at top of Past Safety Tips list.