Baseball is considered America's national pastime and has recently developed a large
international following. In 1981, there were 4.5 million amateur baseball players in the
United States, but baseball skills are also required in softball, which is the largest
team sport in the country, with 40 million league players. Players of all ages enjoy the
sport, and 52% of the particcipants are under 12 years of age. Many youngsters begin playing
at age 6 or 7 and dream of playing professional baseball as adults.
Baseball is a noncontact sport with minimal protective gear. Therefore it is commonly
considered a safe sport. In fact, the relative incidence of injury in baseball is last
among common competitive sports with 1.6 injuries per 1000 practices/games. Because of the large
number of participants, however baseball ranks second only to football in total number
of injuries and fatalities. Getting to know your body's ability can enable you to prepare properly and get the most out out of every mile while avoiding these
all to common injuries:
The following first aid should be used for almost all athletic injuries: pulled muscles, sprained liagaments or broken bones. These guidelines should NOT be used instead of visting a doctor.
You know your body best. If intuition tells you that something is wrong, see your doctor. If you are in doubt, see your doctor.
Preventive measures to reduce sliding injuries in
baseball include the illegalization of sliding, the use of base running helmets, instruction on
proper sliding technique, improved muscloskeletal conditioning and the use of recessed bases or
break-away bases. Aspects of proper sliding technique include keeping the lead foot or the hand elevated,
starting the slide at the correct distance, maximizing body surface contact area and avoid last minute
hesitations. Preventive measures of catching inuries include hand padding, improved mit design, protective
equipment and instruction on proper catching. Protective equipment is essential to avoid collision
injury from a ball, bat, or base runner. Prevention of field injuries include stretching exercises, good
communication between players to avoid player collisions, and warning tracks around the outfield fence to avoid
wall collisions. Regular stretching may also reduce injuries.
Keys to Proper Warm-up