June is National Safety Month. As such, this is a great opportunity to review safety procedures for one of the United States’ most popular pastimes: baseball.
For youth and adult players alike, safety is always a priority. Everyone knows the importance of wearing a protective helmet at bat, and wearing a mitt when catching the ball. But did you know that even the bases should have safety features in place?
Think about it, if a player is sliding home with an outstretched leg, coming into contact with a stationary object (a bolted-in base) could cause serious injury. The ankle may twist and sprain if it makes contact at the wrong angle.
On the contrary, a base that releases under these conditions can prevent this type of injury. The base will only “release” when enough pressure is applied, however, such as the case with our enthusiastic player sliding into home. For regular base-running, it will stay put.
The basic design involves a flexible polyurethane base that snaps onto a main anchor unit or mat. The flexible material itself provides some give, but when the force of the slide is a bit too strong, the base pops off its mounting.
Numerous studies have been conducted that show a substantial reduction in injuries when releasing-type bases are used instead of the traditional kind.