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Preventing Pitching Injuries in Youth Baseball

Twelve ways to reduce the risk of baseball pitching injuries from overuse, poor pitching mechanics, and/or poor conditioning.

Many Injuries in Youth Baseball Are Preventable

Many of the injuries suffered by children and teens in youth baseball are preventable if certain precautions are taken, experts say.

Rule Requiring Safety-Release Bases Likely to Reduce Leg Injuries in Youth Baseball

Since 2007, Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball® have mandated the use by all leagues of bases that disengage their anchor (e.g. "safety-release bases"). If your child is playing for another baseball or softball national organization you may want to check with them, as this rule pertains only to Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball®.

Safety-Release Bases In Baseball Are A Must

Regardless of the youth baseball program in which your child participates, make sure it uses breakaway bases. If they don't, do your best to encourage their use, since a large percentage of baseball injuries occur during sliding and can be prevented by use of safety-release bases.

Buying Baseball Gloves

Each player should have his or her own glove and should take the time to find one that is comfortable and fits well. Players, especially younger ones, should choose a smaller rather than larger glove, because a larger glove is more difficult to open and close quickly.

Buying Baseball Bats

Bats must be made completely from either wood or aluminum. Older, more competitive teams/leagues may not permit the use of aluminum but, until recently, this was fairly rare until the players reached the collegiate level.

Buying Baseballs

A regulation ball is 9 inches around and weighs approximately 5 ounces. Many leagues use safety or "RIF" (reduced injury factor) baseballs, at least in T-ball and the lower "minor" leagues. Because safety baseballs are softer than regular youth baseballs, they don't hurt as much when they hit a player.

Youth Baseball Injuries Are Common But Few Require Surgery

Although baseball is not considered a contact sport, players suffer a large number of injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 400,000 children ages 5 through 14 years are injured playing baseball each year. While a recent survey found that 25% of baseball players ages 5 to 14 had been injured playing baseball, a three-year study of high school athletes in ten sports by the National Athletic Trainers Association found that baseball actually had the lowest injury rate of the sports studied.

Dimensions of Boy's and Girl's Lacrosse Fields

There are numerous differences in the layout of girl's and boy's lacrosse fields.

Youth Lacrosse By Position

The positions and rules for boys' and girls' lacrosse are different.

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