Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

June 4, 2007 — Inside the Journal of Athletic Training, part 1: Baseball

Over the next two weeks, we’re going to take a critical look at the results of studies published in most recent issue of the Journal of Athletic Training regarding the injury rate of 15 NCAA sports over the past decade and a half.

Field hockey, as has been reported previously in this blog, is a sport regarded by the JAT as so incredibly hazardous that the study directors have recommended helmets and gloves for its players. The text does not go into the role of unattended grass or improper tackling in its narrative.

We’re going to take you through a journey through the other 14 studies to show whether any of them propose similar radical changes, even in athletic endeavors resulting in serious injury or even death.

Our first digest will look the JAT’s study into America’s national pastime.


Main findings: A quarter of all baseball injuries result in the loss of participation for 10 days or more (compare that to 13 percent for field hockey). The rate of injury is three times higher in practice than in games. One out of 10 injuries occurred with a batted ball.

Recommendations: Proper preseason training, study of batted-ball injuries, and “support” of the use of breakaway bases often used in recreational softball and in Little League.

What the study authors missed: The shoulder was the single most injured part of the body; 10 percent of practice injuries and 25 percent of long-term injuries (loss of 10 or more days). For much of the study period, the split-finger fastball was being taught to younger and younger players. Improper technique has resulted in torn rotator cuffs and other serious problems.

What the study authors underreported: The role of the aluminum bat on injuries to fielders. The authors cite the incredibly low reporting rate of 12.1 percent, a fact which should torpedo this entire exercise. The data report no deaths, even though there have been players killed in the game of baseball in data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The JAT requests “further study,” even though some high school governing bodies have already instituted outright bans on aluminum bats.

Equipment recommendations made: Breakaway bases.

Equipment recommendations not made: Banning the wooden bat, instituion of foam vests, the “soft” baseball, mandating face masks on batting helmets.

1 Comment»

  Sept. 28, 2011 — A needed service « wrote @

[…] since, the April 15th announcement mandating eyewear in scholastic field hockey, there have been questions about the science and medical evidence behind the […]

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