All Things in Youth Sports

How Safe is the Sport of Softball?

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A parent caught a collision with the SportXast app on a softball field this weekend between a 2nd base runner and the opposing team’s short stop.

It looks like neither of the girls were any worse for the wear, but it got me wondering what are the risks of playing softball? All sports come with higher risks for certain kinds of injuries.

According the the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the most likely injuries a softball player will experience will be an overuse injury to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand or fingers. Pitching causes the most repetitive injuries. Catchers are susceptible to back and knee injuries.

When it comes to accidents, the parts of the body most likely to be injured:

  • 35% involve an upper extremity;
  • 31% – a lower extremity;
  • 28% – head and neck.

(source: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from U.S. hospital emergency departments through its National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS))

Additional facts regarding softball injuries from NEISS studies:

  • the highest number of injuries clustered in children from 13 to 16 years of age;
  • 39% of injuries were classified as contusions, abrasions, lacerations, or hematomas/hemorrhages;
  • 31% were classified as sprains or strains;
  • 21% were classified as fractures, dislocations, or avulsions;
  • 4% were classified as internal organ injuries; and
  • 4% were classified as concussions.

Where does softball rank compared to other sports when it comes to being injured in their sport? (athletes ages 5-14)

  • 28% of football players will be injured;
  • 25% of baseball players;
  • 22% of soccer players;
  • 15% of basketball players;
  • 12% of softball players.

Overall, the data shows softball is less risky than most other sports, especially if athletes avoid too many throwing and pitching repetitions during training.

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