March 11, 2009
Entry #: 3083091
|Little League Baseball and Softball has implemented certain rules in an effort to make the experience safer for the players, coaches, and all others participating in the organization. As these rules are meant as a means of reducing injuries, local leagues should be diligent in making sure that these rules are followed. The following is a brief discussion on a few of those rules.|
Like other pieces of equipment, helmets cannot be altered in any way. Manufacturers have advised that altering helmets in any way can be dangerous. Altering the helmet in any form, including painting or adding decals (by anyone other than the manufacturer or authorized dealer) may void the helmet warranty. Helmets may not be re-painted and may not contain tape or re-applied decals unless approved in writing by the helmet manufacturer or authorized dealer. What does this mean? It means if an umpire or other league official notices paint or a decal on a helmet, and if a umpire/league official has reason to believe that the manufacturer or authorized dealer did not grant approval (in writing) for the paint or decal to be applied, that helmet should not be used in a game or practice.
On Deck Hitters
For both baseball and softball, Majors and below, the on-deck hitter position has been eliminated. This rule has the specific purpose of taking children, who have a tendency not to pay attention to the game, out of the way of errant throws. Leagues that have a fenced-in on-deck area are also prohibited from using that area as an on-deck area.
Coaches as Catchers
Rule 3.09 states in part “Managers or coaches must not warm up a pitcher at home plate or in the bullpen or elsewhere at any time. They may, however, stand by to observe a pitcher during warm-up in the bullpen.” Coaches are more prone to receiving injuries in this activity than players. Little League takes very seriously its duty to protect all who are part of the program. This includes the adult coach. As such, leagues should require their coaches to allow the players, who want to participate, to warm up the pitcher.
Dangling Throat Protector for Catchers
All catchers’ masks, regardless of type and the length of the mask, must have a dangling throat protector attached. It should be attached in such a way that it sways back and forth freely.
Should a player or coach be injured while participating in the Little League program as a result of a safety rule being ignored, the local league, its officers, and the umpires on the field are subject to litigation. Beyond the threat of being sued, it is simply the right thing to do. Each league should do its part to ensure the safety of its players and volunteers.
If you have any questions about safety rules, or any other rule, please send your questions to me at:
Indiana D5 UIC