Safety is of paramount importance to all members of the Scotch Plains Fanwood Youth Baseball Association, from members of the Board of Directors to Managers and Coaches. The first step in ensuring safety is the Coaches Certification Clinic. All Managers and Coaches are required to attend this three-hour clinic, which focuses on safety and first aid. There are also special clinics to help Managers and Coaches run safe, instructional practices. The league holds these coaching clinics annually, and they are announced to our general membership.
Equipment is also an important part of safety. The Association provides Babe Ruth League approved equipment, including batting helmets, bats, catcher’s gear ( Shin guards, helmet and face mask, chest protector, and catcher’s mitt ), and baseballs. Male players should wear athletic supporters, preferably with plastic cups. Catchers MUST wear plastic cup athletic supporters. If a player wears sports cleats, they MUST be rubber or plastic. Metal cleats are NOT allowed. If a player wears glasses, shatterproof lenses are required, and sports type glasses or goggles are recommended. It is also a good idea to bring a plastic NOT GLASS water bottle to avoid dehydration. All teams have a first-aid kit and a supply of ice packs. The league prohibits the use of “Exotic Alloy or High Performance Bats”. A growing body of statistical evidence shows that these type of bats are involved in a large percentage of injuries due to the hyper-acceleration of a ball when contact is made. Reaction time of infield players is reduced to an unacceptable level.
Players are the most important part of their own safety and that of their teammates and opponents. Each and every player should:
- Warm up and stretch before every practice and game. This will help reduce the risk of muscle injury.
- When practicing and playing games, always pay attention to what is going on around you. Be alert for thrown and batted balls.
- Whenever you have a bat in your hands, be very careful. Take practice swings in the area designated as the on-deck area. Never walk through the on-deck area when other players are taking their practice swings.
- Always wear your helmet when at bat, on base, and back to the bench.
While attending games or practices, parents must pay attention and be alert for thrown or batted balls. Sometimes a foul ball will travel outside the playing area and spectators must be alert.
If you have any suggestions to improve the safety at the games or practices, please contact the Safety Director, Rich Duthie.