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Mister B

Breakaway bases in FED

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My 12 year old was playing fall ball JBO here in Oregon and they use FED rules. On a steal of 3B he slid on the wet turf and his foot got caught. He ended up with a fractured tibia. I know the bases are 2 part bases much like the breakaways that we used in LL, but these have never seemed to come apart. I've kicked them hard to try and shift them into proper alignment and they don't move. 

The question is, with all it's safety rules, does FED require breakaway bases? From what I read, it allows for breakaway, but says nothing about requiring. 

I'm not looking to sue, I just figured that everyone seems to pay for insurance, and we have a fairly high deductible, so any little bit to help cover our costs would be great. As I don't think this is going to be cheap. But I also thought that FED would require breakaway bases. 

Note: the breakaway bases used in this last LL WS were horrible. A strong breeze would have moved those. 

Thanks. 

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Safety rules for high school play allow (but are not required in rule 1-2-9) breakaway bases at first, second and third, and a “safe-base” at first. The breakaway bases are knocked free on a hard slide, in the interests of preventing injury. But I don’t think it is the rules you should be investigating. There is at least one scientific investigation into the efficacy of breakaway bases. Here is the abstract from one conducted by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2001.

Abstract

More than 40 million individuals participate in organized baseball and softball leagues in the United States every year. Unfortunately, it has also been estimated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that softball and baseball are the two main sports leading to emergency-room visits in the United States. A previous field study has determined that the utilization of breakaway bases has the potential of preventing 96% of sliding injuries, thereby preventing 1.7 million injuries a year in the United States with a savings of $2 billion a year in health care costs. It is the purpose of this study to analyze and compare the potential attenuating capabilities of various types of bases. We found the force at the ankle upon impact when compared to the standard base revealed all breakaway bases reduced the force of impact to a statistically significant level. The force at the foot upon impact when compared to the standard base revealed all breakaway bases reduced the force at variable levels, with the Rogers bases having the only statistically significant reduction. However, the force delivered to the tibia/fibula was increased with the Stay Down and Mag-Net large bases as compared to the standard stationary base. The moments of inversion/eversion and dorsiflexion/plantar flexion upon impact, when compared to the standard base, revealed all safety bases were reduced to a statistically significant level. We conclude breakaway bases reduce the force of impact and moments to a statistically significant level and confirm previous field studies. Though there is a difference among the breakaway bases themselves, they should be used on all fields.

 

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You could, as @Senor Azul shows, argue that they *should*. However, not only are they not required, but to the best of my knowledge, I've never been on a field that uses them.

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Mister B, another avenue you might pursue is to talk with manufacturers of breakaway bases. They have conducted or had conducted for them lots of tests. For example, the bases you mentioned used during the LLWS were made by a company called Rogers Break Away Base located in San Ramon, CA. From their website--

Rogers® Break Away Base® is the official baseball and softball base for Little League Baseball International and other large youth baseball organizations. High quality rubber bases with patented design provides safety, longevity and durability to endure years of use. 

 

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And being local, I can vouch for the fact that I have never been on an Oregon high school field that uses break away bases.

I'm sorry to hear about your son.  Ut you wont get any help from the rules for either Oregon or NFHS as a whole.

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@Mister B, did he get his foot stuck on the turf itself or the in ground part of the base? I ask because you might get some satisfaction from the school if the field was in poor shape? Mind you, this is a guess on my part. And in no way to I have any clue about the legal system.

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The problem, in my experience, is the facility, not the rule.  At least when the facility isn't a dedicated single use facility - ie. field only hosts one configuration.  The rule set would just dictate what facility you could use.   And until all rule sets in all bat sports, at all ages, conform, the facilities won't change - and in many cases they can't.

Over the years I have played in many facilities that use break away bases for second and third (sometimes first, but less common).  They entail the magnetic plate inserted in the ground, the base sits on top.

This, in turn, limits the facility, generally, to one division of baseball or softball (fastpitch offers more flexibility as the bases are 60' from 12U to adult - you just need to move the rubber - but slow pitch is often 65 feet - and it's very common to see slow and fast pitch facilities shared).  Many facilities want to accommodate multiple age levels, or even both softball and baseball, in some cases.

So, "should" they use the breakaways?  Probably.  But it would be limiting and impractical.   Once you get into community baseball and softball associations - often times you have schoolyard or community diamonds, where the home team brings the bases with them - that can very rarely, if ever, be breakaway bases, until technology improves, or gets cheaper.   This may reduce your insurance, but your fees will go up in other ways, as the facilities that can accommodate breakaway bases will be in higher demand, and cost more.     Or, worse, may impact the operability of community level ball.

Or you just put the traditional "nail in" bags on the dirt with no nail, which offers its own set of danger.

I've also seen people injure themselves on the plate under the breakaway bag.  And I've seen injuries occur when breakaway bags move too easily.  But, yes, typically, the breakaway base is the far better option.

And any facility that uses the permanent staked MLB type bags has no (defensible) excuse to not use breakaways.

 

 

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6 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

@Mister B, did he get his foot stuck on the turf itself or the in ground part of the base? I ask because you might get some satisfaction from the school if the field was in poor shape? Mind you, this is a guess on my part. And in no way to I have any clue about the legal system.

Field is in great shape, the turf was wet and he was wearing trainers as he just got done pitching. His foot slid on the wet turf and then got jammed into the base. He was playing at Harmony Park. 

Not looking for help from the rules, just clarification.

Our LL uses the Schutt Hollywood breakaways and those seem to work the best. 

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18 minutes ago, Mister B said:

Field is in great shape, the turf was wet and he was wearing trainers as he just got done pitching. His foot slid on the wet turf and then got jammed into the base. He was playing at Harmony Park. 

Not looking for help from the rules, just clarification.

Our LL uses the Schutt Hollywood breakaways and those seem to work the best. 

If you want clarification get a lawyer and sue somebody, the umps that started the game on a wet field, the coaches that started the game on a wet field, the parents that saw a game being played on a wet field. Or all of the above that allowed it to be played with MLB bases. But if you have an opinion about Shutt being best, what is your rational behind that opinion?  But with fixed bases there is one certain danger, head first slides that injure a digit.  Should you make a rule to make pop up slide attempts illegal with break away bases?

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First, I'm not looking to sue anyone, the game started and it was dry. We are in the Pacific Northwest, so rain happens and it started misting. This does reinforce my preference for natural fields.

 I have a note into the league and organizer regarding supplemental insurance. I know LL covers some on field injuries so I thought I'd check. 

The break away base question is just me wondering why they wouldn't be required in FED, where safety is supposedly a priority. It's like the guys who ride motorcycles with a really nice helmet while wearing only shorts and flipflops. Especially after reading that research. Plus, the bases on the field were 2 part bases, so just me being curious. 

As for the Schutt, I don't know if they are the best of all, but they were the best of the 3 that we tried. And after watching the LLWS, I think they work better than the Rogers (AD Starr) The Schutt had some tooth, so they didn't pop off any time somebody slid, but if you hit it hard the top part did release. Haven't tried the magnetic bases, I'd be curious as to how well those work. 

 

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On 10/12/2018 at 1:19 PM, beerguy55 said:

The problem, in my experience, is the facility, not the rule.  At least when the facility isn't a dedicated single use facility - ie. field only hosts one configuration.  The rule set would just dictate what facility you could use.   And until all rule sets in all bat sports, at all ages, conform, the facilities won't change - and in many cases they can't.

Over the years I have played in many facilities that use break away bases for second and third (sometimes first, but less common).  They entail the magnetic plate inserted in the ground, the base sits on top.

This, in turn, limits the facility, generally, to one division of baseball or softball (fastpitch offers more flexibility as the bases are 60' from 12U to adult - you just need to move the rubber - but slow pitch is often 65 feet - and it's very common to see slow and fast pitch facilities shared).  Many facilities want to accommodate multiple age levels, or even both softball and baseball, in some cases.

So, "should" they use the breakaways?  Probably.  But it would be limiting and impractical.   Once you get into community baseball and softball associations - often times you have schoolyard or community diamonds, where the home team brings the bases with them - that can very rarely, if ever, be breakaway bases, until technology improves, or gets cheaper.   This may reduce your insurance, but your fees will go up in other ways, as the facilities that can accommodate breakaway bases will be in higher demand, and cost more.     Or, worse, may impact the operability of community level ball.

Or you just put the traditional "nail in" bags on the dirt with no nail, which offers its own set of danger.

I've also seen people injure themselves on the plate under the breakaway bag.  And I've seen injuries occur when breakaway bags move too easily.  But, yes, typically, the breakaway base is the far better option.

And any facility that uses the permanent staked MLB type bags has no (defensible) excuse to not use breakaways.

 

 

Last year, the anchor we use for our 50/70 bases broke, and so I replaced it. Multiple usages are not that difficult. Our LL field was cut for both 40/60 and 50/70. The top of the metal anchors were set about an inch below the clay. We used the mushroom plugs in the anchors that weren't being used. The Schutt's have a metal post that drops into the anchor. On top of that is a pad that has many rubber fingers pointing up, with a slope going up. The base drops on top of that. The fingers provide some resistance, but the base will release if hit hard enough from the side. 

The anchors are the same used for the "permanent" bases. And the costs between the breakaway and permanent aren't that prohibitive. $150 more for a set of 3 breakaways. Most people spent more than 3 times that on a bat. 

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