Objective: To estimate injury rates associated with sliding in high school baseball and softball.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Community high school athletic events.
Participants: Ten high school varsity baseball and softball teams over 1 season.
Assessment of Risk Factors: All sliding attempts were recorded during each game and recorded as headfirst, feetfirst, or diveback. Base type, playing surface, and field conditions were also noted.
Main Outcome Measures: Injury exposure rates by game exposures and sliding/diveback exposures.
Results: Data were collected from 153 baseball games and 166 softball games. A greater proportion of slides were associated with injury in softball than in baseball (42.0 and 4.9 per 1000 slides; P < 0.05). Headfirst slides led to more injuries than feetfirst slides in baseball (16.8 vs 0 per 1000 slides; P < 0.05) but not in softball (55 vs 35 per 1000 slides; P = 0.74).
Conclusions: More powerful studies are required to determine whether efforts to prevent baseball sliding injuries at the high school level should focus on better education in sliding technique or changes in equipment. Softball players are vulnerable to injury when wearing inadequate protective sliding apparel.