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Baseball and Softball Sliding Injuries: Incidence and Correlates During One High School League Varsity Season

Stovak, Mark MD*; Parikh, Amit DO; Harvey, Anne T. PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: November 2012 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - p 501–504
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3182580d05
Brief Report

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.

*University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Sports Medicine Fellowship at Via Christi, Wichita, Kansas

Houston Center for Family Practice and Sports Medicine, Cypress, Texas

Via Christi Research, Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc, Wichita, Kansas.

Corresponding Author: Mark Stovak MD, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Sports Medicine Fellowship at Via Christi, 707 N Emporia, Wichita, KS 67214 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received March 8, 2011

Accepted March 28, 2012

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.