Each coach has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of his or her players. Plan your practices and games with safety in mind. Here are few tips to keep in mind:
- Players must stretch before exercising and bring water to drink.
- Remind players in the field to always watch where the ball is and not be 'day-dreaming' and looking elsewhere. Once hit, a player will quickly realize there is nothing SOFT about the softball. By paying attention, players should hopefully escape this pain.
- Base runners and batters must wear protective helmets at all times.
- The player on-deck should be in the on-deck circle with helmet and bat. There should be no other player holding or swinging a bat.
- All players other than those fielding, on base, at bat or on-deck should be seated on the team bench. Discourage wandering over to the other team's bench or sitting in the spectator bleachers.
- Catchers must wear all of their protective gear whenever they are catching. That means not only in a game, but while they are warming up a pitcher on the sidelines.
- Players must be taught not to throw a bat after a hit ball. An umpire will give the player a first warning. After the second instance, the umpire will most likely EJECT the player from the game, for the safety of both the other players and the umpire.
- When warming up, players should face each other in pairs, and each pair should be parallel to all other pairs warming up. This will avoid errant throws from striking other players.
- Players should be taught to slide and NOT to try to run standing up into a catcher or base fielder. Such contact will usually result in the player being called out, regardless if they are safe or not.
- Pitchers should warm up for at least 15 to 20 minutes before entering a game, regardless of the urgency to get them into the game.
- Do not overwork pitchers. Be aware of pitcher complaints of elbow, shoulder or arm soreness. It is not a good practice to have the pitcher throw if experiencing any pain.
- Only coaches are allowed to stand in the base line coaches’ box without a helmet. All players or individuals under the age of 18 must wear a helmet in the baseline coaches’ boxes.
What to do in the event of Player Injury:
Despite our best efforts to promote safety, injuries can and will occur. Normally, the injuries bear watching but are not serious. Each coach should have a first aid kit. If there is not one in your team equipment bag, call the Equipment coordinator.
Injuries to pay particular attention to are head and limb injuries. Any player who sustains head trauma should be taken out of the ball game and sat down. Take nothing for granted! Seriously consider having the parent take the player to an Emergency Room for evaluation. In case of severe injuries, such as head trauma, it is recommended that 911 be called for emergency assistance. Do not move the player. Let trained medical personnel take over.
We follow the guidance provided through the “ASA Blood Rule.” Specifically, any player, coach or umpire who is bleeding or who has blood on their uniform should be prohibited from further participation in a game, until such time as appropriate treatment can be administered. Medical attention should be provided utilizing the medical kit provided to each coach. Use the rubber gloves, gauze, ointment and bandages to clean and stop the bleeding. Once administered, it will be the judgment of the umpire as to when the player may re-enter the game.