Ohio District 3: ASAP PROGRAM

SAFTEY AND YOU

SAFTEY BEHIND THE PLATE

 



Tuesday, March 1
ASAP
 

     

 

Dear League Presidents, Local League Officials and District Administrators:

 

Little League's A Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) creates an opportunity to provide the children and adults in your league with a safer place to play.

 

With choice comes responsibility and accountability. The committed efforts of Little League volunteers throughout the world have produced extraordinary results in the area of safety and injury prevention.

 

In 2010, 86 percent of all Little Leagues voluntarily operated a safety plan. By this time of the year, your league should have developed and submitted its plan for 2011. If you have not done so, Little League International strongly encourages you do so immediately.

 

More information on ASAP is available here:

http://www.littleleague.org/learn/programs/asap/SafetyRequirementsExplained.htm

http://www.littleleague.org/Assets/forms_pubs/asap/RegistrationForm_SafetyProgram_2011.pdf

http://www.littleleague.org/Assets/forms_pubs/asap/ASAP-BasicPlanSample-2011.pdf

http://www.littleleague.org/Assets/forms_pubs/asap/Section3+_Commonsense-Safety_2011.pdf

 

Remember, if a local league does not submit an ASAP plan that is approved by Little League International, and an injury occurs to one of your league's players or volunteers, subsequent legal proceedings may require your league to explain why no formal safety plan was implemented.

 

For help, or answers on how to organize a safety plan, contact Jim Ferguson, Little League International's Assistant Director of Risk Management, at: 570-326-1921, ext. 212; or e-mail: jferguson@LittleLeague.org.

 

Sincerely,

Little League International
P.O. Box
3485
539 US Route 15 Hwy
Williamsport, PA  17701-0485

Phone: 570-326-1921

Fax: 570-326-1074

 

 

 
 
  
  
100% GREAT JOB
State District League Name Last Year's
Results (2010)
2011 Safety Plan Status
Date Received Status Reasons 
(If Not Approved)

OH

03

AVON LL

APPROVED

1/31/2011

APPROVED

-

OH

03

BARBERTON AMERICAN LL

NOT APPROVED

2/28/2011

APPROVED

-

OH

03

CUYAHOGA FALLS NORTH LL

APPROVED

12/23/2010

APPROVED

-

OH

03

CUYAHOGA FALLS SOUTH LL

APPROVED

12/30/2010

APPROVED

-

OH

03

ELYRIA EAST LL x#

APPROVED

1/24/2011

APPROVED

-

OH

03

ELYRIA NORTH LL

APPROVED

12/15/2010

APPROVED

-

OH

03

ELYRIA WEST LL

APPROVED

12/27/2010

APPROVED

-

OH

03

GREEN LL

APPROVED

1/7/2011

APPROVED

-

OH

03

HUDSON LL

APPROVED

12/7/2010

APPROVED

-

OH

03

TALLMADGE LL

APPROVED

2/15/2011

APPROVED

-

OH

03

VIC JANOWICZ LL

APPROVED

1/24/2011

APPROVED

-

OH

03

WEST AKRON LL

APPROVED

2/15/2011

APPROVED

-



PITCHERS SAFETY

Easton-Bell hopes 'The Dome' will prevent sudden injuries

By Daniel Brown - San Jose Mercury News

 

 

Gunnar Sandberg, a pitcher for Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield,... (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

SCOTTS VALLEY - As he slipped on the helmet that could some day be standard equipment for youth baseball leagues, Gunnar Sandberg had a message for those who thought it looked uncool.

"Wouldn't you rather wear this than be in the hospital for two months?"

Sandberg, who recently returned to the diamond for Marin Catholic High School, nearly died from a line drive off his skull a year ago.

Monday, a representative from the Easton-Bell sporting goods company gave him an early anniversary present: the prototype of a "pitchers helmet" inspired by Sandberg's near fatal accident.

Armed with an increasing body of alarming medical research on the scope of brain injuries, the sports world aggressively has begun to confront the issue of improved safety equipment for the head - whether it's for NFL players or youth sports athletes. The goal not only is to prevent sudden injuries, like the one Sandberg suffered, but also limit unseen brain trauma that might not become apparent for decades.

That's why Monday's presentation of a new helmet innovation was attended by the national president of Little League Baseball as well as the executive director of CIF, the governing body for California's high school sports.

Standing in the lobby of the Easton-Bell technology center in Scotts Valley, Sandberg and his parents demonstrated how the so-called "pitchers helmet" works.

It's essentially a padded band that slips comfortably over a baseball cap. The prototype weighs about 5½ ounces and has the look and feel of a bicycle helmet with the top cut off.

The helmet is designed to protect the pitcher from line drives that come screaming back from the batter's box. (Sandberg said the ball that nearly ended his life was traveling 130 mph.)

During the creation of the pitchers helmet, designers at Easton-Bell's helmet technology center - known in-house as "The Dome" - studied film of more than 5,000 pitchers from delivery to follow-through with an eye toward which parts of the head were most vulnerable to injury.

The challenge was to create something that did not impede performance or weigh down a pitcher toiling under the summer sun. There is more work to be done. Paul Harrington, Easton-Bell's chief executive officer, said he hopes the pitchers' helmet will hit shelves this fall at a price to be determined.

SAVING LIVES

Among those tracking its development is Stephen Keener, the president and chief executive officer for Little League Baseball. Keener said the helmet will be considered for mandatory use in Little League depending on the results of future field tests. Noting that his own son is now a college pitcher, he said "I hold my breath when he's out there on the mound."

"What we're talking about is saving kids' lives," Keener said. "These injuries are rare. When they do happen, they are very traumatic, catastrophic."

Marie Ishida, the executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation, said she envisions the day pitchers helmets are mandatory equipment in high school baseball.

She pointed toward the new standards for composite metal bats, which have been tamed to perform more like wooden bats. The Marin County Athletic League, in which Sandberg plays, has taken it a step further by mandating the use of wooden bats.

And now, there's a pitchers helmet to add to the equation. In touting the new product Monday, several executives in suits took turns at the podium. But they couldn't make the case any better than the shy 17-year-old who spent less than 30 seconds behind the microphone.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," Sandberg said.

BACK IN PLAY

During a scrimmage against De La Salle a year ago, Sandberg delivered a pitch that was blasted right back up the middle. The ball struck Sandberg just above the right ear. His mother, Lisa, said a blow to the temple would have been fatal.

As it was, Sandberg spent two weeks in a medically induced coma. Doctors removed part of his skull to relieve the swelling in his brain. He is back on the field, serving as a designated hitter and first baseman during his senior season at Marin Catholic, but effects of the injury remain.

Sandberg is still dealing with short-term memory loss. School work is more of a challenge.

His saga inspired the designers at Easton-Bell.

"It kind of galvanized the entire group to come up with a better solution," Harrington, the CEO.

Designers at The Dome had kicked around the idea of a pitchers helmet before, but reasoned that while close calls were plentiful actual injuries were rare.

That changed after Sandberg's accident.

"One injury's too many," Harrington said. "For Gunnar to be here today, standing here trying this on, is truly an inspirational story."

In the Scotts Valley center, the pitchers helmet suddenly became a priority project. The 55,000-square-foot facility represents Easton-Bell's helmet research headquarters for eight sports, including football, hockey and cycling. (Their display case features the helmet Lance Armstrong wore at his last Tour de France.)

For the pitchers protection, designers eventually came up with a product made of expanded polystyrene polycarbonate and secured in the back with an elastic strap.

Keener, the Little League president, said he hoped that someday the helmet will be so widespread that grabbing them before heading to the mound will be as automatic as reaching for the cap and glove.

Bjorn Sandberg hopes so. He said Gunner has been playing baseball since he was 10 and recalled the countless times a parent would exhale after a wicked line drive and say, "Thank god that didn't hit somebody.

"At the same time, I buried my head in the sand like everyone else," Bjorn Sandberg said. "But no more - not after what we went through this year.

"It doesn't need to happen anymore."

Not everyone agrees that helmets for pitchers are the way to go. Bob Kittle, the baseball coach at Cabrillo College in Aptos, wrote in an e-mail to the Sentinel" "I think this is overkill. Pitchers do not need to wear helmets, especially with the new regulations of the bats which measure exit speed."

Kittle said he sympathizes with injuries that result from the game, but believes there are inherent risks in playing any sport.

"In today's society, people seem to overreact to serious and really infrequent injuries. I have been coaching and our playing for 27 years (over 2,000 games) and I have never seen a pitcher get hit in the head."

Sentinel staff writer Jondi Gumz contributed to this report