In a previous retrospective study, base sliding was found to be responsible for 71% of recreational softball injuries. As most injuries occurred following rapid deceleration impact against stationary bases, quick-release (breakaway) bases were evaluated as a means to modify this mechanism of injury. Six hundred thirty-three softball games were played on breakaway-base fields and 627 games were played on stationary-base fields. Forty-five sliding injuries (7%) occurred on the stationary-base diamonds and only two sliding injuries (<1%) occurred on the breakaway-base fields. Implementing the use of breakaway bases in recreational softball leagues could potentially achieve a significant, cost-effective reduction of injuries.
David H. Janda, Edward M. Wojtys, Fred M. Hankin, Milbry E. Benedict. Softball Sliding InjuriesA Prospective Study Comparing Standard and Modified Bases. JAMA. 1988;259(12):1848–1850. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720120052035