Softball Injury Prevention

Softball Injury PreventionOver 150,000 injuries occur in baseball and softball per year. Over 50% of the injuries are due to overuse. These statistics are on the rise often resulting in devastating injuries to young athletes. Many athletes focus too much attention on repetitive throwing to improve skills, sacrificing the fundamental strengthening and stretching to condition the body for throwing activities.

Injuries in young athletes are on the rise, but elbow and shoulder injuries in children are on the verge of becoming an epidemic. Thousands of children are seen each year complaining of elbow or shoulder pain. Damage or tear to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the most common injury suffered and is often caused by pitchers throwing too much. This ligament is the main stabilizer of the elbow for the motions of pitching.

Softball Injury Prevention Tips



  • Common injuries in softball include leg, foot, back, and shoulder injuries.
  • A history of prior injury to an extremity indicates an increased risk of re-injury.
  • The position played during softball influences the risk of injury.  Pitchers suffer more shoulder injuries.  Catchers may have a greater number of back and knee injuries due to the amount of time spent in the crouched position.  Injuries to the hand are closely associated with the act of catching and is frequently associated with an inability to accurately judge the flight of the ball and to catch the ball within the gloved hand.


  • Remember to participate in a total body warm-up and stretch routine at least 5 – 10 minutes prior to participation in softball activities.


  • Rubber molded cleats and the use of  baseball hats when batting are equipment items that are mandated during military softball participation.
  • Breakaway bases a.k.a. progressive-release bases rather than the use of anchored bases substantially decreases the risk of softball injury when sliding.
  • Jewelry, i.e., rings, necklaces, etc. are not recommended during softball activity participation.
  • Clothing attire that contain pockets are not recommended due to the risk of fingers getting caught in the piece of clothing.


  • Pre-participation education from trained coaching staff or from MWR Athletic Department staff is important for softball injury prevention measures.  Many softball injuries can be prevented through proper coaching techniques: improving the pitching and throwing techniques, instruction in proper sliding and fielding techniques, instruction in avoiding pitched balls while batting, and the proper use of safety equipment.
  • NOTE:  Many MWR Facilities provide safety/injury prevention information to coaches, players, and officials regarding preparation, conditioning, and training proper playing techniques.
  • The more contact the player incurs with other players, (such as sliding, collisions with other players, etc), the higher the risk of injury.


  • Be aware of the environment around you.  Check the playing fields for any predisposing risk factors such as divots, holes, soft drink tops, glass, etc. Fences should be a reasonable distance from fair territory, in good repair, and contain no exposed edges.
  • Alcohol consumption should be discouraged during participation in any sporting activity.
  • Liquid and nutrition replenishment is recommended to decrease exposure-related illness.
  • The size of the field should be proportional to the size of the players.
  • A screened – in dugout or similar enclosures will assist in prevention of injury to offensive players and the non-playing members of the defensive team.

Softball Injury Prevention Conclusion

Softball injuries in young athletes are on the rise and nearly as frequent as baseball injuries, but they generally result in less time lost to competition. These injuries most commonly involve the back, shoulder, forearm, wrist, and hand. Following these tips will help in Softball Injury Prevention.