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Home Plate Collisions In Baseball and Techniques To Prevent Catcher Injury


“The play at the plate is one of the most exciting and dangerous plays in baseball.  When the base runner, ball and catcher all meet at the same place at the same time, just about anything can happen.”

“It’s a play that has always been a part of the sport, yet occasionally rises up to spark controversy.” 

“More recently, a couple of high-profile incidents have brought controversy to the play, with calls form some corners to either outlaw catchers from blocking the plate, outlaw runners from attempting to flatten said catchers, or both”.

“Marson claims that a catcher can lessen risk of injury by being smart about when he chooses to block the plate, and by being fundamentally sound when he does so.  The keys, Marson says, are to stay low, with your left foot planted at the corner of the plate, pointed directly up the third base line.  If the collision comes at a 90-degree angle, a sliding runner will be stopped cold.  If the throw is coming from right field, Marson says, the catcher should position himself three steps behind the plate – maintaining better peripheral vision of the runner coming in from third bas – and walk into the play.”

See link below for vides of recent catcher – baserunner collision injuries.

As regards General Liability Insurance for baseball teams, the existence of a Player vs. Player exclusion brings into question coverage in the event of a home plate collision resulting in a catcher injury and resulting lawsuit against an aggressive baserunner.  The player vs player exclusion would likely prohibit coverage for an overly aggressive baserunner, but not for other parties who could be vicariously liable for catcher injuries such as a team or coaches.

Source: NBC Sports – MSNBC

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