Batter face guards improve injury statistics
A study of youth baseball Accident Insurance claims from 1994 to 2008 revealed that the batter’s face guard was effective in eliminating a significant percentage of facial injuries. The study consisted of Accident claim data provided by Sadler Sports Insurance on behalf of Dixie Youth Baseball and Dixie Boys Baseball, which was analyzed by the USA Baseball Medical And Safety Advisory Committee.
Batter’s face guards were effective in reducing the number of facial injuries to batters being struck in the face by pitched balls and base runners being stuck in the face by thrown balls. The number of injuries dropped from about three percent in leagues where use of face guards was voluntary to less than half of one percent of all claims in leagues where their use was mandatory.
Even though the reduction in facial injuries was impressive, the USA Baseball Medical And Safety Advisory Committee noted that the batter’s face guard does not need to be required in youth baseball as a result of the overall low risk of facial injuries due to pitched balls. However, the use of the batter’s face guard should be encouraged and does not appear to pose an increased risk of injury to the batter, base runner, or to other players on the field.