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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Rules Regs & Policies > Disengage-Able Base Rule

Disengage-Able Base Rule

Local Little Leagues have until the 2008 season to install disengage-able bases for all levels of play, if they have not already done so.

So now is the best time to get this important project done!

The new rule appeared in the 2006 baseball and softball rule books of Little League:

Rule 1.06

Beginning with the 2008 season, it will become mandatory that all leagues utilize bases that disengage their anchor. Leagues are encouraged to begin the process of implementing these types of base systems during the current season on all their fields so that the process is completed by the 2008 season.

The new rule applies to first, second and third base.

The following is a list companies that manufacture disengage-able bases. Although there may be others, these particular companies are licensed by Little League International:

Rogers Sports Group
130 Market Place #287
San Ramon, CA 94583
P: 800.829.7311
http://www.rogersbreakawaybase.com

  • Rogers Breakaway Base System
  • Pitching Plates
  • Home Plates
  • Infield Maintenance Items

Schutt Sports
1200 East Union Avenue
Litchfield, IL 62056
P: 866.472.4888
F: 217.324.2855
http://www.schuttsports.com

  • Kwik Release Base System

Soft Touch Bases
P.O. Box 233
Waukesha, WI 53187
P: 866.544.2077
F: 262.544.2080
http://www.softtouchbases.com

  • LY1400 Soft Touch Bases
  • LSC1400 Soft Touch Convertible
  • LS1400 Soft Touch Original

Sport Supply Group
1901 Diplomat Drive
Farmers Branch, TX 75234
P: 800.774.6972
F: 972.247.0650
http://ww/sportssupplygroup.com

  • Magnetic Base Model:
  • BBMACMEG-MacGregor Magnetic Super Base

 

The traditional stationary base consists of two major parts:

  • A metal post sunk into the ground and fixed in concrete
  • A pillow base bolted to a metal pole that fits into the pole in the ground, making it a rigid, unmoving object for the runner to slide into.

Since it takes 3,500 foot pounds of force to dislodge a stationary base, a runner who slides into a traditional base can be hurt quite seriously. It is time for local Little Leagues to get rid of these, and replace them with a disengage-able base system.

Here's the best news about complying with the new rule: In most cases, a disengage-able base system can be used in conjunction with the anchor already being used by many local leagues.

A disengage-able base often consists of three major parts:

  • A metal post sunk into the ground and fixed in concrete (just like a traditional system)
  • A rubber mat, bolted to a pole that is inserted into the ground (into the existing post, in most cases)
  • A separate pillow that fits onto the rubber mat

When a runner slides into a disengage-able base, the pillow has the ability to release from the mat and move with the motion of the runner. But when the disengage-able base is stepped on by a runner crossing the base, or by a fielder, it will stay in place.

A five year study conducted from 2000 to 2004 showed that 55 percent of injuries to runners occur while sliding into base, and 47 percent of all injuries to runners result in fractures.

In his book, "The Awakening Surgeon," Dr. David Janda discusses a two-year study he conducted comparing injuries sustained on fields using traditional stationary bases versus fields with disengage-able bases. In the study, 637 games were played on the disengage-able–base field and 635 on the stationary-base field. By the end of the study, 45 players sustained injuries on the stationary-base field while only two were injured on the fields with disengage-able bases.

The study concluded that, although the disengage-able bases did not prevent all sliding injuries, they can reduce the number of these injuries.

Installing disengage-able bases on your league's field is a great way to help make Little League Baseball and Softball safer for the children who participate.

For information on manufacturers of disengage-able bases, please visit - Approved Bases & Plates

Rules-BreakawayBase1-300px.jpg

Photo No. 1 shows the buried metal post that is standard on many baseball and softball fields. With the traditional system, the base (with post attached) is inserted into the post shown. However, that does not allow the base to "give" when a player slides into it with excessive force. That's because the post is unmovable, and usually is anchored in concrete. The good news is, installing a disengage-able base in this situation is simple, and requires no digging.

Rules-BreakawayBase2-300px.jpg

Photo No. 2 shows the standard metal post in the ground, plus the other two elements of a disengage-able base. At left is the "pillow" portion of the base. Next to that is the pad, with attached pole, that fits into the existing post in the ground.

Rules-BreakawayBase3-300px.jpg

Photo No. 3 shows the pad, placed over the metal post. The post attached to the bottom of the pad fits into the existing metal post in the ground. The pad is flush with the ground, which allows a following runner to be able to tag the "base" when the pillow becomes dislodged by a preceding runner. The pad includes bumps and ridges that hold the "pillow" in place when a runner or fielder tags the base.

Rules-BreakawayBase4-300px.jpg

Photo No. 4 shows the "pillow" in place over the pad.