Study looks at metal baseball bat safety

October 19, 2007

Baseball players who use alloy bats are no more likely to be injured than those using wooden bats, a study in Illinois found.

The study, commissioned by the Illinois High School Association, tracked 32 high school teams in more than 400 games and 9,000 at-bats. It found five injuries involving metal bats, compared with one injury from wood bats, The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

Critics say some metal bats can increase the speed of a batted ball by 20 mph, which is especially dangerous for younger players who have a harder time responding to the faster speed, the newspaper said.

A state lawmaker from Chicago has introduced a bill that would bar the use of metal bats for games involving children under 13. Metal bats have been banned from high school games in New York and in North Dakota.

The IHSA study found that metal bats are more durable. One high school coach said a player could need as many as six wooden bats in a year at a cost of $50 each.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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