Foul Territory: Who Suffers the Most Foul Ball Injuries?

Players, coaches, managers, fans, and the media all assert that children are the most at risk of foul ball injuries at baseball games. This is commonsense. We understand that children are more fragile and more easily distracted than adults, thus the risk posed to them will be greater. In past articles, I’ve advocated for special family sections in all Major League Baseball parks; and if MiLB follows suit, all the better. That recommendation has gone ignored by MLB Commissioner Manfred.

The idea of a family area that moves ALL children out of the hot zones for foul balls and errant bats seems like a commonsense no-brainer too. Families with children can be seated in the outfield boxes, still well within reach of their favorite players and even still in range of very long foul balls that gives a person seconds to respond rather than milliseconds.

Children at Higher Risk of Foul Ball Injury?

One of the major premises of the Gail Payne et al. lawsuit against Major League Baseball, and MiLB by extension, is the assumption that children “are at most risk” of injury. Again, the simple fix is to move children to the outfield box seats into a family specific section, or at least ban children in the hot zone areas in each ballpark.

The attorneys in the Payne et al. case assert that “Spectators are also actively misled that these areas of the ballpark are safe”—despite the evidence to the contrary (that the average human reaction time is sufficient and that signs are posted all over warning of the dangers of foul balls and loose bats.

The complaint argues that “Considerable research supports the proposition that children are particularly vulnerable. A child has a slower reaction time,” sit lower in seats that may offer an obstructed view, and are less familiar with the game and more prone to distractions from technology. They further assert that “Children are also at more risk due to their relative head size.” (These all make sense, but again, this is even more reason for family sections in each park.)

Read the rest on

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner –  

About FoulBallzEd

I run I research and write about foul ball information and fan safety issues mainly. There's the occasional piece about the Tigers. Active on Twitter as @FoulBallz.

Posted on March 18, 2016, in foul ball injuries, Foul Balls and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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