By Ken Reed
The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) has called the rise in the number of professional pitchers requiring ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”) an epidemic.
Of the greatest concern is the ASMI’s conclusion that pitchers’ elbows are tied to overuse and fatigue in youth and high school baseball.
“Observations by orthopaedic surgeons support this link, as the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in a pro pitcher usually looks like it has worn out over time,” according to an ASMI position statement for Tommy John injuries in baseball pitchers.
ASMI biomechanist Tony Laughlin believes you can’t examine the rise in UCL injuries at the MLB level without also examining what’s taking place in youth baseball.
“There’s a lot going on in youth baseball, where they’re pitching a lot and pitching year-round, where they’re just riding these ligaments into the ground,” says Laughlin. “We want the focus to be for parents and younger kids to give their arms a rest.”
The ASMI released a “Position Statement for Youth Baseball Pitchers,” which included a list of nine recommendations for preventing injuries in youth baseball pitchers.
“With the rise in elbow and shoulder injuries in youth baseball pitchers, the adult community needs to take steps to prevent these injuries,” according to the ASMI position paper. “Research points to overuse as the principle risk factor. Poor pitching mechanics also contribute to injury risk. Another suggested risk factor is poor physical fitness.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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