John Smoltz Speaks Out Against Radar Guns

baseball-hall-of-fameFormer Braves pitcher and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, John Smoltz, has begun speaking out publicly as part of his personal crusade against the use of radar guns in youth sports.

Smoltz, one of the most influential voices in baseball, spoke at the Youth Sports Health Symposium to shine a spotlight on the use of radar guns and the growing number of ‘Tommy John’ surgeries.

Having had Tommy John surgery himself in 2000, Smoltz identifies how dangerous and stressful throwing at full force can be for the body.

He believes that radar guns encourage young players to throw with maximum force before their bodies are fully developed.

“I never saw a radar gun until I was in high school. Now these kids are all throwing with max effort, and they’re getting hurt at younger ages than ever,” said Smotlz.

Smotlz is not alone in believing radar guns should be eliminated from youth tournaments. Statistics and science are supporting his claim.

More and more young athletes are now pitching year-round, without a period to recover, and as a result overuse injuries have increased ten-fold since 2010.

Smotlz has made it a personal mission to speak out on the topic to bring awareness and spark a discussion.

“I would ask every organization to put it away, quit using it for social media, quit using it for guidelines for kids to see how hard they throw. To me, if you abolish the radar gun and only let the true scouts dictate what that is, I think you do the sport a service for the young kids who are trying to throw as hard as they can. I think that would help.”

Do you agree with Smoltz – should we eliminate the use of radar guns during youth tournaments? Let us know in the comments section below.

The ABCA Convention Was A Home Run Way To Start 2016!

abca-2016Demosphere kicked off the New Year at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in Nashville, TN!

Account Representatives Spenser Anne Edwards and Madeline Horner joined more than 5,600 coaches for four days of non-stop baseball.

The ABCA show not only gathers coaches from around the nation, it also showcases more than 320 companies – each displaying their unique state-of-the-art equipment and products.

The convention presented an opportunity to spread the word about Demosphere’s RosterPro® Registration System and updated WebWriter® Content Management platform.

For information about future trade show appearances, visit the Demosphere On The Go page or send an email to extratime@blog.demosphere.com to request us at a convention near you!

Prepare For Your Little League Season With These Equipment Reminders!

As you prepare for your organization’s next season, there’s no better time for a refresher course in the clear and comprehensive set of equipment specifications set forth by Little League Baseball.

Securing Your Helmet

Little League Helmet

A large majority of little league organizations take advantage of community equipment, where every players shares a universal set of helmets and other equipment, during the season.

Although convenient, when using community equipment the organization is responsible for ensuring each of their one-size-fits-all helmets actually fits every member of the team. If not, make sure different models are available for selection during game time.

Little League requires that each team must have six NOCSAE-approved helmets available for the team’s batters.

Chin Straps

Loose-fitting helmets are likely to fall off as a player runs the bases, leaving them vulnerable to injuries. Checking that chin straps on helmets have snaps or latches that hold the strap in the correct placement can prevent injury.

Discard Rules

Helmet manufacturers warn that once a baseball batting helmet has taken a hard hit, even just once, the helmet should be discarded and no longer used. Organizations should not wait for a crack to appear before assuming the shell has been compromised. A break can occur before an obvious crack appears.

Helmet Alterations

No organization should alter helmets with any unapproved paint or stickers. Any modification will void the warranty. Applying paint or stickers to the shell can cause an adverse chemical reaction which may negatively affect the helmet’s protective ability.

For more details regarding Little League helmet regulations, refer for the LittleLeague.org website.

Bat Specifications

Intermediate (50 -70) Division/Junior League

Bat SpecsBats used throughout the Intermediate/Junior League are not permitted to be longer than 34 inches in length, nor more than 2-5/8 inches in diameter.

Bats made of wood must be no less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter at its smallest part.

Senior/Big League

Bats used in older leagues are not to be more than 36 inches in length, nor over 2-5/8 inches in diameter.

Similar to the Intermediate Division, wood bats shall not be less than fifteen-sixteenths inches in diameter at its smallest part.

An additional regulation at this division involves the weight of the bat. No bat shall weight more than three ounces less than the length of the bat. For example, a 33-inch-long bat can not weight less than 30 ounces.

Softball League

All softball bats are required to be no more than 33 inches, or 34 inches for Junior, Senior, and Big League, in length. Softball bats are to be no more than two and one-quarter (2-1/4) inches in diameter.

Wooden softball bats are to be no less than fifteen-sixteenth (15/16) inches in diameter at its smallest part. Wooden bats less than 30 inches long are to be no less than 7/8 inch at its smallest diameter.

Bats are able to be taped of fitted with sleeves so long as the distance does not exceed 16 inches from the small end. Non-wooden bats must have a grip made from cork, tape, or other composition material. Grips must extend a minimum of ten inches from the small end.

Colored bats are acceptable.

For additional information on Little League bat regulations, reference the LittleLeague.org website.

Equipment Checklist

The Little League website also provides an Equipment Checklist and Guidelines for Appearance for all players preparing themselves for the upcoming season!

Using Your Registration

The registration process can act as the perfect time to collect information on the amount of equipment and sizes that your players may need for the upcoming season.

Demosphere’s RosterPro® Registration System allows for the creation of customized registration forms, unique to each program or season. With this feature, administrators can collect information ranging from uniform size to preference for helmet straps.

RosterPro Form

Customize your forms to collect information on bat dexterity – whether the players are right-handed, left-handed or switch hitters – and bat size so you can stock up on the appropriate gear and make sure each situation is covered before your very first practice.

Administrators can also take advantage of this customizable form as an opportunity to collect information about merchandise purchases. Specific items on the registration forms can be tied to custom fees/discounts.

For example, the “Buy Bat – $10” check box can be tied to a $10 fee. If a registrant were to check that box on their registration form, their account would be charged an additional $10 at the end of the registration process automatically.

custom-form

For more information on the RosterPro® Registration System or how your registration forms can be utilized to collect equipment information before your first practice even begins, reach out to Demosphere at support@blog.demosphere.com!

Swinging For The Fences In Dallas

Demosphere attended the 2014 ABCA Convention.The Demosphere team recently returned from Dallas and the 2014 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention.

Sean Rose and Mike Rosenow (pictured) spent time with more than 3,000 high school and college coaches, scouts, and enthusiasts and learned a lot about the current issues facing their organizations.

Many organizations are looking for new ways of managing enrollment in addition to ideas for maintaining strong participation in the face of increased competition from other sports.

Looking for ways to be more efficient online? Contact Demosphere today!