DURING THE PERIOD 1986-1987, a study of the use of break-away bases to reduce sliding injuries was conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan.1 The break-away base that was used in the study is anchored by rubber grommets to a rubber mat that is flushed with the infield surface. The mat is anchored to the ground by a metal post similar to that used with standard stationary bases. Seven hundred foot-pounds of force, or one-fifth the force needed to dislodge a stationary base from its mooring, is required to release the break-away portion of the base.
The study evaluated injuries sustained during 633 games on two fields with break-away bases and 627 games on six fields with stationary bases. The players were college students, laborers, executives, physicians, and others ranging from 18 to 55 years of age. Players were assigned to one of four leagues on the basis of skill level