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Christopher Marzzacco
Christopher Marzzacco
Attorney • (215) 735-1130

Observations of an Injury Lawyer (In a Dangerous World!)

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Ball-field Hazards

If you have children, summertime screams “organized sports.” As a young man now in my forties, I remember a time when I played all of my summertime sports—primarily baseball—at the same location, the sole baseball field at our local park. Spectators were certainly familiar with every inch of that park. Times have changed. Organized baseball and softball, as my age-group once knew them, are long gone. Today, most kids play on “travel teams,” made up of gifted athletes from all over a regional area. Instead of playing in a local town league, teams travel all over the state or even all over the country to play in weekend-long tournaments, often at athletic complexes that provide four or five ball-fields. The locations of these tournaments, I have observed, often pose some pretty dangerous hazards to unassuming fans.

While watching your son’s baseball or daughter’s softball game at a location you’ve never visited before, please be careful. Often parents must watch the game from atop grassy hills or walk on bumpy, unpaved paths to get from field to field or to use the restrooms. Are you safe? You may think so, but dangerous conditions, particularly what injury lawyers call “trip” or “slip hazards,” are everywhere! I can tell you about at least three or four off-the-filed injuries I have seen over this summer alone that were caused by dangerous conditions at the complexes hosting the tournaments. For example, earlier this year I saw some type of half-finished wooden structure that was being built right next to the players’ warm-up area. Pieces of lumber and other materials were inches from where fans were walking and players were warming up. At another complex, there were remnants of metal posts that had been sawed-off, leaving sharp, rusty edges about six inches from the ground—right next to the only path available to spectators walking from the bleachers to the restrooms. Of course, neither the complex nor the tournament hosts posted any warnings or attempted to prevent potential problems, as those folks are understandably focused on the events occurring on the fields.

As a spectator, please enjoy the rest of the summer baseball and softball seasons, but when traveling to unfamiliar venues to watch the boys or girls of summer, use caution. As a fan, your safety is important too!