There is a critical need to install overhead protection to protect spectators at baseball games with shade structures made from shade netting. The taut shade fabric works as a catch net giving protection to spectators from softballs and baseballs that are hit into the stands. Years ago, one such incident in Las Vegas prompted the city to put shade canopies over the bleachers when a woman was hit by a foul ball while sitting in the stands. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city.
Robert Gorman, a baseball historian and professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., Gorman wrote the 2008 book “Death at the Ballpark,” which documented 70 fan deaths resulting from wayward baseballs at ballgames from 1867 to 2007, including two at minor league games, two at major league games and 66 at amateur games.
So why is very little done to enforce overhead protection to spectators? Some states in the country including Texas are among more than half the states that are protected by what sports lawyers call “The Baseball Rule.”
The Baseball Rule takes account of two facts inherent about baseball, facts known to every person who watches a game.
The first is that the sport carries ordinary risks for spectators, for example being injured by stray baseballs and bats. Secondly, foul balls are part of the fabric of the game and are far from being an unwelcome hazard which contradicts current growing statistics around the country.
An even more alarming note on errant baseballs is that many parents take their small children and babies to games, and the possibility of balls hitting them, as well as exposure to the sun while sitting in the stands, creates a tremendous risk to their safety.
How can sports parks, municipalities and schools prevent liability from injury from errant balls? One growing mitigating measure is by the installation of shade structures that are used not only to shield spectators from the sun and harmful UV rays, but are now adding another huge benefit by protecting visitors from injury from foul balls at baseball games. Click here to learn more about our multiple benefit products that will give you peace of mind and optimum protection to your visitors year round.