News & Press Releases for Dixie Softball

2016 SUGGEST RULE AND POLICY CHANGES

05/22/2015

The following are suggested rule or policy changes that, if passed, will go into effect in 2016:

1. PAGE 13, DATES TO REMEMBER, APRIL, 4th DATE

SUGGESTION: Delete present wording and replace with the following: All nominations or National and State Directors MUST be postmarked and mailed to the President (National Directors) or the Vice President (State Directors) on or before this date. The nomination MUST be done by the current years's league president with his signature (no exception) and the league must be in good standing. Good standing is a league that is franchised on or before April 1 of the current year and was franchised the previous year.

RULE CURRENTLY READS: April 1 - Postmark or by electronic device deadline for nominating National and State Directors in each state.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: Allows nominations to be done in a timely manner and guarantees that the league's president is the one doing the nominating.

suggested by Preston Leonard, National Vice President

2. PAGE 62, DIXIE SWEETEES

SUGGESTION: Allow the Dixie SweeTees division to have tournament play in both the coach-pitch and hitting of a batting tee styles

RULE CURRENTLY READS: Dixie SweeTees tournament shall be coach-pitch only.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: This allows leagues that hit off a batting tee to advance further than local season play.  Dixie Softball gives the Dixie Angels and Dixie Ponytails the option of playing two styles of play and this suggestion would give the Dixie SweeTees the same option.

suggested by David Mizell, Louisiana State Director

3. PAGE 65, ARTICLE VI, SECTION (C)

SUGGESTION: Insert between the NOTE sentence and the EXCEPTION the following: NOTE: For the purpose of this rule, an overthrow shall be defined as an errant throw to any base, including home plate, which, in the judgment of the umpire, cannot be caught with reasonable or ordinary effort.

RULE CURRENTLY READS: On overthrows, base runners can advance only one base. NOTE: There will be only one (1) overthrow ruling allowed per batter. EXCEPTION: When the tenth (10th) batter comes to bat the overthrow rule is NOT IN EFFECT...

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: This will clarify the meaning of what an overthrow is.

suggested by Lee Overstreet, Tennessee District 4 Director

4. PAGE 75, DIXIE ANGELS TRADITIONAL

SUGGESTION: Have the Dixie Angels play the TRADITIONAL style of play only.

RULE CURRENTLY READS: Leagues may play either TRADITIONAL or X-play style in Dixie Angels.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: Since Dixie Angels is still  very much a learning division, Dixie Softball's rules for the Dixie Angels shold reflect such. TRADITIONAL play in the Dixie Angels would keep, in my opinon, more girls interested in softball. Also, having two styles of play puts a strain on the tournament host because they have to purchase two (2) sets of trophies.

suggested by Jon Taylor, Virginia District 1 Director

5. PAGE 78, ARTICLE VI, SECTION (A)

SUGGESTION: In Dixie Angels change the home run distance from one hundred forty feet (140') to one hundred sixty feet (160'). If this passes passes the NOTE section would change from one hundred sixty feet (160') to one hunderd eighty feet (180'). Also, section (B) would change from one hundred forty feet (140') to one hundred sixty feet (160').

RULE CURRENTLY READS: As stated in the suggestion.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: The girls are bigger and stronger today and most fields that are being built today are putting fences at longer distance so they can better utilize the playing fields for different age divisions.

submitted by Obie Evans, National President

6. PAGE 83, ARTICLE VII, SECTION (A)

SUGGESTION: In Dixie Ponytails change the home run distance from one hundred sixty feet (160') to one hundred eighty feet (180'). If this passes the NOTE section would change from one hundred eighty feet (180') to two hundred feet (200'). Also, section (B) would change from one hundred sixty feet (160') to one hundred eighty feet (180').

RULE CURRENTLY READS: As stated in suggestion.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: The girls are bigger and stronger today and most fields that are being built today are putting fences at longer distances so they can better utlize the playing fields for different age divisions.

suggested by Obie Evans, National President

7. PAGE 84, DIXIE PONYTAILS X-play

SUGGESTION: Have the Dixie Ponytails play the X-style of play only.

RULE CURRENTLY READS: Leagues my play either TRADITIONAL or X-play style of play in Dixie Ponytails.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: Some of the players in the Dixie Ponytails division play school ball (mostly using X-play rules) and it confuses them when they have to come back and play the TRADITIONAL style of play in their local Dixie Softball league. This rule change could slow down the, in my opinion, dwindling number of Ponytails players.

suggested by Jon Taylor, Virginia District 1 Director

8. PAGE 91, DIXIE SOFTBALL INCORPORATED, ARTICLE I, SECTION (G)

SUGGESTION: (Place in proper section of rule book the following): Dixie Softball recommends that each franchised league collect one dollar ($1.00) from each player in their league and give the money as a contribution to the Dixie Softball, Inc. Scholarship Fund. (Donations should be made payable to the DSI Scholarship Fund and mailed to the current chairman of the Dixie Softball Scholarship Committee.

RULE CURRENTLY READS: N/A

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: It is a possible way of getting the majority of Dixie softball leagues/participants to participate in raising funds for the DSI Scholarship Fund program. This is not a substitute for DSI's current way to raise funds but rather an augmentation to those efforts.

suggested by Dan Stewart, Georgia State Director

9. PAGE 109, ARTICLE VII, TOURNAMENT PITCHING RULES

SUGGESTION: (Place in proper section of rule book the following): In Dixie Angels X-play, Ponytails X-play, Belles and Debs only: If a team advances to the IF game in a tournament and it is their seventh (7th) game, the following extra inings will be added to the tournament limit of ONE (1) pitcher only: Dixie Angels X-play - two (2) extra innings for a total of thirteen (13) innings; Dixie Ponytails X-play - three (3) extra innings for a total of sixteen (16) innings; Dixie Belles and Debs - four (4) extra innings for a total of nineteen (19) innings.

RULE CURRENTLY READS: Dixie Angels X-play pitchers have a total of eleven (11) innings in a tournament; Dixie Ponytails X-play pitchers have a total of thirteen (13) innings in a tournament; Dixie Belles and Debs pitchers have a total of fifteen (15) innings in a tournament.

REASON FOR SUGGESTION: By allowing extra innings it is hoped that leagues and coaches that are more travel ball oriented will naturally gravitate to the Dixie Angels X-play, Dixie Ponytails X-play, Belles and Debs. Also, it will alleviate an inherent bias in the "luck of the draw" in tournament brackets. The team that drew the BYE may inter the IF game having played less games than the other team. This rule would allow a "leveling" of the field.

suggested by Dan Stewart, Georgia State Director

NOTE: THESE ARE ONLY SUGGESTED RULE AND POLICY CHANGES AND WILL NOT BE VOTED ON UNTIL SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 AT THE DSI NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING. UNLESS HE SUGGESTION IS PASSED IT WILL NOT GO INTO EFFECT. CHANGES IN RULES AND POLICIES WILL BE POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE FOLLOWING THE BOARD MEETING.

 

 

 

 


2015 WORLD SERIES SITES

04/16/2015

The 2015 Dixie Softball World Series sites will be located in:

SWEETEES

Alexanderia, Louisiana (teams arrive on July 31)

DARLINGS

Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana (teams arrive on July 31)

ANGELS TRADITIONAL

Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana (teams arrive on July 31)

ANGELS X-play

Moore County (Carthage), North Carolina (teams arrive on August 7)

PONYTAILS TRADITIONAL

Hartsville, South Carolina (teams arrive on July 24)

PONYTAILS X-play

Moore County (Carthage), North Carolina (teams arrive on August 7)

BELLES

Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana (teams arrive on July 31)

DEBS

Monroe/West Monroe, Louisiana (teams arrive on July 31)


2015 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS NAMED

04/16/2015

Doug Garrett, chairman of the Dixie Softball Scholarship Committee has announced the names of the 2015 Dixie Softball Scholarship winners.  They are:

1. The Frank L. Baxter Honorary Scholarship recipient is AMBER LYNN PAYNE of Perry, Georgia. She played with the Perry Jr. League Dixie Softball program.

2. The Billy Adkins Memorial Scholarship recipient is CAMERON ASHLEY REDDING of Pike Road, Alabama. She played with the Montgomery American Dixie Softball program.

3. The R. T. Adams Memorial Scholarship recipient is MACKENZIE MARIE FIELDS of Bogata, Texas. She played with the Red River Valley Dixie Softball program.

4. The Tim Neely Memorial Scholarship recipient is TIFFANY MARIE LALLIER of Howe, Texas. She played with the Howe Dixie Softball program.

5. The Aubrey Tapley Memorial Scholarship recipient is HALEY NICHOLE UMSTEAD of Lyles, Tennessee. She played with the East Hickman Dixie Softball program.

6. The George D. Matthews, Sr. Memorial Scholarship recipient is ANNA BROOKE HARRELSON of Opp, Alabama. She played with the Opp Dixie Softball program.

7. The Helen Louise Jordan Memorial Scholarship recipient is MARKIE LYNN HAYS of Bogata, Texas. She played with the Red River Valley Dixie Softball program.

8. The Charles W. "Buddy" Wade Memorial Scholarship recipient is BRIANNA "BRIE" HOPE ATKINS of Forest, Virginia. She played with the Timberlake Dixie Softball program.


2015 NEW AND RETURNED LEAGUES

03/17/2015

NEW LEAGUES

SUMRALL, MISSISSIPPI

POLK CITY, FLORIDA

BRYNE, SOUTH CAROLINA

WAYNE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

ROCKY TOP, TENNESSEE

PONCHATOULA AMERICAN, LOUISIANA

LEE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH SHREVEPORT, LOUSIANA

SUPPER OPTIMIST, NORTH CAROLINA

WEST RUSK NATIONAL, TEXAS

WAKULLA, FLORIDA

NATALIA, TEXAS

ELYSIAN FIELDS, TEXAS

SYLACAUGA, ALABAMA

STAR, MISSISSIPPI

WAKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

OAK GROVE, MISSISSIPPI

RETURNED LEAGUES

ANDALUSIA, ALABAMA

WEST CHEATHAM, TENNESSEE

GREENBRIER SPORTS, TENNESSEE

EAST ROBERTSON, TENNESSEE

ONALASKA, TEXAS

BURKEVILLE AREA, TEXAS

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA

CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA

GREER AMERICAN, SOUTH CAROLINA

ADAMS-CEDAR HILL, TENNESSEE

NORTH GRANVILLE/VANCE, NORTH CAROLINA

PLEASANT VIEW, TENNESSEE

JOELTON, TENNESSEE

WARNER ROBINS NATIONAL, GEORGIA

SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE

SAMPSON COUNTY AMERICAN, NORTH CAROLINA

SAMPSON COUNTY NATIONAL, NORTH CAROLINA

COOPERTOWN, TENNESSEE

WEST CHEATHAM, TENNESSEE

NEW BROCKTON, ALABAMA

LORANGER, LOUISIANA

PORTLAND, TENNESSEE

WHITE HOUSE, TENNESSEE

PIEDMONT, ALABAMA

GREENVILLE YMCA, TEXAS

TOWNVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA

VIVIAN, LOUISIANA

WAYNE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

PELION, SOUTH CAROLINA

JENA AMERICAN, LOUISIANA

 

 

 

 


2015 DIXIE SOFTBALL APPROVED SUPPLIERS

03/17/2015

Below are listed the 2015 Approved Suppliers for Dixie Softball, Inc.  More may be added later:

AWARDS & TROPHIES

BIRMINGHAM TROPHY SHOP

CROWN AWARDS

DINN BROTHERS AWARDS

(SOFTBALLS)

A. D. STARR

DIAMOND SPORTS

PENNANT SPORTS

ZONEONE

(BATS)

ANDERSON (Hildebrandt International)

CHAMPRO SPORTS

COMBAT

EASTON SPORTS

MIZUNO USA

RAWLINGS SPORTING GOODS

RIP IT SPORTS

WILSON USA

HILLERICH & BRADSBY (LOUISVILLE SLUGGER)

ZONEONE

FUNDRAISER

B& K DISTRIBUTORS

BRAX LTD

WORLDS FINEST CHOCOLATE

INFORMATIONAL/INSTRUCTIVE

HILDEBRANDT INTERNATIONAL

NATIONAL COUNCIL YOUTH SPORTS

PROTECT YOUTH SPORTS

INSURANCE

SADLER & COMPANY

MOTEL/HOTEL

MOTEL 6

 


MLB PitchHitRun Competition

03/06/2015

DIXIE SOFTBALL invites our leagues to host or participate in the official skills competition of Major League Baseball, MLB’s Pitch, Hit & Run presented by Scotts (MLB PHR), by signing up to host a one-day Local Competition in March, April or early May for the boys and girls in their communities. As a reminder, MLB PHR is a free national grassroots skills program that is easy to administer, and provides boys (baseball) and girls (softball), ages 7 to 14, the opportunity to compete separately and showcase their pitching, hitting and running abilities and advance to sectional competitions, team competitions and the National Finals at the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in July.
 
For more information on the program or if you have any questions, please contact PHR Headquarters at LEJ Sports Group by email at pitchhitrun@mlb.com or by phone at (678) 994-0106.
 
Please visit  www.PitchHitRun.com  or contact the PHR Headquarters noted above.
 

High School vs Dixie Softball

03/02/2015

High schools, Jr. Highs and Middle schools in each state that participates in Dixie Softball make and have their own set of playing rules.  There are some rules mandated by the National High School Athletic Association but many options are given to each state.  One of those options is steel cleats.  Dixie Softball does not allow steel cleats in its play and never has for safety reasons.  If a player does not know how to play in steel cleats they are more subject to injuries to themselves as well and other players. 

Cleats have never been an injury problem in Dixie Softball and unless a future board of directors changes the cleat rule it will remain in Dixie Softball that metal cleats CANNOT be worn in Dixie Softball season or tournament play.


PLAY DIXIE SOFTBALL FOR FREE

02/16/2015

If your softball program played Dixie Softball in any of the years of 1976 - 2013 but did NOT play in 2014 your softball program can play Dixie Softball FREE OF CHARGE in the year of 2015 only, INCLUDING TOURNAMENT PLAY.

Dixie Softball is celebrating it 40th Anniversary of offering great softball for ALL of the girls in the South and is having a HOMECOMING and is offering all of it former franchisees an opportunity to once again play Dixie Softball with an incentive that is too great to refuse.

Over the past 15 years, Dixie Softball has made some dramatic changes in its rules.  Listed below are a few of those changes:

  • League boundaries have been expanded to 30,000
  • 2 World Series' for Ponytails (12 and younger)
  • 2 World Series' for Angels (10  and younger)
  • World Series play (coach-pitch) for Darlings (8 and younger)
  • World Series play (coach-pitch) for SweeTees (6 and younger)
  • Ponytails X-play can steal when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.
  • Ponytails uses a 12" softball
  • Ponytails pitching distance moved to 40 feet
  • Belles & Debs pitching distance moved to 43 feet
  • Angels X-play allows stealing
  • Base runners on third base can advance in Angels X-play
  • Numbers of innings for pitchers, in tournament play, can be used in any manner a team desires for the Angels X-play, Ponytails X-play, Belles and Debs
  • Runners-up in tournaments are allowed to advance up to state tournament level
  • Your program can still continue to participate with the organization you are now playing if you so choose
  • When franchise fees begin in 2016 they are the still LOW $15.00 per team national fees and $25.00 state fee for each age division (not team)
  • NO TOURNAMENT ENTRANCE FEES, PAY FOR TOURNAMENT UMPIRES OR FURNISH SOFTBALLS FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY FOR VISITING TEAMS EVER
  •  
  • IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE SO FAR, PLEASE CONTACT DIXIE SOFTBALL AT: OBIEDSI@AOL.COM OR CALL 205-785-2255 OR MAIL TO 1101 SKELTON DRIVE, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35224 OR GO TO OUR WEBPAGE AT SOFTBALL.DIXIE.ORG.

2016 WORLD SERIES SITES

11/19/2014

The 2016 Dixie Softball World Series sites have been selected.  They will be hosted by:

SWEETEES - Perry Jr. League, Georgia

DARLINGS - Petal, Mississippi

ANGELS TRADITIONAL - North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

ANGELS X-play - Alexandria, Louisiana

PONYTAILS TRADITIONAL - North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

PONYTAILS X-play - Alexandria, Louisiana

BELLES - North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

DEBS - Alexandria, Louisiana


Sign up for your FREE TigerSix Website today!

01/29/2014

In addition to professionally designed websites that are easy to navigate and easy to manage, TigerSix offers the local league a number of solutions to reducing or eliminating countless hours of administrative work. Many NEW features have been added this year!!! Sign up today for your free website at: http://www.tigersix.net/register and use the coupon code "dixie" to get your free site. There will be a $3.50 per player registration fee. Please visit www.tigersix.com or call John at 888-910-8060 (email: support@tigersix.net) or Stacy at 888-910-8060 (email: theresa@tigersix.net) with questions or inquiries. OR call toll free at 888-910-8060 John: ext. 220 Theresa: ext. 229


DIXIE SOFTBALL PARTNERS WITH MOTEL 6

10/24/2013

Dixie Softball and MOTEL 6 announce a special partnership that will offer a 10% discount on all reservations. Below is the information to be used when making reservations at MOTEL 6: Welcome to Motel 6? Corporate Plus @ 6 Program! Your organizations? assigned corporate account number is CP572485, and must be referenced at the time of reservation or check-in to insure the 10% discount is received. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-4MOTEL6 (1-800-466-8356) or at www.motel6.com. For group reservations it is suggested that a call to our group sales department at: 800-544-4866. Your discount may not be used with any other discounts or coupons. This offer is valid through December 31, 2014 Your special URL: http://www.motel6.com/reservations/promo.aspx?id=dsl1dde4&WT.mc_id=CP572485

PENNANT NAMED OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT SOFTBALL

07/22/2013

Pennant Sports has been named by Dixie Softball, Inc. as the official supplier of tournament softballs for the 2015 and 2016 Dixie Softball seasons.  All Dixie Softball tournament for the 2015 and 2016 Dixie Softball seasons must use only softballs produced by Pennant Sports.
Pennant (formerly JP Sports/Paul’s) is a long-time supporter of Dixie Softball.  Congratulations to Pennant Sports !!!!!!!


Noted surgeon Dr. Andrews wants your young athlete to stay healthy

06/24/2013

Noted surgeon Dr. Andrews wants your young athlete to stay healthy Photo

NOTED SURGEON DR. JAMES ANDREWS WANTS YOUR YOUNG ATHLETE TO STAY HEALTHY BY PLAYING LESS. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- James Andrews has seen enough.

Enough of coaches who mean well and try hard, but who really don't know what they need to know.

Enough of parents who think their son or daughter is the next superstar athlete and must be pushed and pushed and pushed.

Enough of youngsters who are forced to visit him and his colleagues around the nation.

Andrews has become so alarmed that he is issuing written and verbal warnings to anyone willing to read or listen. Why should the public care what Andrews thinks? Because when the "Dr." is placed in front of his name, he becomes a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon.

Andrews, who has practiced medicine for nearly 40 years, is most famous for his ability to put professional athletes back together. These athletes -- notably, a who's who of quarterbacks -- have signed contracts for a combined total well north of $1 billion after his surgeries. In 2010, Andrews was the only doctor to be named among the top 40 most powerful people in the NFL by Sports Illustrated.

Andrews' specialties are knees, elbows and shoulders. One of his recent patients was Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who needed the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament repaired in his right knee.

The work on athletes, while important, isn't the reason Andrews collaborated with Don Yaeger, a former associate editor at Sports Illustrated, to write, "Any Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them, for Athletes, Parents and Coaches -- Based on My Life in Sports Medicine." He felt compelled to write the book, then talk about it, out of fear for the younger generation.

"I started seeing a sharp increase in youth sports injuries, particularly baseball, beginning around 2000," Andrews told The Plain Dealer in a telephone interview. "I started tracking and researching, and what we've seen is a five- to sevenfold increase in injury rates in youth sports across the board. I'm trying to help these kids, given the epidemic of injuries that we're seeing. That's sort of my mission: to keep them on the playing field and out of the operating room.

"I hate to see the kids that we used to not see get hurt. ... Now they're coming in with adult, mature-type sports injuries. It's a real mess. Maybe this book will help make a dent."

The Dr. James Andrews file

Born: 1942.

Children: Six.
Education: Louisiana State (standout pole vaulter); LSU School of Medicine; Tulane (residency).
Mentor: Dr. Jack C. Hughston.
Offices: Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., and Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Former and current patients: Roger Clemens, Albert Pujols, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Kerri Strug, Jack Nicklaus, Troy Aikman, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith, Terrell Owens, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Trent Richardson, Robert Griffin III, Adrian Peterson, Marcus Lattimore and a member of the Saudi royal family (torn ACL).
— Dennis Manoloff


Andrews debunks sports myths
PD: What is the crux of the mission?

J.A.: The deal is, as sports physicians, we've all been amiss for years worrying about putting people back together and fixing things and new techniques. But we've largely ignored the real problem: prevention of injuries. Everybody now agrees that the time is right to keep these kids from getting hurt so often. That's been my mission for 10 to 12 years, and it's really come to the forefront that last three to four years, when I helped start a prevention program with the sports-medicine society that we call the STOP program: Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention (in youth sports).

All proceeds from the book are going to the STOP program. It's not an "I" thing, not a financial thing, for me. It's a passion.

PD: Why the spike in youth injuries?

J.A.: Multiple factors, but two stand out: specialization and what we call professionalism.

Specialization leads to playing the sport year-round. That means not only an increase in risk factors for traumatic injuries but a sky-high increase in overuse injuries. Almost half of sports injuries in adolescents stem from overuse.

Professionalism is taking these kids at a young age and trying to work them as if they are pro athletes, in terms of training and year-round activity. Some can do it, like Tiger Woods. He was treated like a professional golfer when he was 4, 5, 6 years old. But you've got to realize that Tiger Woods is a special case. A lot of these kids don't have the ability to withstand that type of training and that type of parental/coach pressure.

Now parents are hiring ex-pro baseball players as hitting and pitching instructors when their kid is 12. They're thinking, 'What's more is better,' and they're ending up getting the kids hurt.

PD: Is money at the root of the problem -- e.g., the pursuit of college scholarships or pro contracts?

J.A.: The almighty dollar has a lot to do with it, yes. Some parents are putting a football or baseball in their kids' hands when they're 3 years old, and it's not just for a fun little photograph. Parents are projecting 10, 12 years. Don't get me wrong, I'm for sports. I love sports. I want these kids to reach their full potential, and if the potential is a college scholarship, great. If it's a pro career, great. But to think they're all going to be professional athletes is misguided. The odds against it are so very, very high. Even the ones who get college scholarships comprise a much smaller percentage than parents think.


Sports Insider: Dennis Manoloff talks about Dr. James Andrews interview
On today's episode of Sports Insider, cleveland.com's Glenn Moore speaks with The Plain Dealer's Dennis Manoloff about his interview with Dr. James Andrews.
Watch video
PD: Can parents be put in a no-win position as well?

J.A.: Yes, to this extent: The systems out there in youth sports, particularly travel ball, have been important financial resources for the people who run them. Parents spend a fortune keeping their kids in a year-round sport, with travel and everything else. What's happening is, the tail is wagging the dog. The systems are calling the shots: If your son or daughter doesn't play my sport year-round, he or she can't play for me. Never mind that your kid is 12 -- I need year-round dedication.

Parents need to understand that we've got to correct the system. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done. It's a big problem. And it becomes a socioeconomic problem if they keep getting hurt in high school.

PD: The best advice you would give parents of a young athlete?

J.A.: The first thing I would tell them is, their kid needs at least two months off each year to recover from a specific sport. Preferably, three to four months. Example: youth baseball. For at least two months, preferably three to four months, they don't need to do any kind of overhead throwing, any kind of overhead sport, and let the body recover in order to avoid overuse situations. That's why we're seeing so many Tommy John procedures, which is an adult operation designed for professionals. In my practice now, 30 to 40 percent of the ones I'm doing are on high-schoolers, even down to ages 12 or 13. They're already coming in with torn ligaments.

Give them time off to recover. Please. Give them time to recover.

I said in the book, I want parents and coaches to realize the implications of putting a 12- or 13-year-old through the type of athletic work done by a 25-year-old. Parents and coaches, though they mean well, need to understand what the long-term effects of overuse can be.

PD: What are your thoughts on youngsters throwing curveballs?

J.A.: Throwing a curveball has a neuromuscular-control dynamic. In other words, it takes a lot of natural ability at a young age to throw that pitch. It's a complicated pitch. If you throw it with good mechanics, it doesn't have any greater force on your shoulder than throwing other pitches, but you've got to throw it correctly. It's misleading to say it's OK to throw the curveball with good mechanics because the rub is, most kids don't throw it with good mechanics. My rule of thumb is, don't throw the curveball until you can shave, until your bone structure has matured and you have the neuromuscular control to be able to throw the pitch properly.

PD: What advice would you give pitchers, in general?

J.A.: 1. Use proper mechanics. The No. 1 problem in any specific sport is improper mechanics.

2. Don't play year-round.

3. Avoid the radar gun at a young age. Don't try to overthrow. A lot of kids are 13 years old and checking the radar gun. That's going to get you in trouble. The radar gun makes you want to throw harder than you are capable of throwing.

4. Be very careful with showcases. I call them "show-off" cases because kids go there Saturday after throwing the football on Friday. They jump on a mound and overthrow because scouts are there. The next thing you know, the shoulder or elbow gets injured.

HBO's Real Sports on Dr. James Andrews (Part II here)

PD: How many pro athletes have you operated on in your career?

J.A.: I've had people ask me that, and I don't like to answer with numbers because it might sound like I'm bragging or self-promoting. So I don't go into a specific number. (Chuckle) What I like to say is, "Too many to count and not enough to quit."

PD: What percentage of your total operations are done on pro athletes?

J.A.: About 20 percent. Now I'm getting to where I'm operating on the sons of ballplayers I had.

PD: Have you stopped to think about the money in player contracts for which you've been responsible by extending careers?

J.A.: (Chuckle) No. Seeing these guys get back to doing what they do best, that's where I derive the enjoyment. I don't worry about how much money they might make in the future. I wish them all the best, but it's nerve-racking just the same. Every play. In the NFC Championship Game a few years ago, the Vikings played the Saints. Brett Favre and Drew Brees were two of my patients. I was pulling for Drew on offense, then Brett on offense, so I couldn't lose. But I was nervous.

PD: It is easy to forget how many surgeries you do on nonstars.

J.A.: A huge joy for me comes from operating on kids in high schools near where I live, kids who were injured and didn't have insurance. We've had a policy through the years that, if you get hurt playing high school football in my area, we'll do the best we can to help. (Andrews has offices in Alabama and Florida.)

To see these kids come back and get a scholarship, or even a pro contract, is a thrill. I once had a high school basketball player in Mississippi whom nobody would fix. The coaches brought him to me. Well, he eventually signed an NBA contract and has had several contracts and made tens of millions of dollars. He came back to see me with another injury. I told him, "This time I'm going to charge you."

You'd be surprised in our part of the country how many kids get hurt. We've had kids playing in rural areas, great athletes who get hurt but never were able to get the proper medical attention.

PD: The most complex surgery you've ever done?

J.A.: Marcus Lattimore, running back from South Carolina -- his leg. Drew Brees' shoulder. I'll say this about Drew: It's amazing that he's been able to come back and throw a football, let alone play at the level he does.

PD: What goes through your mind when players such as Adrian Peterson, whose knee you fixed, come back to rush for 2,000 yards in one season?

J.A.: I don't want to take credit for things like that. If you operate on the right athletes, the high-level athletes, they will make you look pretty good as a physician. If you don't have athletes who are motivated, who are so driven to come back, it won't matter. And the people who get the players after the surgeries -- they're the ones who deserve the most credit. The physical therapy and rehab people. My time with them is a couple hours, then I become a cheerleader.

As an example, the people who rehabbed Adrian were incredible. The combination of Adrian's motivation, his God-given ability and the help he got post-surgery gave you what you saw on the field in 2012.

PD: Which is the more complicated surgery, torn ACL or Tommy John?

J.A.: Even though they involve different parts of the body, they are similar surgeries. I've called Tommy John the ACL of the elbow. Throwing a baseball at 90 miles an hour with a reconstructed elbow is equally as impressive as a running back coming back from an ACL tear.

PD: Have you ever needed to tell an athlete after surgery that it doesn't look good?

J.A.: My rule is, the glass is half full, not half empty. One of the things you don't do is wake up an athlete in the recovery room and say, "That's the worst injury I've ever seen, and you're not going to make it back." You've got to be positive. I told Drew [Brees]: "I could do your operation 100 times and probably couldn't do it as well as I did it today. You are going to get through this, and you will be better than ever. Now go to work."

At the same time, you have to be realistic. When you get to a certain point where you know they're not going to be able to make it, you let them down slowly. You don't tell them right away. You gradually work it in. As you get to know them better, you gradually let them know there is life after football.

PD: Because of your resume, do you feel pressure to deliver every time?

J.A.: Yes, I feel pressure. A lot of it. But the bulk of the pressure is what all of us feel in this profession. There is extra pressure because people come to me who've had multiple surgeries. All of a sudden, you are inundated with people who have had failed surgeries. They come to you and expect you to put them back together again. So the pressure mounts, believe me.

All of us in sports medicine operate in a fishbowl. If there's a failure, it's all over the place. But you can't be perfect with everything you do. You do the best you can. Unfortunately, the only results I ever really remember are the bad ones. Those are the ones you need to study in order to figure out what you can do better.

PD: You have known Browns running back Trent Richardson since his high school days in Florida.

J.A.: He's a special individual, as you all in Cleveland know by now. He played with broken ribs this past season. Imagine playing with broken ribs. That's how tough he is. He's a heck of a running back.

PD: Richardson has had surgeries on both ankles and two on the left knee. Is he injury prone?

J.A.: No, no, no, no. The injuries haven't been serious. He delivers a blow. That's what he does. He delivers more damage than anybody delivers to him. Just watch him play.

PD: Will he have a long, productive NFL career?

J.A.: I'm biased, of course, but, yes, absolutely. He can overcome almost anything. He has a great mental attitude, he can recover quickly and he's a survivor. That's the key to Trent: He's a survivor. The Cleveland Browns have a wonderful player who hasn't even scratched the surface.

Twitter: @dmansworldpd


National Center for Sports Safety- Prepare Course

05/20/2013

 


The National Center for Sports Safety
FREE Online PREPARE Course!

Why Should I PREPARE?
 
In as little as 3 hours you can:

1 - Learn how to significantly reduce liability
where athletic injuries are concerned.

2 - Learn valuable information about sports safety and how to reduce risks.

3 - Gain knowledge that can be beneficial
on and off the playing field   


Do you have the confidence you need to keep youth athletes safe?

BECOME SPORTS SAFETY EDUCATED TODAY!!

Log on to our website and enter
the free promo code:
ACHE05-09/2013

Offer Expires: September 30, 2013 
http://www.SportsSafety.org

"There is not one parent that would drop their child off at a local community pool if there were not a certified lifeguard on duty. That same standard of care should be available for every sports facility in this country. If we can prevent just one fatality or injury, it will be worth the effort." 

- Dr Larry Lemak, The NCSS Founder

About the NCSS 
The NCSS was founded by Dr. Larry Lemak in 2001 to promote the importance of injury prevention and safety on all levels of youth sports through education and research. 

2316 1st Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35233
info@sportssafety.org
866-508-NCSS (6277)


The NCSS has partnered with the State of Alabama to provide the PREPARE sports safety course, at no charge, to Alabama youth-level coaches.


Our goal is to decrease the number of sports injuries by helping youth and high school sporting events become safer venues through Emergency Action Planning.

 
What Will You Learn?

Emergency Planning
Heat & Cold Illnesses
Emergency Recognition
Medical Considerations and
Pre-Existing Conditions
Principles of First Aid
Head, Neck & Facial Injuries
Warm-Up & Cool-Down

 
An injury can occur in a split second....BE PREPARED!!!!
 


National Action Plan for Sports Safety

02/07/2013

 

Leading Health Conditions of Youth Athletes Explored and Solutions Put in Place

Birmingham, AL - February 7, 2013 - The National Center for Sports Safety participated in finalizing the inqugural "National Action Plan for Sports Safety" at the Fourth Annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Washington, DC held on Tuesday.  Proper education and protocols put in place were key factirs outlined in the Action Pln, and will aid in precenting and managing athletic injuries in your athletes across the nation.  Read More....