With playoff season now in full swing, America's favorite pastime is on the minds of fans nationwide. Baseball enthusiasts crowd into bleachers and couches alike to see if their favored team will make it to the coveted World Series.
But truth be told, a number of factors beyond a player's strength and skill are at play, including certain qualities of the ballpark, the cleats worn by the player, and more. Recent standards from ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International help to measure some of those qualities.
According to a study published by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists, the average player runs to first base 2.4 times per game, a 90-foot sprint where fractions of a second can make all the difference. To make sure his sprint is a success, a baseball player relies heavily on functional and well-fitted cleats. ASTM F539-1(2007), Standard Practice for Fitting Athletic Footwear, helps make sure that cleats are properly fitted to a player's feet for optimum speed and agility.
Every batter wants to swing for the fences, and outfielders adore that made-for-instant-replay moment of leaping up for the big catch. Making sure that those fences can withstand the impact of a determined outfielder is ASTM F2000-10, Standard Guide for Fences for Baseball and Softball Fields . The standard covers minimum requirements for the fencing itself, as well as proper practices for installation.
Whether fans enjoy the game in person or in their living rooms, proper lighting is key to seeing all of the action. Thanks to the ANSI-accredited Illuminating Engineering Society, IESNA RP-6-01, Sports and Recreational Area Lighting, major sporting events like baseball games are well lit for the benefit of players and spectators alike.
For those fans lucky enough to attend the game in person, a standard from the ANSI-accredited International Code Council (ICC) helps to keep spectators comfortable and safe in their seats. ICC 300-2007, Standard for Bleachers, Folding and Telescopic Seating and Grandstands, establishes requirements to safeguard public health, safety, and general welfare through the structural strength of bleachers, grandstands, and folding and telescopic seats.
Of course, baseball season never really ends once the World Series is over, as fans of all ages continue to play year-round. To help protect our little leaguers, ASTM F910-04(2010), Standard Specification for Face Guards for Youth Baseball, covers protective face guards for young batters and base runners with the intention of reducing hazards of injury to the face, eyes, and mouth.