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Page Title: Safety for Athletic Activities
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ICE AND SNOW SPORTS Ice  and  snow  sports  can  be  fun  but  deadly.  In addition to the stresses placed on the body, there is the added hazard of extreme cold. Winter sports include the following  activities: Ice skating Sledding,  tobogganing,  and  snow  disk  riding Snowmobiling Skiing Of these winter sports, Navy personnel experience the   most   mishaps   from   snow   skiing.   Each   year thousands of people suffer injuries in skiing accidents. From 1984 to 1992, more than 150 Navy people have been hurt in mishaps on ski slopes and trails. One of these  mishaps  resulted  in  a  fatality  when  a  skier  lost control in icy conditions and crashed into a tree. Another person  suffered  a  permanent  disability  when  he fractured a vertebrae in his lower back. Fortunately, most injuries are less severe, with broken legs and knee injuries commonly reported. You can still get hurt while cross-country  skiing  even  though  it  is  slower  than downhill skiing. The  most  common  cause  of  skiing  accidents  is inexperience.  Beginners  hurt  themselves  when  they  try to move from a beginner’s slope to advanced or expert slopes too soon. Trying slopes that are too steep or icy can result in injuries to even the more experienced skiers. The buildup of too much speed can cause you to lose  control. SAFETY FOR ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES People take part in many sports and other athletic activities  both  as  members  of  on-  and  off-base  teams. Intramural  sports  are  part  of  the  total  recreation program.  Athletics  provide  a  basic  physical  con- ditioning process through which the Navy can help build and maintain an effective fighting force. Some  athletic  events  have  inherent  risks  for participants. Padding and protective equipment can help reduce injuries and are mandatory for some sponsored team events. A good athlete is familiar with the injury potential of the sport being played and knows how to avoid  injuries.  When  you  are  injured,  you  are  of  little use to a team. Part of the skill of any sport is the ability of an athlete to avoid injury. One factor repeatedly cited as a major contributor to  a  mishap  involving  physical  fitness  is  overexertion. Once people realize they are out of shape, they want to do something about it. Unfortunately, they usually try to get back into shape too fast. Age has nothing to do with deaths   relating   to   overexertion   while   exercising. Anyone is subject to overexertion, regardless of age or physical conditioning. With today’s emphasis on health and  wellness,  many  people  take  up  strenuous  fitness activities before they condition their bodies. Good  physical  fitness  can  pay  off,  if  you  do  it carefully  and  consistently.  However,  strenuous  exercise once a week can do more damage than good. Before you start any physical fitness program, check with your doctor.  The  doctor  will  determine  what  precautions  you should take and if you need a complete physical exam. Checking with your doctor is especially important if you are more than 35 years old. Baseball and Softball Since baseball and softball present similar hazards, you should take similar precautions to avoid injury. The most serious mishaps associated with baseball and softball are those resulting from sliding and collisions. Breakaway bases are much safer than stationary bases. Softball  fields  operated  by  MWR  departments  are  being converted from stationary to breakaway bases. Until the MWR installs breakaway bases, your command should conduct a sliding clinic. Establish a no-sliding rule for command-sponsored   picnic   and   pickup   games   to prevent personnel from breaking their ankles and legs. Establish a no-sliding rule. 11-9

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