Survey with Innovations to Increase Response Rate Reveals Low Compliance with Guidelines among Youth Baseball Coaches - Including a Survey of Differences between Cities.
Kaizu Y, Oyama Y, Ishihara Y, Honma Y.
Background: Compliance rates of youth baseball team coaches with guidelines regarding pitch count limits have been reported, but response rates from previous surveys have not been high, which may introduce substantial non-response bias. In addition, differences between cities in guideline compliance rates have remained unclear.
Purpose: The aim of the present study was to obtain data on coach compliance with guidelines for pitch count limits with a high survey response rate. Secondary aims were to determine compliance with guidelines other than pitch count limits, and to determine whether differences in compliance exists between cities.
Methods: A questionnaire was developed for coaches of youth baseball teams in Gunma to assess knowledge of and compliance with the Japan Softball Baseball Association’s recommendations for preventing injuries. In the preparation, distribution, and collection of the questionnaire, four strategies were applied to increase the response rate. The questionnaire surveyed basic descriptive information about the team and coach and coaches compliance with guidelines. Survey items were compared between compliant and non-compliant groups for pitch count limits, and by city.
Results: Valid responses to the questionnaire were obtained from coaches of 58 of 62 teams surveyed for a response rate of 93.5%. Despite the fact that almost all coaches were aware of the recommendations regarding pitch count limits and felt these limits were needed, only 15.5% were compliant. For guidelines other than the pitch count limits, the recommended values were exceeded for practice time on holidays. Differences between cities were evident in the compliance rate with the pitch count limit, but no differences between cities in other items were observed.
Conclusion: The results of this research revealed that compliance with pitch count limits in this sample of youth baseball coaches was much lower than previously reported. Differences between cities were identified in rates of compliance with pitch count limits. These results suggest a need to increase compliance rates with guidelines for pitch count limits and to address differences between cities.
Level of Evidence: Cross-sectional survey study, 3b