City officials say they are not planning to extend protective netting at Kokomo Municipal Stadium, the home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
Conversation about the place of protective netting at ballparks has accelerated in recent weeks, following an injury suffered by a young girl after she was struck by a foul ball at Houston’s Minute Maid Park last month. A few teams at the major-league level are planning to extend their protective netting during the season, as the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals recently announced plans to do so, and there is likely to be continued discussion about whether other teams around MLB should take action.
Those conversations could extend to the lower levels of baseball, including the affiliated minor league, independent, and summer-collegiate ranks. In the case of Kokomo Municipal Stadium, which has hosted summer-collegiate action since it opened 2015, the protective netting runs to the near ends of both dugouts, leaving four seating sections behind the dugouts without any coverage. It appears that will remain the case for now, as officials from the City of Kokomo say that they are not currently planning to extend the ballpark’s netting, noting the multipurpose nature of the facility. More from the Kokomo Tribune:
The four sections directly behind the dugouts – two sections on each side – are not covered by netting, making them susceptible to hard-hit foul balls or soaring bats. That exposure of dugout seating sections is becoming increasingly uncommon in ballparks across the country.
In a statement, Kokomo Deputy Mayor David Tharp cited the stadium’s role as a “multi-use facility,” saying there “are no plans to extend the nets.” The stadium often serves as a gathering place for large community events.
Kokomo Jackrabbits General Manager John Perszyk referred the Tribune to the city when asked for comment.
Kokomo Municipal Stadium is designed to host a variety in additions to baseball, including soccer, concerts, and more.
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