Baseball Player Sues Coach for Making Him Slide

Baseball Player Sues Coach for Making Him Slide


Jake Maser was a junior on the Bound Brook High School baseball team in New Jersey. It was a typical game. Jake got a hit and was on first base. One of his teammates hit the ball and Jake rounded second. As he was coming into third base, his third base coach, Jon Suk, provided the “slide sign.” Jake slid into third base. Unfortunately, Jake rolled his ankle. Jake’s injury required surgery.

Jake’s father decided to sue the coach and the Bound Brook Board of Education for “negligent” and “careless” supervision of the youth in their care. The case was dismissed on the grounds that the case did not meet a “wreckless” standard. However, on appeal, a New Jersey appellate court has reversed the lower court’s decision. The case will be heard in the next couple of months.

Joe’s Perspective: Wow! Seriously! We have come to this? A player gets hurt during a routine play on the athletic field and sues for damages. Coaches make judgment calls during every game to increase the chances of winning. If this is the precedent, coaches will have to worry about every decision in a game. Football coaches might begin signaling fair catch for fear that the returner might get hurt. Track coaches might not ask runners to “kick” at the end of a race because a runner might pull a hamstring. Basketball coaches might not allow players to set up for a charge. This might sound insane, but so is questioning a baseball coach for asking a player to slide into a base.

Think of the affect this type of case could have on coaches. How many parents will want to volunteer their time to become a coach, knowing that they could get sued by some parent? Think of how this might affect youth sports and high school sports? Come on New Jersey, do the right thing here!

Your Turn: What is your opinion of this case and the implications for coaches and youth sports?

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  1. It is ridiculous for the baseball player’s father to sue over the injury. There is a level of risk associated with playing any sports. This takes that risk off of the students and their parents and puts it on their coaches which is unfair.

  2. I totally agree with you, Dr. Hoedel!! I have coached basketball for the last 16 years and wonder what the future may hold should this case be upheld in New Jersey. To participate in sports, there are sometimes injuries that occur. To sue a coach for an injury that is considered a “normal” part of the sport is absurd. So, because the coach directed him to slide, he is being sued for negligence and reckless behavior. If the player had laid out to catch a fly ball and was hurt upon landing, would that be the coaches’ fault as well? This is why it is becoming more and more difficult to retain and hire quality coaches and positive role models in youth sports.

  3. I feel like the dad should not have sued the coach/team because every sport has its risks and they should have thought of that before sueing. I also believe that it was the right thing to do because the coach could have stopped the even if it meant loosing the game.

  4. I think it is ridiculous that a baseball coach is being sued for telling a player to slide. The injury was an accident and there is the nothing the coach could have done about it. The fact that the coach told the player to slide did not cause him to roll his ankle. Coaches may become nervous now to do their jobs in fear of being sued over something that is out of their control. If less people volunteer their time to coach, there will be less opportunities for youth to participate in sports.

  5. The baseball palyer’s father shouldn’t have sued the coach for the injury. Things like this are going to happen all of the time in every sport.

  6. The baseball player’s father shouldn’t have sued the coach for the injury. Things like this are going to happen all of the time in every sport.