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Part of the fun of attending a live Major League Baseball (MLB) match is watching all the action up close. You can see the breathtaking power of the batters; you might even get to catch a fly ball. But when that ball speeds toward the stands at more than 100 mph, the last thing you want is for your exciting day out to end in serious injury.

The risk is much greater than many people realize. Every year, around 1,750 fans are hurt by foul balls at MLB games, which equates to around two injuries every three games. Protecting fans is a unique challenge for MLB teams, but the good news is that, for more and more spectators, Dyneema®-based netting solutions are there when it counts.

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Prioritizing the safety of fans

In 2019, the MLB Commissioner’s Office recommended that teams strengthen their netting or add a barrier device in all stadiums to fully protect fans. But the challenge was to find a way to protect the crowd from injury without obstructing their view of the field, which is central to the thrilling experience of live baseball at the highest level. With that in mind, Dyneema® was the ideal choice.

As the world’s strongest fiber™, Dyneema® allows Net Systems to manufacture its Ultra Cross Netting in extremely thin configurations. This in turn results in thinner, almost invisible netting. Better still, fans’ view of the action is further enhanced because Black Dyneema® fiber can hold the field-green net coating better than traditional, white-colored base materials.

Another advantage of Ultra Cross Netting? It’s braided rather than knotted. According to third-party testing procedures, knots are one of the most common failure points in stadium netting, because they’re thicker than braids. Systems that use twisted fibers knotted together also lead to thicker netting that obstructs the action. Using Ultra Cross Netting made with braided Black Dyneema® fiber eliminates both problems.

Dyneema®: On your team

Since first being introduced, Ultra Cross Netting has been installed at 30 MLB stadiums across the USA. Mark D. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner & Vice Chairman of the Washington Nationals, which introduced the nets for the 2020 season, said the team was inspired to act after seeing fans injured by bats and balls flying out ofthe field of play at other stadiums. “Further extending the netting at Nationals Park will provide additional protection for our fans,” he explained.

Thanks to Dyneema®, baseball fans can head to the stadium to cheer on their favorite team – safe in the knowledge that they’ll experience all the excitement of game day, with none of the risk…

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With you when it matters

It’s not just millions of enthusiastic MLB fans who are protected by Dyneema®. Every year, 30 million workers also benefit from products made with the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® solutions have already made a huge difference to the emergency services industry in the USA, protecting more than amillion first responders. Meanwhile, gloves made with Dyneema® are becoming the new standard for cut protection in industry, helping to reduce the USA’s annual 95,000 hand injuries related to cuts, lacerations, and punctures.

These are just two of the many areas embracing Dyneema®’s safety capabilities. Through continued efforts in education, development, and sustainability, we aim to make a difference to millions more lives – keeping people safe from the factory to the baseball field.

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Interested in learning more about Dyneema® for your project or end-use application? Reach out to our team of experts today.

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