Insulin Pump and Baseball

Hoping for some input here.

My 9-year old son is starting Little League. He has T1D and wears an Animas Ping insulin pump. My plan is for him to wear it during the games.

I'm trying to come up with some ideas for how to keep the pump safe from during batting and sliding, while giving him the privacy and discreteness (if that's a word) that he demands around his diabetes. Day-to-day, he just puts the pump in his pocket and lets the tubing hang out. He's not a big fan of the cumberbund pump band or the pouches.

I'd like to present some alternatives to him that he might find attractive. Any ideas?


I don't have any ideas for you. My son just ordered the Ping but hasn't received it yet. He was planning on wearing a SPIbelt under his baseball shirt.

Please let me know if you came up with any other ideas.


I never played baseball while pumping, but might have a suggestion. Last summer I went to a minor league Dayton Dragon's game. In the team flyer was this article about a T1 pitcher:Pitcher T1

Its a pretty neat story, but unfortunately he wasnt pitching that day. You may want to show this to your son as I found it pretty cool.

As you can see on the second page Daniel puts his pump in his back pocket. If you are concerned about the tubing, then you could fashion a small hole in his chosen pocket and feed the tubing under his clothes, through the hole and into his pocket too?


Thanks for the reply. Not sure what an SPIbelt is. Can you tell me more about it? My son does not like to wear the pump on his belt. He would prefer nobody take notice of him, so it's a bit of a struggle at times.

BTW, he's been taking the pump off during practices and so far, his BG's have stayed in range nicely. The other night, he had a Chipotle bean burrito for dinner (95g). We would normally do a combo bolus because it's such a huge meal and the beans, etc. Since I knew he was going to be off the pump during practice, I just bolused him for about 50% of the recommended food bolus and put him on a shortened extended bolos for the 1/2 hour ride to the park. In total, I left off about 2.3 units of the dinner bolus, and he ended up wearing it all off at practice! He was 110 afterward, with no further intervention required. It worked out great. BUT, opening day is this weekend, and as I've experienced at soccer (and heard written about in other sports), the stress of competition makes BG's often go up. Not sure how to deal with it. We'll see how it goes.

I've seen the one pro-pitcher back in the 90's, Jason Johnson, wear his pump during MLB games. My son is self-conscious about his diabetes, and does not want to wear it on a belt or pack. Plus, he does not have an assigned position. He might be catcher, pitcher, infield, or outfield. I'm most concerned about batting and sliding, and if the pump is in his back pocket, it might get damaged, and I'd be concerned about voiding the warranty and having to replace it out of my own pocket.

For now, I think we'll just check his BG before and 1/2 way through to see if he needs a correction, and give it then. We'll "clean up" afterwards. I do appreciate your input.

By the way, how old is your son and how long ago was he diagnosed? Is he looking forward to the pump?

Our son was diagnosed at age 7. In fact, today is his 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed!!! We started the Ping 16 months ago, and have had a great experience with it. If you have any questions about the pump, please don't hesitate to ask. Best of luck.

I did Tae Kwon Do for about 5 years and got a pump for about the last year or so of it and I would just keep it on my belt, sort of near the top of where my groin was and the lower ab musculature would sort of be a spot for it to tuck into securely. I fell on it a few times, doing some of the more challenging kicks and sparring (we did some throws too...) but it never had any problems in that location. It's also had a couple of bicycle crashes, including one that knocked a couple of teeth in half, during which I was able to discover that face blood and fingertip blood produce similar results in blood testing!


A SPIbelt is a small belt that is usually used by runners to put a few of their personal belongings in. It is like a belt with a small pouch area that unzips and expands which can hold a pump, keys, id, etc. We saw one at the doctors office and my son liked it. He plans on wearing the SPIbelt with the pump in it when he swims. He will probably use it when he plays baseball too. I saw some spibelts on Amazon and I found their website - The CDE said that you can sometimes find them in sporting good stores. I don't know how waterproof they are, but we will find out. My son (Kyle) likes to wear loose t-shirts, so he will probably wear the spibelt under his shirt for park playdates, etc. too.

Kyle has never played Little League before. Opening day is this weekend for us too. This is a hard age group to start at because all of the other players are more experienced (majors). Plus, my son had to miss almost two weeks of practice due to a sprained ankle. He seems to be doing well though. He is so excited to get to play.

He plays basketball too. The game is 1 hour long and when we check him 1/2 hour into the game, his bg is high, but that is just because of the adrenaline. Then he has a low w/in an hour of the game. I think baseball will be a little easier to manage.

Kyle is 12. He was just diagnosed in November. He has wanted a pump ever since he was diagnosed. I hope our insurance approves it.

Thanks for offering to help answer questions. I'm sure I will have some when we get the pump. I'm a bit nervous of loosing control of his bg levels w/the pump when we are fine tuning it.

I'm so glad to hear that you have had a good experience with the Ping.

Wow, 7 is so young (my non-d daughter is 7). I couln't even imagine going through all of this with her. These last two years must have been a real challenge for you and your family.

We had a great week this week. My son has been feeling really good. His mind is more clear and he has been able to focus better. He even started doing his hobies again (woodworking and handicrafts). I hope your having a great week too.

Sorry I missed your reply. I just got around to logging back in, and I wanted to get back to you.

The SPI belt just came in the mail today, and he was really excited. He immediately put it on and said it felt great. He said it's so flat to his body he can't even see it in the mirror when it's under his shirt. Said he's been getting some questions in class lately about his tubing, and he's going to like having it tucked away, finally. I really appreciate the lead. They had some good products and really good prices, compared to Pump Wear, Inc.

Seven seems young when you have a 12 year old. That being said, when he was diagnosed, we were thankful he was not 2 or 3 or a preschooler. We've seen how that goes with other families, and it's really difficult. He is very self-sufficient, and was giving himself shots at school and carb-counting right off the bat. He's still bummed out about it and gets down from time to time, but he's really active and bright and optimistic at the same time. It just goes with the territory, from what I can tell. The pump makes things a lot easier, especially with the remote (check out my photo of it on my profile, with a little giggle thrown in about how he has been stuffing it with used test strips!). I've heard that puberty makes BG control more challenging. Keep that in mind. You know, he went onto the pump 8 months after diagnosis. It's made a world of difference in terms of meals and snacking. Bolusing can be done ad lib for "grazing" or off-mealtime snacks. If you have a good trainer and good support (like we did from an ARNP at our endo practice), it makes it much less disruptive. She had us fax his log sheets every day and then backed off to every couple days for the first few weeks until we'd fine tuned everything. I hope you get that kind of support or can find it somewhere. Smart Pumping is a book that was recommended to us. It was great and really walks you through what you are doing, so you feel really well informed.

Keep me posted, and if you need a sounding board or to ask any questions, feel free to drop me a line.


I'm so thrilled to hear that your son likes it.

My order for the Ping pump is being processed. I hope that we can get it soon and that our insurance is cooperative. My son (Kyle) is really looking forward to getting it. I'll order the Spibelt right now too.

Do you think that your son will use it for baseball or swimming? Did you get the diabetic one? Are there any other items on their site that you would recommend me getting to help with his d-care?

Thanks for your support and book suggestion.

I run and I LOVE my SPIbelt. They can send you one that is waterproof and have a small hole for the tube. If he wears it in the front, it might not bother him so much. I wear mine around my hips and I forget it's there sometimes!

I ordered it. I ordered the one called a diabetic Spibelt so it will have the hole in it. I wasn't sure if it was waterproof. Is the diabetic one the waterproof one?

Can't wait to get it. My son hasn't received his pump yet. So, in the meantime, I'm hoping to get the Spibelt in time for a trip to Legoland. I plan to wear it around my waist under my shirt to carry my money/credit cards in. I might have to buy another one so my son and I can both have one..

Best wishes.

The SPI belt is real lighweight and soft. Pouch seems made from jersey material or something similar. I probably won't use it for swimming. I'd be concerned the chlorine might wear down the material. There are other neoprene-type pouches I've seen. Also, for us, recreational swimming is one of those activities that really pushes BG's low, so he tends to remove the pump when in the pool. Also, the tubing tends to get snagged when he's wrestling or jumping around -- we've had a number of sites come off in the pool. Just be on the lookout for that. No big deal at home. Just a bigger deal when out and about.

When to wear it is personal preference. My son's a bit particular. He'll wear it now with a long shirt out and about or at home or when sleeping. He's balked at wearing it to school. Thinks the pump looks like a "huge" bump under his shirt. That's just his sensitivity because you can't really see it at all. As for baseball practice, we're working on it.

As far as other items, there's a two-pouch SBI belt that he could hold glucose tabs or a small glucometer in. The PumpWear, Inc. website also has some stuff that would be good for sports. There's a cumberbund-type wrap that you can put the pump into. My son did not like it, but others do, I'm sure. I think it will come down to personal preference. At your son's age, I would guess he has some strong personal preferences, so you might involve him in the selection. My experience is that unless I involve him in the decision, he resents it. Diabetes has taken some control away from him, and I like to give him as much choice as possible so he can feel empowered.