Baseball & Softball

Portable Mound: You Can’t Afford to Not Have One

Having coached a youth baseball team for numerous years and serving on the board of directors for our youth program I understand completely how expensive portable mounds are and how budgets are restricted. Spending multiple thousands of dollars on a portable mound seems like an insurmountable goal, but it has to be treated like and investment not just an expenditure.

For a majority of youth programs in the United States they only have a few fields to use, they try to keep fees low to make it affordable to everyone, and the youth fields do not have mounds on them. The set-up we have in our “average” US town is 8 fields that games can be played on being shared amongst approximately 40 teams ages 7 years to 13 years. Our 14 year olds and older use the high school field as they have 90 foot bases and a real mound at 60 feet 6 inches on them for dimensions. The 8 fields used for the youth program are getting used every night during the summer. None of these fields have mounds on them. None of the youth fields have real mounds on them. We do have 2 portable mounds that are used on the bigger fields for teams 11 years and above. The cost of these two mounds totaled around $5,000. That is a lot of money for a program our size!

The reason I say you can’t afford to not have a portable pitching mound is twofold. One having raised a boy that is pitching in high school right now, I know it is imperative to get kids starting around the age of 11 pitching off a mound. They have to get used to “pitching downhill” off a mound. Going back and forth from a mound to flat ground is very difficult for a youth pitcher. Secondly, having been a youth coach for many years we would not go to tournaments that did not have mounds. Everyone that is on a youth baseball board or is involved with fund raising at all in youth baseball programs knows baseball tournaments can be a life blood of the program. We held two tournaments a year and we were able to keep our player fees down due to the money raised during the tournaments. This in turn meant more players in our program, which is the goal of all programs.

The portable pitching mounds were one of the best investments our youth program ever made. Our tournament attendance went up due to use using mounds when before we were throwing off flat ground. Teams have come to expect mounds when they go to tournaments for certain ages. I would suggest if your program does invest in a mound to make sure it is locked up when not in use, limit the usage for practices, and if possible do not use metal spikes on the mound. Mounds will last a long time if they are taken care of and will pay for themselves over time.

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