The pitcher's mound aids the pitcher by enabling him to gain velocity when pitching the ball to the batter. This comes from using the pitching rubber as a point to push off of, as well using the height of the mound to generate more downward velocity on his pitches. While pitchers will try to reshape areas of the mound to their liking during a game, and some groundskeepers contour the mound at their stadium to favor the pitchers on their team, there are official specifications that must be followed when building a mound.
Things You'll Need
- Pitching rubber
- Spray paint
- Roller press
- Tape measure
Mix the dirt for the mound by using equal parts sand, clay and silt. Add just enough water to keep the soil moist, but not so much that it becomes sticky.
Mark out the outline of the mound by placing one stake in the center of the mound area and walking another stake tied to it with string nine feet out. Use the paint to make a line. Walk a few feet in a circular direction and make another mark. Repeat until you complete a full circle. The mound area should be 18 feet in diameter.
Use the shovels to remove the sod from the mound area.
Build up the plateau of the mound (this will be the highest point). The plateau will be about 10 feet from the home plate side and 8 feet from the second base side, so work in that area when building up the plateau. Build this up to 10 inches (the maximum height of the mound).
Begin working on the front slope of the mound, building it up one inch at a time. After you've added an inch of soil, use the roller press to pack it down. As you're doing this, keep in mind that the mound should slope one inch per foot. Repeat this step until you've reached the regulation dimensions for the mound.
Build the back side of the mound using the same techniques that you used on the front.
Install the pitching rubber. The front side of the rubber should be exactly 60 feet, 6 inches from the front of home plate.
Use the rake to contour the mound to regulation dimensions, adding more soil if necessary. In front of the rubber, the mound should start to slope down after six inches; at the back of the mound, it should start to slope after 28 inches. Remember to keep the downward slope towards home plate at a rate of one inch per every foot.
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