Parents who want their kids to train hard for Little League, baseball, or softball may consider putting a pitchers mound in their backyard. That way their aspiring athletic can get in all the practice they desire even during the off-season.
How to make a pitching mound in your backyard isn’t incredibly challenging. It involves a lot of measuring as you must have the correct distance from the home plate to the pitchers’ mound and the correct circumference of the mound. It also involved some grass clearing, dirt spreading, and packing followed by maintenance.
Read further about ways you can create a pitching mound in your backyard.
How to Build a Pitching Mound?
There are two ways to build a pitchers’ mound. You can build an authentic one with dirt or you can build a portable practice mound. The dirt mound is the classic mound.
Picking the Spot
This is an important step because you need to have a proper distance from the home plate but also need to make sure windows and cars are not within the throwing area. Most professional and school pitching mounds face northeast but that doesn’t have to be a certainty for a practice mound.
Deciding the Distance
The first thing to do is decide what kind of pitchers mound you’re going to build. The measurements are different for tee ball, Little League, high school, college professional baseball as well as softball.
Distances to Consider
Children’s sports, including tee-ball and Little League, will have the mound at 46 feet from the home plate. Intermediate baseball has its mound 50 feet from home plate and those on high school and adult teams have a mound 60-feet-6-inches away from home plate.
With softball, the distance for kids’ leagues is 35 feet from the home plate while intermediate leagues are 40 feet. High school and adult leagues have a distance of 43 feet from home plate to the pitchers’ mound.
The measurement is from the home plate apex to the front of the pitching rubber, not the center of the mound. Additionally, the mound’s height is between 6 to 10 inches, depending on the age of the athletes. Its diameter is 10 feet for children and 18 feet for high school and adult teams.
Clear the Space
Once you figure out where the home plate and the pitcher’s mound will be, you will need to clear the space for the mound. Start by putting a stake 59 feet from home plate, if setting up a high school team mound. A children’s mound would be staked at 45 feet. The stake will be the center of the mound.
This is not where the pitching plate will be, as the plate isn’t placed at the mound’s center.
Drawing the Mound Circle
Stretch a string tied to the stake and measure it out half of the diameter of the appropriate pitcher’s mound for your age group. Be sure the rope on the stake moves freely. Mark the outside of the mound with paint as you move the rope around the stake.
Clean the inside of the circle of any rocks, turf, weeds, and roots. You can use a landscape fabric to block weeds from growing. Make sure the ground is level.
Measuring the Mound Height
You should set the height of the mount with a stake marked with the right height. This would be 7 to 10 inches, depending on the age of players.
Build the mound using clay dirt or pre-made mound clay, adding one inch at a time. Pack it down by stepping on it. Keep applying until you reach half of the stake’s mark. You may need to wet the clay mix down occasionally to keep it packed and firm.
You want the mound to lower in height as it moves outward. The general rule is that every three to six inches from the center should be one inch lower in height.
Smooth the mound by packing it and filling in low spots.
Creating a Pitching Plateau
The plateau is where the pitching rubber rests. The rubber should be in a centerline with the home plate so line up the center of the home plate and should measure up 46 feet for children and 60-feet-6-inches for high school and adults.
This means the pitching rubber will be 12 inches behind the center of the mound for children and 18 inches behind the mound’s center for upper-level teams. the plateau area for children should be 40 inches by 17 inches while upper league plateaus are 5 feet by 3 feet.
The best way to build a plateau is to create a frame with boards. Put your frame on the sub-base. Build the sub-base until the top of your frame is the correct depth of the completed mound according to the mark on the stake. Keep the area level.
As you build this, you will want to install the pitcher rubber. It should be flush with the plateau.
Although you built the slope, you should check the measurements of it again since you installed the plateau and the pitching rubber. It should slope 1 inch per foot on all sides of the pitching plateau.
Smooth the mound and make sure it’s firm.
Building a Wooden Mound
You can build a practice mound for youth who want a portable mound. The adult version requires You cut sideboards that are 7-inches high and 8-feet long. the backboard will be 48 inches and will slope down the sideboards.
The flat base will be 40 inches long and the slant height should be 2 inches from the ground at its ending.
You will need a circular saw, a table saw, power screwdriver, screws, particle board, a tape measure, level, a sanding machine, gloves, and safety glasses.
After you cut the pieces, use your power screwdriver to connect them. Make sure the flat base and the ending slant are level. You will want to add supporting boards underneath the flat base and the incline.
Sand it down so it’s smooth.
Paint it to weather-proof it or cover it with turf grass so it’s not slippery. Apply the pitching rubber on top.
Are the dimensions for high school pitching mounds the same as college and pro leagues?
Yes, the height and distance of high school pitching mounds are the same as both college and pro baseball leagues.
Why does baseball have a mound?
A pitcher’s mound is to give the pitcher the power for his pitches. It’s to make up for the distance from the home plate.
How far do 11-year-olds pitch from?
Kids who are 11-years old still qualify for Little League distance so that is 46 feet from home plate to the pitching rubber.
What kind of dirt do you use on a pitching mound?
You want dirt that is heavily mixed with clay. Most experts want two types of clay dirt on a mound. They like harder clay dirt on the landing area and plateau and a regular infield mix for the rest of the mound. Harder clay is usually a mix of 40 to 50 percent clay, 40 percent sand, and 10 to 20 percent silt.
What do you do to maintain a pitcher’s mound?
You need to check for worn spots or holes and add more clay to those areas. Moisten the mound whenever you add more dirt. Cover the mound with a tarp or a pitcher’s mound cover when not in use.