MLB, USA Baseball Recognize Pitch Smart Compliant Organizations
Twenty-three organizations identified as "fully compliant" for the 2017 season
DURHAM, N.C. - Major League Baseball and USA Baseball recognized on Wednesday the amateur and youth organizations that have fully adopted the Pitch Smart Compliance Program's guidelines and principles for the 2017 season. The updated compliance program includes the addition of three organizations to the Full Compliance level, bringing the total to 23 fully compliant organizations, an increase of over 15% from 2016.
Pitch Smart is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that provides safe pitching practices to help reduce the risk of arm injuries in amateur players. The program includes a growing number of resources on its home site at PitchSmart.org. It is further supported by a free online educational course available at USA Baseball's Online Education Center at USABaseball.Education that is hosted by Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz.
"Supporting programs that encourage the long-term development and health of amateur players continues to be a priority for Major League Baseball," said Chris Marinak, Senior Vice President of League Economics & Strategy, Major League Baseball. "We are pleased by the continued proliferation of Pitch Smart, and see it as a positive step for generations to come."
Full Pitch Smart compliance represents the highest level of commitment to the program and is defined by the incorporation of Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across all competitions, as well as supporting Pitch Smart educational efforts across all platforms.
American Amateur Baseball Congress, American Legion Baseball, and the National Amateur Baseball Federation join the lineup of fully compliant Pitch Smart organizations for 2017. The returning fully compliant organizations from 2016 include: Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, Baseball Factory, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, California Collegiate League, Cape Cod Baseball League, Dixie Boys Baseball Inc., East Coast Pro Showcase, Florida Collegiate Summer League, Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League, Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, Little League Baseball®, National Youth Baseball Championships, New England Collegiate Baseball League, New York Collegiate Baseball League, Perfect Game, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), Southern Collegiate Baseball League, Sunbelt Baseball League, USA Baseball, and Valley Baseball League.
In addition to the full compliance organizations, Major League Baseball and USA Baseball also recognize organizations that are select compliant and educational supporters. Select compliance of the Pitch Smart program is defined by the implementation of Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across select competitions, supporting Pitch Smart educational efforts across all platforms, and a plan to progress towards the adoption of all standards of full compliance in coming years.
The final level of Pitch Smart compliance, educational supporters, includes organizations that agree with the philosophies of the Pitch Smart program, support Pitch Smart educational efforts across all platforms, and will work towards select and full program compliance upon organizational review.
The select compliant Pitch Smart organizations for 2017 include: Babe Ruth League, Dixie Youth Baseball, Game Day USA, NCTB Baseball, PONY Baseball, and Prep Baseball Report.
The educational supporter organizations of Pitch Smart for 2017 include: Amateur Athletic Union Baseball, National Federation of State High School Associations, Nations Baseball, Ripken Baseball, and United States Specialty Sports Association.
"USA Baseball is proud to recognize these organizations that have made a firm commitment to our athletes' future," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "The collective energy across the amateur space in working together on this common issue bodes well for our ability to deliver a positive and enjoyable game for many years to come."
In addition to the formal recognition of Pitch Smart Compliant organizations, the initiative was further buoyed in 2016 with the recommendation by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) that all state associations adopt pitching rules for their state, based on pitch counts and not the traditional metric of innings pitched. The rule change was encouraged by a series of presentations and meetings, and continues to be supported by MLB and USA Baseball. The aforementioned Introduction to Pitch Smart education course can also be found on the NFHS learning center, free of charge.
USA Baseball will continue to collaborate with all organizations on their Pitch Smart progress throughout the 2017 season.
For a complete list of all full compliant organizations, select compliant organizations and educational supporters, as well as more information about Pitch Smart and an application for inclusion in the compliance program, visit PitchSmart.org.