USA BASEBALL NEWS

Sport Dev

"Fun At Bat" To Be Implemented in Greater London Schools As Introductory Baseball And Softball Program For U.K. Students Through 2021

Thousands of Children Will Have Access to the Bat-and-Ball Program, Which Currently Reaches More Than Three Million Students in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico
June 26, 2019

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Major League Baseball, USA Baseball and BaseballSoftballUK today announced that "Fun At Bat" (www.funatbat.org), the introductory bat-and-ball program designed for use in school physical education classes, will now be available to primary school students in Greater London and surrounding areas through 2021. The free program, which is currently reaching more than three million children in all 50 United States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and Mexico, will be administered by BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK), the development agency for the two sports in Britain, along with official schools delivery partner Premier Education Group. 

The initial launch of Fun At Bat in London will serve thousands of children in 50 schools in London, Birmingham and Southeast England. However, MLB's Europe Office and BSUK will look to grow the access to the program in the following years. Franklin Sports, a long-time MLB and USA Baseball partner, has created custom Fun At Bat Baseball equipment to help activate this program since its inception in 2016. 

A joint MLB and USA Baseball youth program, Fun At Bat promotes fun and active lifestyles for children, while also teaching the fundamental skills of bat-and-ball sports. The program, available in both English and Spanish, also includes a literacy component focusing on character development and teaching traits such as leadership, teamwork and responsibility. Fun At Bat is part of the PLAY BALL initiative (www.PlayBall.org) - the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal and casual forms of play. Since the initiative's launch in 2015, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has reported a 52.8 percent increase in casual baseball participation in the United States.

"Major League Baseball is thrilled to bring Fun At Bat to Greater London, which will serve as a lasting legacy of the London Series," said Tony Reagins, Executive Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development, MLB. "The potential impact of this program is significant, especially as we continue to foster a connection to our sport and make baseball, as well as softball, a part of the sports culture in the United Kingdom." 

"We are excited to partner with BaseballSoftballUK to deliver the Fun At Bat program to students of greater London," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "This initiative is not only a great way to introduce and teach the sport of baseball to students, it also serves as a platform to teach lifelong character development skills that will stay with students well beyond the program. We look forward to continuing to work with BaseballSoftballUK and additional national baseball federations as we continue to promote the sport of baseball around the world."

"We are thrilled to welcome Fun At Bat to the UK, where we believe the programme will be a crucial addition for the development of baseball and softball," remarked John Boyd, CEO of BaseballSoftballUK. "PLAY BALL events have been hosted by many of the world's top baseball-playing countries and the addition of the UK to this list shows the importance of the London Series and its legacy events. We look forward to continued partnership with MLB and USA Baseball as we grow baseball and softball in the UK."

"Premier are delighted to be delivering this exciting programme through our partnership with BaseballSoftballUK into 50 schools," noted Jane Hannah, Premier Education Group's Partnership Manager. "Our fully trained Activity Professionals will provide children with a great first experience of the sport."

Adam Franklin, Vice President at Franklin Sports said: "Franklin Sports is proud to be the Official Equipment Partner of the Fun At Bat program. As long time partners of USA Baseball and Major League Baseball, we are committed to the collective goals of growing youth participation and creating young fans of the sport of baseball."

The expansion of Fun At Bat to London is MLB's latest effort to grow the game among young people throughout the world, particularly in Europe. In addition to the multiple PLAY BALL events held in various parts of the United States as well as in Mexico, Brazil, and Panama, MLB has had a substantive imprint on the youth and amateur levels of the sport throughout the world. 

Over the last three years, the MLB CUP has served nearly 10,000 kids in Japan, Taiwan and Mexico in tournament play. On Sunday, June 23rd, MLB's signature international youth league competition was held for the first time in Europe featuring London-based baseball and softball Little League teams at PLAY BALL PARK in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The MLB Coach Development Program has been held throughout the world as a means of providing expert instruction to prospective baseball and softball coaches through MLB's Development Team. Additionally, the Elite Development Camp has been held for baseball and softball players throughout Europe, ages 13 to 19, to offer them first-class coaching opportunities. Both programs were held in London in advance of the Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019.

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Develops

USA Baseball to Continue Offering Online Community Clinics

The virtual clinics will occur throughout the month of August
June 22, 2020

CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today it is expanding its offerings of online Community Clinics through the month of August in an effort to support coaches and parents currently enrolled in its Coaches Certification pathway. The free clinics will take place on the following dates:

Wednesday, August 5 from 12 - 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, August 12 from 12 - 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, August 19 from 12 - 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, August 26 from 7 - 10 p.m. ET

Registration for each clinic is now open with limited spots available on CoachClinics.org.

The Coaches Certification pathway is a free three-tiered program consisting of ascending levels: "A" Certification, "B" Certification and "C" Certification. All of the levels contain a series of courses that cover topics such as health and safety, creating a positive team environment, recognizing and responding to misconduct, practice planning, game management and skill-specific development.

This program requires the participation in a Community or Regional Clinic in order to obtain a "C" Certification. The clinics are typically held year-round at facilities nationwide in partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and GameChanger, but will be hosted online for the first time ever in 2020. The clinics are run by veteran coaches from all levels of baseball in order to proliferate a culture of continuing education, development and mentorship.

Upon completion of the certification, coaches simultaneously satisfy the training requirements set forth by Senate Bill 534 (SB 534) and also begin the process of becoming Pure Baseball compliant. In November 2018, USA Baseball announced Pure Baseball, a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse constructed in cooperation with SB 534 and the policies created by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. To concurrently become Pure Baseball compliant, coaches need only submit to and pass an annual background check, which can be done at USABDevelops.com through USA Baseball's service provider, JD Palatine.

For more information on the Coaches Certification program and to begin the courses required to complete certification, visit CoachClinics.org. In addition to this new program, all courses and resources for players, coaches, parents and umpires on USABDevelops.com are available at no cost to users and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.

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Develops

USA Baseball Launches "Fun At Bat At Home"

The free program introduces young athletes to the game of baseball while encouraging them to stay active while at home.
April 22, 2020

CARY, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the launch of the "Fun At Bat At Home" program today as part of Major League Baseball's PLAY BALL At Home campaign. The free program takes the principles of the Fun At Bat program and modifies the curriculum into fun, easy activities for young athletes and their families to participate in while at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To access the Fun At Bat At Home resources, visit USABDevelops.com/FunAtBatAtHome.

A joint MLB and USA Baseball youth program, Fun At Bat was designed for physical education classes in schools to promote fun and active lifestyles for children while teaching the fundamental skills of bat-and-ball sports. The Fun At Bat At Home program includes a guide book with exercises, activities and tips for using alternative equipment with the aim of enabling children to learn the health-enhancing benefits of bat-and-ball sports, in addition to the fundamental skills and rules, all from the comfort of their home.

"We are pleased to provide parents and young athletes the resources to learn the game of baseball and pursue a healthy lifestyle during this unprecedented time through the Fun At Bat At Home initiative," said USA Baseball Director of Youth Programs Tyler Collins. "This addition to the core Fun At Bat program will give children the opportunity to continue to be physically active, while using minimal equipment within the confines of their own home."

Fun At Bat is part of Major League Baseball's PLAY BALL initiative-the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities. The Fun At Bat program reaches nearly 3.5 million children across all 50 states, Washington DC., Puerto Rico, Mexico, London, and Brazil. The program is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and also includes a literacy component focusing on character development and teaching traits such as leadership, teamwork and responsibility.

For more information on Fun At Bat, visit FunAtBat.org or follow @FunAtBat on Instagram and Twitter. Families are encouraged to share their experiences with a photo or video of their children participating in these fun baseball activities by using the hashtag #FABAtHome on social media.

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Develops

USA Baseball to Expand Online Coaches Clinics

The online clinics will occur on Wednesday, April 15, Saturday, April 25, and Wednesday, April 29
April 9, 2020

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today it will expand its offering of online Community Clinics through the month of April in an effort to support coaches and parents currently enrolled in its Coaches Certification pathway. The free clinics will take place on Wednesday, April 15, Saturday, April 25, and Wednesday, April 29, from 12-3 p.m. ET. Registration for each clinic is now open with limited spots available on CoachClinics.org.

USA Baseball launched its first two online Community Clinics earlier this month and reached over 1,400 unique users and 150,000 total minutes consumed over the two sessions.

The Coaches Certification pathway is a free three-tiered program consisting of ascending levels: "A" Certification, "B" Certification and "C" Certification. All of the levels contain a series of courses that cover topics such as health and safety, creating a positive team environment, recognizing and responding to misconduct, practice planning, game management and skill-specific development.

This program requires the participation in a Community or Regional Clinic in order to obtain a "C" Certification. The clinics are typically held year-round at facilities nationwide in partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and GameChanger, but will be hosted online for the first time ever in 2020. The clinics are run by veteran coaches from all levels of baseball in order to proliferate a culture of continuing education, development and mentorship.

Committed to co-host the online clinics are six coaches affiliated with MLB Clubs. Additionally, coaches from Campbell University, Duke University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Paris Junior College, Swarthmore College and the University of Central Florida will also participate in the clinic.

Upon completion of the certification, coaches simultaneously satisfy the training requirements set forth by Senate Bill 534 (SB 534) and also begin the process of becoming Pure Baseball compliant. In November 2018, USA Baseball announced Pure Baseball, a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse constructed in cooperation with SB 534 and the policies created by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. To concurrently become Pure Baseball compliant, coaches need only submit to and pass an annual background check, which can be done at USABDevelops.com through USA Baseball's service provider, JD Palatine.

For more information on the Coaches Certification program and to begin the courses required to complete certification, visit CoachClinics.org. In addition to this new program, all courses and resources for players, coaches, parents and umpires on USABDevelops.com are available at no cost to users and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.

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Develops

USA Baseball to Host Coaches Clinics Online

The online clinics will occur on Saturday, April 4, and Wednesday, April 8
March 31, 2020

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced today it will host two online Community Clinics in an effort to support coaches and parents currently enrolled in its Coaches Certification pathway. The free clinics will take place on Saturday, April 4, and Wednesday, April 8, from 12-3 p.m. ET. Registration for each clinic is now open with limited spots available on CoachClinics.org.

The Coaches Certification pathway is a free three-tiered program consisting of ascending levels: "A" Certification, "B" Certification and "C" Certification. All of the levels contain a series of courses that cover topics such as health and safety, creating a positive team environment, recognizing and responding to misconduct, practice planning, game management and skill-specific development.

This program requires the participation in a Community or Regional Clinic in order to obtain a "C" Certification. The clinics are typically held year-round at facilities nationwide in partnership with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and GameChanger, but will be hosted online for the first time ever in 2020. The clinics are run by veteran coaches from all levels of baseball in order to proliferate a culture of continuing education, development and mentorship.

Committed to co-host the online clinics are six coaches affiliated with MLB Clubs. Additionally, coaches from Campbell University, Duke University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Paris Junior College, Swarthmore College and the University of Central Florida will also participate in the clinic.

"USA Baseball is excited to virtually host two Community Clinics as we continue to support the amateur baseball community by delivering free quality educational resources directly to coaches," said USA Baseball Director of Coaching Development Andrew Bartman. "As we continue to embrace the unprecedented situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to provide alternative solutions to the coaches who are enrolled in our Coaches Certification program so that they will be able to continue enhancing our game for the millions of children who play baseball in the United States."

Upon completion of the certification, coaches simultaneously satisfy the training requirements set forth by Senate Bill 534 (SB 534) and also begin the process of becoming Pure Baseball compliant. In November 2018, USA Baseball announced Pure Baseball, a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse constructed in cooperation with SB 534 and the policies created by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. To concurrently become Pure Baseball compliant, coaches need only submit to and pass an annual background check, which can be done at USABDevelops.com through USA Baseball's service provider, JD Palatine.

For more information on the Coaches Certification program and to begin the courses required to complete certification, visit CoachClinics.org. In addition to this new program, all courses and resources for players, coaches, parents and umpires on USABDevelops.com are available at no cost to users and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.

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Sport Dev

MLB, USA Baseball Recognize Pitch Smart Compliant Organizations for 2020

Baseball New Zealand becomes the first international baseball federation to join USA Baseball as Pitch Smart compliant
January 29, 2020

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 2020 season. The updated compliance program includes the addition of Baseball New Zealand, the first international baseball federation to join USA Baseball in adopting the Pitch Smart program. In total, 28 international, national and regional organizations are fully compliant in 2020.

Pitch Smart is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that provides safe pitching practices and guidelines 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 Sport Development website at SportDev.org that is hosted by Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz.

"Major League Baseball is pleased with the continued growth of Pitch Smart, which has effectively educated leagues, coaches, parents and players on the importance of arm health & safety on the mound," said Chris Marinak, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Major League Baseball. "The international expansion to Baseball New Zealand is a significant development as we look to make Pitch Smart guidelines the standard throughout amateur baseball around the world."

"Baseball New Zealand is fully committed in implementing and enforcing the USA Pitch Smart guidlines across all Baseball New Zealand competitions," said John Fellet, Baseball New Zealand's CEO. "As a rapidly developing baseball country it is vital that we look after and care for our young Kiwi arms. The Pitch Smart educational guidlines and educational platforms will help to educate both players and coaches around the dangers associated with overuse injuries. To further grow baseball within New Zealand and become competitive on the world stage we must develop both our pitchers and catchers throughout the country, which cannot be done without healthy arms."

Baseball New Zealand joins 27 international, national and regional organizations who were also fully compliant with the Pitch Smart program in 2019. 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.

Full Compliant Organizations (International, National and Regional):

  • American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
  • American Legion Baseball
  • Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League
  • Baseball Factory
  • Baseball New Zealand
  • Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League
  • California Collegiate League
  • Cape Cod Baseball League
  • Coastal Plain League
  • Dixie Baseball Boys & Majors
  • Dixie Youth Baseball Inc.
  • East Coast Pro Showcase
  • Florida Collegiate Summer League
  • Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League
  • Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League
  • IMG Academy
  • Little League Baseball ®
  • National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF)
  • National Youth Baseball Championships
  • New England Collegiate Baseball League
  • New York Collegiate Baseball League
  • PONY Baseball
  • Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI)
  • Southern Collegiate Baseball League
  • Sunbelt Baseball League
  • USA Baseball
  • Valley Baseball League
  • Wilson Premier Baseball

 

In addition to the Full Compliant 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.

"Pitch Smart and its educational efforts continue to be a major initiative for USA Baseball as we continue our governance within the amateur game," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director/CEO. "The support of the organizations who have adopted and implement this program is paramount to the overall health and safety of our athletes and their futures."

Select Compliant Organizations (International, National and Regional):

  • Babe Ruth League
  • Baseball Heaven
  • Game Day USA
  • NCTB Baseball
  • Perfect Game
  • Prep Baseball Report
  • USSSA

 

Educational Supporters (International, National and Regional):

  • AAU Baseball
  • National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
  • Ripken Baseball

 

Ninety-two additional state and local organizations have also been recognized as Full Compliant, Select Compliant or Educational Supporter organizations for 2020, and USA Baseball will continue to collaborate with all organizations on their Pitch Smart progress throughout the 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.

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Sport Dev

USA Baseball, Tyler Collins Honored with Layman Award

The award honors an individual for contributions in fields of Health and Physical Education
May 31, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball Director of Youth Programs Tyler Collins was honored with the Layman Award at the Philadelphia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AHPERD) Annual Awards Banquet on April 25, 2019, in recognition of his role in the implementation of the Fun At Bat program within the School District of Philadelphia. The award is given annually to an individual who has provided significant contributions to the fields of Health and Physical Education, who are not members of the profession. 

Collins oversees the Fun At Bat initiative, an entry-level bat-and-ball program with support by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball for kids with an emphasis on character development, functional movement, active play and fun. The initiative stems from meticulous research on introductory youth sport programs and is free for schools and school districts to adopt.

"Tyler Collins, through USA Baseball, has presented the students of the School District of Philadelphia with the unique opportunity to access and experience the game of baseball through the Fun At Bat program," said School District of Philadelphia Director of Health, Safety and Physical Education, Nancy Nayowith. "Through their generous support and training, many schools now have sustainable programming to grow the game.

"We are appreciative of our partnership with USA Baseball and look forward to expanding its reach in our schools. Congratulations to Tyler Collins for receiving the Layman Award, and many thanks for his persistence and dedication on behalf of our students."

Collins' work growing and expanding USA Baseball's Fun At Bat program earned him the distinction. He presented the program to the Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers in the Philadelphia School District during a professional development course. All teachers in attendance received hands-on instruction, curricula and equipment for use in continuing the program in their schools.

"It is a great honor to receive the Layman Award from PAHPERD," Collins said. "The School District of Philadelphia has been a great partner and we look forward to continuing to provide the physical education teachers with the resources they need to successfully teach students the game of baseball."

Collins first joined USA Baseball in January 2017 and, under his guidance, Fun At Bat has experienced tremendous growth, currently reaching more than one million children in all 50 states, nearly 150,000 students in Puerto Rico and more than one million elementary school students throughout Mexico as of June 2019.

"As a teacher in a large urban district like Philadelphia, supplies are often scarce. It is such a blessing to have an organization like USA Baseball be willing to provide our teachers with meaningful professional development and equipment," said President of the Philadelphia AHPERD and Patterson Elementary School Health and PE Teacher, Erika Buscaglia. "Tyler's presentation was amazing and energetic! He provided us with activities we could immediately incorporate into our HPE programs."

For more information on Fun At Bat and other joint Major League Baseball and USA Baseball initiatives, visit SportDev.org.

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Sport Dev

"Fun At Bat," An Introductory & Character Building and Softball Program, To Be Implemented In Schools Throughout Mexico

More Than One Million Mexican Children Will Have Access to the Bat-and-Ball Program, Which Currently Reaches Students in the United States and Puerto Rico
May 22, 2019

EL PROGRAMA "FUN AT BAT" SE IMPLEMENTARÁ COMO PARTE DEL CURRÍCULO DE EDUCACIÓN FÍSICA EN ESCUELAS EN MEXICO PRIMARIAS DE PUERTO RICO

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - Major League Baseball and USA Baseball today announced that "Fun At Bat" (www.funatbat.org), the introductory and character building bat-and-ball program designed for use in physical education (P.E.) classes, will now be available to elementary school students throughout Mexico. The free program, which is currently reaching more than one million children in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, will be administered in Mexico by the Presidential Office for Baseball Development and Promotion in Mexico (PROBEIS), an initiative commissioned by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to develop and promote baseball in the country, with support from both MLB and USA Baseball.

The Mexico Fun At Bat program will serve more than 1.3 million students throughout the country. Franklin Sports, a long-time MLB and USA Baseball partner, has created custom Fun At Bat Baseball equipment to help activate this program since its inception in 2016.

A joint MLB and USA Baseball youth program, Fun At Bat promotes fun and active lifestyles for children, while also teaching the fundamental skills of bat-and-ball sports. The program, available in both English and Spanish, also includes a literacy component focusing on character development and teaching traits such as leadership, teamwork and responsibility. Fun At Bat is part of the PLAY BALL initiative (www.PlayBall.org) - the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal and casual forms of play. Since the initiative's launch in 2015, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has reported a 52.8 percent increase in casual baseball participation in the United States.

"Baseball's future in Mexico is a bright one, and this collaborative effort between MLB, USA Baseball and PROBEIS will contribute greatly toward that end," said Tony Reagins, Executive Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development, Major League Baseball. "In line with our larger PLAY BALL initiative, Fun At Bat will give children in Mexico the opportunity to discover the game at its most basic levels, which we believe will be the beginning of a lifelong passion for baseball." 

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver this program to students across Mexico," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "Fun At Bat is the fastest growing bat-and-ball program in the world. With its comprehensive curriculum and fun-first approach, it is the ideal way to introduce kids from across the globe to our great game."

"We couldn't be more thrilled about this historic opportunity to formally implement baseball in public grammar schools in Mexico as part of our strategy to develop and promote the sport, as instructed by President Lopez Obrador," said Edgar Gonzalez, Director of PROBEIS. "Teachers are the backbone of our social development and it is exciting to know they are participating in this amazing program designed exclusively for the purpose of teaching fundamental principles to children. Naturally, we are looking forward to implementing additional projects jointly with USA Baseball and Major League Baseball to continue furthering mission."

Adam Franklin, Vice President at Franklin Sports said: "Franklin Sports is proud to be the Official Equipment Partner of the Fun At Bat program. As long time partners of USA Baseball and Major League Baseball, we are committed to the collective goals of growing youth participation and creating young fans of the sport of baseball."

The expansion of Fun At Bat to Mexico is MLB's latest efforts to grow the game among young people throughout the world. In addition to the multiple PLAY BALL events held in various parts of the United States as well as in Mexico, Brazil, and Panama, MLB has had a substantive imprint on the youth & amateur levels of the sport throughout the world. Over the last three years, the MLB CUP, MLB's signature international youth league competition, has served nearly 10,000 kids in Japan, Taiwan and Mexico in tournament play.

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Sport Dev

Kyle Lubrano Appointed USA Baseball Senior Director of Safesport and Compliance

Lubrano to serve as organization's liaison with the U.S. Center for SafeSport
August 7, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the appointment of Kyle Lubrano as its Senior Director of SafeSport and Compliance on Tuesday. In this role, Lubrano will oversee all elements of the organization's SafeSport-related policies and serve as the primary liaison with the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Lubrano will work in coordination with the Sport Development Department and the national team program directors to implement curriculum, training and additional outreach materials as it relates to SafeSport. In addition to leading the organization's efforts to promote a safe, healthy training environment for all national team program participants, she will oversee compliance and enforcement of applicable USA Baseball rules, policies and provisions in the greater amateur baseball community, as well as contributing to its emerging educational ventures.

"Kyle has a proven track record of success with the development and implementation of new initiatives within amateur sports - specifically Team USA - and we are confident she will be a tremendous asset to our organization," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "With the appointment of the Senior Director of SafeSport and Compliance position, USA Baseball furthers its commitment to leading the amateur baseball landscape with regards to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the protection and well-being of our athletes."

Lubrano brings eight years of experience working with Team USA to her role at USA Baseball. Prior to joining the organization, she worked with both US Lacrosse and USA Field Hockey where she developed and delivered certification programs and educational resources, and led growth initiatives, respectively. She also spent time working with Major League Soccer's DC United.

Before first joining USA Baseball as a Senior Director of Sport Development in May of 2018, she served as the Multisport Account Manager at Soccer.com and is currently part of a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) group that develops scalable athlete development models for National Governing Bodies.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent nonprofit committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport. This includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual misconduct and abuse. The USOC has entrusted the Center with the authority to respond to reports of sexual misconduct with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

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MLB and USA Baseball Announce Hit and Run Baseball

Interactive gameplay of Hit and Run Baseball, which fosters player skills development as well as health & safety, will be supported by several youth baseball organizations
May 21, 2018

MLB and USA Baseball Announce "Hit and Run Baseball," Designed to Encourage Youth & Amateur Participation in Modified Forms of the Game

DURHAM, N.C. - Major League Baseball and USA Baseball today announced "Hit and Run Baseball," a program supporting modified forms of the game that allow players to develop their skills in a more interactive format while also promoting player health and safety.

The program will serve youth leagues, tournament providers and amateur coaches with recommended game formats that can be easily applied at all levels of youth & amateur baseball. Additionally, operators can create their own modified rules to best suit their individual league, tournament or team needs. More information on Hit and Run Baseball is available for coaches, players and administrators at HitandRunBaseball.com.

Hit and Run Baseball is designed to encourage youth organizations to utilize alternative formats for gameplay, particularly during practices, scrimmages, and tournament play. The program provides customizable templates and recommended formats that can be applied to various age groups and stages of player development.

The basic tenets of Hit and Run Baseball encourage the following:

  • Quicker pace-of-play with more game action by reducing the number of pitches per at-bat, increasing the frequency of balls-in-play, and giving teams bonuses for hitting certain pace-of-play goals;
  • More engagement with youth players by introducing more diverse game situations, giving players the opportunity to play different defensive positions and providing more opportunities to participate defensively;
  • Improved player health and safety by limiting player pitch counts, particularly among the youngest age groups; and
  • More teaching opportunities for coaches to provide immediate feedback to players.

 

Pilots of the Hit and Run Baseball program have shown that games are played in a shorter timeframe with more plate appearances and more balls in play, while at the same time requiring pitchers to throw fewer pitches. Hit and Run Baseball applications during tournament play are particularly helpful in managing pitch counts and ensuring there is enough time to play all brackets of a tournament.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.: "Hit and Run Baseball was created as a teaching tool designed to remind baseball participants that playing our game does not require a one-size-fits-all approach. There are many different ways to structure practice, games and tournaments so that players get the most out of their experiences, particularly through crisp pace of play while also limiting pitch count burdens on pitchers. We have assembled an advisory board, some of whom represent the highest levels of our sport, who will ensure that Hit and Run Baseball remains effective and focused on the overall development and enjoyment of young participants of our game."

"The importance of fun and actionable forms of game modification was identified early on in our strategic plan for growing our sport," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "By creating this platform, we aim to make baseball available to a wider audience of participants by normalizing alternative methods of gameplay and further energizing the experience within the game. We're grateful for the continued support of our member organizations and other amateur partners who are championing initiatives like Hit and Run, as we collectively serve the millions of families engaged in our great sport."

The following youth & amateur organizations actively support Hit and Run Baseball and the general movement to encourage alternative formats of the game: American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), American Legion, Babe Ruth League, Dixie Youth, Dixie Boys & Majors, Little League International, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF), Ripken Baseball, USA Baseball, NCTB, PONY Baseball and Softball, and Perfect Game.

Future adjustments and strategy for the program will be guided by a committee consisting of leadership from throughout the professional and amateur levels of the sport, including the following:

  • Cal Ripken, Jr. - Baseball Hall of Famer; MLB Special Advisor; Vice Chair of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
  • Michael Cuddyer - Special Assistant, Baseball Operations, Minnesota twins; USA Baseball Sport Development Contributor; Two-time MLB All-Star; Member of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame;
  • Steve Keener - President & CEO of Little League International Elliot Hopkins - Director of Sports, Sanctioning, and Students Services of the National Federation of State High Schools Association
  • Paul Mainieri - Head Coach, Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers
  • John Vodenlich - Head Coach, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks
  • Josh Bloom, MD, MPH, CAQSM - Medical Director, Carolina Sports Concussion Clinic & Head Medical Team Physician, Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) and USA Baseball
  • Kyle Stark - Vice President, Assistant General Manager, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Shaun Larkin - Coordinator of Skill Development, Los Angeles Dodgers Organization; former Minor League Manager & Coach; former Collegiate and High School Coach
  • Sean Campbell - Senior Director of Sport Development, USA Baseball
  • David James - Vice President, Baseball & Softball Development, Major League Baseball; Head of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI)
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