USA BASEBALL NEWS

MLB, USA Baseball Announce Updates to Pitch Smart Program

August 28, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. - Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced jointly on Tuesday several updates to the Pitch Smart program, a series of practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers for youth pitchers. To limit the likelihood of injuries caused by pitching with fatigue, the Pitch Smart guidelines include age-specific pitching limits and required rest recommendations for pitchers ages seven to 22.

The updated guidelines, which will take effect in the 2018 season, include new thresholds for required rest periods for the 17-18 and 19-22 year old age groups. Pitchers in the 17-18 year old age group will now be required to rest for a minimum of three days after throwing between 61 and 80 pitches (previously between 61 and 75) and a minimum of four days after throwing 81 or more pitches (previously 76 or more). Pitchers in the 19-22 year old age group will now be required to rest for a minimum of three days after throwing between 61 and 80 pitches (previously between 61 and 75), a minimum of four days after throwing between 81 and 105 (previously 76 or more) and a minimum of five days after throwing 106 pitches or more (previously a minimum of four days rest was required after throwing 76 pitches or more). An additional stipulation will be added to the guidelines for all age groups that no pitcher should appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch counts. Previously, there was no limit on consecutive days in which a pitcher could appear.

Updates will also be made to the program's list of risk factors for injury. Specifically, the section on radar gun use will be expanded to elaborate the importance, from a health perspective, for young pitchers to be able to vary speeds for each pitch type.

Twenty-three amateur and youth organizations have fully adopted the Pitch Smart Compliance Program's guidelines and principles for the 2017 season. Additionally, USA Baseball and Major League Baseball have recognized six organizations as Select Compliant and five as educational supporters. USA will continue to collaborate with all organizations on their Pitch Smart progress throughout the 2017 season and will help with the implementation of these new updates in the 2018 season.

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.

The Pitch Smart website also includes a series of answers to frequently asked questions regarding Tommy John surgery. This section will be revised to include more updated statistics on Tommy John surgeries in the U.S., as well as references to several research studies on the risk factors for Tommy John surgery and the most affected demographics.

For the complete pitching guidelines and recommended rest periods for all age groups, as well as information on the Pitch Smart Compliance program and additional resources to help reduce the risk of arm injuries in amateur players, visit PitchSmart.org.

"We're pleased with the enduring forward progress of the Pitch Smart initiative," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "The continued evolution of this program and its guidelines will help ensure the best possible experience for the participants of our game, while better positioning them to have long, healthy and prosperous careers."

 

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USA Baseball Launches Pure Baseball

Pure Baseball is a zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse that ensures the well-being of athletes
November 15, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball today announced the launch of Pure Baseball. Pure Baseball is the organization's zero-tolerance policy regarding abuse - inclusive of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct - within the sport of baseball across the United States to ensure the overall well-being of its minor athletes. 

Pursuant to the guidelines presented in Senate Bill 534 (SB 534) and in cooperation with the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the Pure Baseball initiative and its numerous resources will impact USA Baseball, its national team athletes and event participants, in addition to its national member organizations, local affiliate organizations and all other unaffiliated baseball organizations in the amateur baseball landscape.

"The launch of Pure Baseball is a significant venture by USA Baseball to provide a safe, competitive environment for all athletes playing baseball in the United States," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "There is nothing more important than the safety of our minor athletes and we are committed to doing our part to protect the future athletes and fans of our game."

Pure Baseball is comprised of four components: reporting, background checks, education and training, and minor athlete safety policies. The policies and procedures created by USA Baseball as part of this program model those set forth by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and also contain supplementary guidelines to further safeguard minor athletes and their interactions with adults, and account for baseball-specific situations that may occur.

In a concerted effort to protect all minor athletes playing baseball in leagues and events across the country, USA Baseball has made all Pure Baseball resources available for consumption on PureBaseball.org and SportDev.org. In doing so, the organization has mitigated the procedural impact on amateur baseball organizations set forth by the requirements of SB 534. Organizations large and small are now able to fulfill all background checks, education and training, and reporting requirements through USA Baseball even if their organization cannot support the bandwidth and infrastructure needed for compliance. 

"It is our duty as the National Governing Body of baseball for the United States to provide the resources to those who need them," continued Seiler. "In order to achieve this, USA Baseball is proud to provide the tools needed to fulfill the requirements set forth by Senate Bill 534 to our constituents so that we can collectively protect our athletes from abuse."

Two abuse awareness courses hosted by two-time World Series champion David Ross have been launched on USA Baseball's education platform to accompany the launch of this initiative.  Abuse Awareness for Adults and Abuse Awareness for Minors satisfy the education and training requirements set forth by SB 534 for the entirety of the amateur baseball community. 

In addition, as part of the Pure Baseball launch, USA Baseball and USA Softball have partnered together in order to protect all male and female athletes who share the love of bat-and-ball sports. Both national governing bodies will independently manage the reporting of abuse in its respective sport; however, they will cooperatively publish and enforce a list of adult individuals who are suspended or banned from participation in baseball and softball in the United States. 

"USA Softball is honored to join forces with USA Baseball in our commitment to athlete safety," said Craig Cress, Executive Director at USA Softball. "Our national governing bodies have been diligent in our individual efforts to protect our athletes and I am hopeful that together we will reach new heights in this endeavor." 

Lastly, in an effort to diminish the exposure of minor athletes to dangerous individuals, SB 534 requires that all adults working with minor athletes undergo a background check. In accordance with that, as part of the Pure Baseball program, all individuals working within the amateur baseball landscape are able to submit a background check application at SportDev.org through USA Baseball's service provider, JD Palatine. 

Visit PureBaseball.org or email PureBaseball@usabaseball.com for more information on the Pure Baseball initiative and its minor athlete safety policies. To meet the requirements of SB 534 by submitting a background check application, to report abuse, to check the suspended and banned individual list, or to complete the abuse awareness courses, visit SportDev.org.

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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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USA Baseball Coaching Alum Eric Kibler Named Sport Development Contributor for 2018

Kibler was honored as the USA Baseball Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year in 2010
April 17, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Wednesday the appointment of its 2010 Rod Dedeaux Coach of the Year, Eric Kibler, as a Sport Development contributor for 2018. A highly respected figure within the game, Kibler will serve as a resource and assist with USA Baseball's various educational efforts.

The Sport Development Department at USA Baseball was created as part of the organization's five-year partnership extension with Major League Baseball (MLB), which is a joint, cooperative effort to grow the game of baseball, as well as provide educational resources for coaches, players, parents, and umpires.

Currently the head coach at Horizon High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Kibler has served on the coaching staffs of three gold medal-winning USA Baseball national teams, helping to lead the 2009 16U National Team to a world championship at the International Baseball Federation World Youth Championships in Taichung, Taiwan, and the 2010 16U team to a first-place finish at the COPABE Pan American "AA" Youth Championships in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico. He also helped lead the 18U National Team to a gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan.

Kibler served as the field coordinator for the inaugural USA Baseball 14U and 17U National Team Development Programs (NTDP) in 2012, and he will do the same for the inaugural 16U NTDP in 2018. He also served as the 14U NTDP field coordinator in 2013 and 2014, and as the 17U NTDP field coordinator in 2013, 2016 and 2017.

Kibler has been the head baseball coach at Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, since 1981, and has led the program to six state titles during his tenure. In addition, he has won 17 regionals and had three runner-up finishes in the state tournament. On March 6, 2018, Kibler earned his 800th win with Horizon High School, the most wins in Arizona high school baseball history. He has coached 28 players that were selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft and has seen 150 of his players go on to play college baseball.

"We are excited to have Eric Kibler joining a group of experts from a wide range of disciplines lending their support to our many sport development initiatives," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "Coach Kibler is a high school coaching legend who has been at the forefront of many of USA Baseball's player development initiatives, and we look forward to his continued involvement within the organization in these capacities.

"In addition, we are honored to welcome him back to the USA Baseball coaching ranks as he will serve as our field coordinator for the first-ever 16U National Team Development Program in 2018, continuing his lasting influence on the organization and its athletes."

Kibler joins a distinguished list of USA Baseball Sport Development contributors including:

  • Michael Cuddyer - 15-year MLB veteran, two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger Award winner and Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame member
  • Dave Ellis, RD, CSCS - Veteran sports registered dietician, first President of the Collegiate and Professional Sports RDs Association (CPSDA), current CPSDA Ambassador, and the Consulting Registered Dietitian for MLB/MLB Players Association and USA Baseball
  • Darren Fenster - Manager for the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, founder of Coaching Your Kids LLC
  • Dr. Peter Gorman - President of Microgate USA, inventor of heart rate monitor technology, adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport Chiropractic
  • Dean Jordan - Managing Executive of Global Sports Properties and Media for Wasserman, served in executive positions within the Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins organizations and founded North Carolina Development Baseball, Inc.
  • Dr. Marc Richard, MD - Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon, Orthopedic Surgeon, Microvascular Surgeon and Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Duke University
  • Skip Schumaker - 11-year MLB veteran, two-time World Series Champion, and current first base coach for the San Diego Padres
  • Dr. Anne Shadle - Certified consultant in Sport Psychology CC-AASP, member of the United States Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology registry, Athlete Advisory Committee member for USA Track and Field (USATF) and current President-appointed committee chair for Psychological Services for USATF
  • Tom Succow - Four-time USA Baseball national team coach, retired Hall of Fame head baseball coach at Brophy College Preparatory, more than 700 wins and a state championship in 40 seasons
  • Jon Torine - 17-year strength and conditioning coach in the NFL, Director of Pro/Elite Sports with EXOS, leader of the physical education and athletic development for Functional Movement Systems and trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance
  • Dave Turgeon - Coordinator of Instruction for the Pittsburgh Pirates, former Minor League player and former NCAA Division I baseball coach at Boston College, the University of Connecticut, Duke University and Virginia Tech

 

USA Baseball will continue to produce daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly educational content at no cost to the public with the assistance of these primary contributors. For a complete listing of USA Baseball Sport Development offerings, visit USABaseball.Education. For more information on the NTDP, visit USABaseball.com and follow @USABaseballNTDP on Twitter.

 

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USA Baseball Adds New Sport Environment Course for Coaches and Parents to the Online Education Center

Course focuses on ways to modify behavior and the environment to enhance the youth sport experience
April 14, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced on Monday the addition of a new course, Building a Baseball Experience, to the USA Baseball Online Education Center. Building a Baseball Experience is hosted by sport psychologist Dr. Anne Shadle and aims to provide coaches and parents with the tools they need to provide a positive and impactful sport experience for their athletes, both on and off the field.

Topics covered in the Building a Baseball Experience course include building a coaching philosophy, engineering a sport environment and mental preparation. The course also includes several interactive features to engage coaches and parents in brainstorming, writing and reflecting about their role in the sport experiences of their children and athletes.

"The Building a Baseball Experience course is unlike any of our other offerings, and the topics it explores go beyond baseball specifics and add greater depth to the USA Baseball Online Education Center," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "We believe there is tremendous value in analyzing and learning from best practices in other sports and in the Olympic movement in general, and that is reflected in this course's more global approach to the youth sport experience and the on-and off-field aspects that help shape it."

Host Anne Shadle, Ph.D., is a certified consultant in Sport Psychology CC-AASP and a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology registry. Shadle received her Bachelor of Science in Education and Human Sciences from the University of Nebraska, where she also ran track and field. She was a two-time national champion in the mile and 1500-meter distances before going on to run professionally for Reebok and compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Following her three-year professional running career, Shadle received her Master of Counseling Psychology and Ph.D. in Health Education from the University of Missouri. She currently serves on the Athlete Advisory Committee and is the President-appointed committee chair for Psychological Services for USA Track and Field (USATF). Shadle is heavily involved with coaching education and certification for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and USATF.

To access the Building a Baseball Experience course, as well as other free educational resources including a catalog of more than 25 online courses, the Long Term Athlete Development Plan, the USA Baseball Mobile Coach App, the Sport Development Blog and more, visit USABaseball.Education.

All resources on the Online Education Center are free of charge to the public, and all online courses are equipped with a functionality that allows the user to select their preferred language (English or Spanish) upon launching the course.

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USA Baseball Expands Online Coaching Education Resources

Five new courses feature content provided by the American Baseball Coaches Association
March 26, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) announced on Monday the addition of five new courses to the USA Baseball Online Education Center. All five courses feature content provided by the ABCA as part of the educational partnership formed between the two organizations to create a higher standard of coaching education and enhance the ability of coaches to better serve athletes, teams and communities.

USA Baseball and the ABCA announced their partnership on January 6, 2018, at the ABCA National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The organizations are collaborating to provide a comprehensive program that combines online and in-person learning opportunities for baseball coaches at all levels.

Each of the five new, developmentally-focused coaching courses includes clinic videos from recent ABCA national conventions. These courses are now available on the Online Education Center, at no cost to users.

The five new courses are:

  • Offensive Development, featuring Jay Johnson, head baseball coach at the University of Arizona, and Casey Dunn, head baseball coach at Samford University
  • Pitching Development, featuring Greg Moore, two-time USA Baseball coaching alum and head baseball coach at Cal State Northridge, and Jamie Pinzino, former pitching coach at the University of Oklahoma and current pitching coach at Army
  • Baserunning Development, featuring Todd Interdonato, head baseball coach at Wofford College; Mike Curran, retired High School Hall of Fame coach; and Mike Roberts, roving Minor League consultant for the Chicago Cubs and head coach of the Cotuit Kettleers
  • Catching Development, featuring Tom Griffin, head baseball coach at Carson-Newman University
  • Managing a Pitching Staff, featuring Jason Dietrich, pitching coach at the University of Oregon; Bob Keller, pitching coach at the University of South Alabama; and Wes Johnson, pitching coach at the University of Arkansas   


The USA Baseball Online Education Center currently includes a catalog of online courses for players, coaches, parents and umpires, hosted by some of baseball's most esteemed professionals; and hosts additional resources such as the Long Term Athlete Development Plan, USA Baseball Mobile Coaching App, the Sport Development blog and more. All courses are equipped with a functionality that allows the user to select their preferred language (English or Spanish) upon launching the course.

All resources on the Online Education Center are free of charge and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.

"Today's announcement marks another important step in our partnership with the ABCA," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "These courses broaden the digital offerings for coaches seeking skill development resources and once again bring some of the coaching communities' brightest minds directly to users. While we are encouraged by this most recent launch, we remain diligent in working towards more comprehensive solutions for the many coaches of our great game."

"These additional courses help further the ABCA's mission of educating baseball coaches and we are happy to provide more resources in conjunction with USA Baseball," said ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. "We are hopeful that courses like these will help provide quality coaching education for generations to come, and that we are able to work with USA Baseball to provide an all-inclusive program that brings all of our resources together in the future."

The educational partnership between USA Baseball and the ABCA also comes with a call to action for coaches to engage in and support the new Baseball ACE Community Clinic program. This joint initiative is hosted at CoachClinics.org and aims to encourage active mentorship among the baseball coaching community by providing coaches at all levels the opportunity to learn and grow by interacting with one another. Further announcements about the partnership will be made later in 2018.

To access the online courses presented by USA Baseball and the ABCA, visit USABaseball.Education. Information on community clinics and other on-site coaching experiences is available at ABCA.org. To obtain more information on hosting, speaking in or attending a clinic through the Baseball ACE Community Clinic Program, visit BaseballACE.org.

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USA Baseball Launches Fun At Bat Professional Development Course

New Fun At Bat training course is part of a launch that also includes the Basic First Aid course
February 12, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced the addition of two new assets to the USA Baseball Online Education Center on Monday. The additions include the Basic First Aid course and Fun At Bat Instructor, a training course for instructors implementing the Fun At Bat program.

These new assets are available at no cost to users on the USA Baseball Online Education Center. The Online Education Center includes a catalog of online courses for players, coaches, parents and umpires, hosted by some of baseball's most esteemed professionals; as well as hosting additional resources such as the Long Term Athlete Development Plan, USA Baseball Mobile Coaching App, the Sport Development blog and more. All resources are free of charge and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all.

The Fun At Bat Instructor course, hosted by former Major League Baseball player Michael Cuddyer, aims to provide Fun At Bat instructors with the tools they need to successfully implement the program in their school or community. This course includes information on the program's environment, an overview of the program's structure and components of bat-and-ball fundamentals introduced through the Fun At Bat program.

Fun At Bat, a USA Baseball youth initiative supported by Major League Baseball, SHAPE America and Franklin Sports, is an introductory level bat-and-ball program for kids with an emphasis on character development, functional movement, literacy, active play and fun. The overarching goal of this program is to promote fun and active lifestyles for children, while teaching them the fundamental skills of bat and ball sports. The program also includes a literacy component and teaches character traits such as leadership, honesty and teamwork. Fun At Bat is a part of the PLAY BALL initiative, which is the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, special events and casual forms of play.

"The Fun At Bat program continues to be a priority initiative for USA Baseball," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "The launch of the Fun At Bat Instructor course demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that we provide the best resources possible to create a positive experience for every child who participates in the program."

Hosted by the Team Physician of USA Baseball, Dr. Josh Bloom, the Basic First Aid course provides coaches, parents and administrators with basic information on various injuries and emergencies. This course includes information on how to be best equipped to handle injuries and emergencies, and key things to look out for when players are injured.

"We were fortunate to receive the support of Dr. Bloom and USA Baseball's Medical Safety Committee in delivering this outstanding resource for coaches and parents. The Basic First Aid course furthers our commitment to player safety and adds depth to the Online Education Center, making it an even more comprehensive resource for baseball coaches, players and parents," Riccobono continued.

The Basic First Aid and Fun At Bat Instructor courses, like the rest of the offerings on the USA Baseball Online Education Center, are equipped with a functionality that allows the user to select their preferred language (English or Spanish) upon launching the course. If the user selects Spanish as their preferred language, the course will automatically be delivered entirely in Spanish, including videos with Spanish subtitles.

The Basic First Aid and the Fun At Bat Instructor courses can be found by accessing the USA Baseball Online Education Center at USABaseball.Education.

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Coaching Material Available Through New Partnership with Baseball New Zealand

December 21, 2017

USA Baseball to share coaching manuals with Baseball New Zealand to help increase game knowledge

Baseball coaches in New Zealand will soon have greater access to coaching manuals and instructional video's through a new partnership between Baseball New Zealand and its American equivalent USA Baseball. In a move designed to increase the knowledge of baseball coaches in New Zealand, instructional information and coaching techniques will be freely available to anyone involved in the game through the Baseball New Zealand website.

"Providing our online courses to our international counterparts is part of the continuation of USA Baseball's efforts to make educational resources universally available within the game," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. "We are encouraged by Baseball New Zealand's enthusiasm to offer these educational resources to its constituents, and we are proud to promote these resources in the international baseball community."

"We have investigated many different ways to get coaching information out to our stakeholders and this partnership goes a long way to achieving this goal," said Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn, adding, "Our National Development Officers have done a great job in managing our coaching programmes and this development is an added bonus to increasing the knowledge of our coaches.

"USA Baseball has put together a superb menu of coaching instruction and video and having this at our fingertips can only help our coaches nationwide to grow," said Flynn, "We are close to a tipping point in New Zealand where the game of baseball is about to explode and it is important we assist anybody wanting to coach to have the necessary information to facilitate this."

Media Contact for further information or to pre-arrange interviews:

Ryan Flynn
Chief Executive Officer
Baseball New Zealand
M: +64-21-665-339
E: ryan.flynn@baseballnewzealand.com

Website: www.baseballnewzealand.com
Twitter: @BaseballNZ
Facebook: BaseballNZ

Ian McDonald
Communications Advisor
Baseball New Zealand
M: +64-21-746-673
E: ian.mcdonald@baseballnewzealand.com

Website: www.baseballnewzealand.com
Twitter: @BaseballNZ
Facebook: BaseballNZ

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USA Baseball and Major League Baseball to Host Orlando Elementary Students for Special Youth Event During Baseball's Winter Meetings

December 7, 2017

Three Major League Players to Participate in "Fun At Bat" Event At Bay Meadows Elementary School

Activities Will Highlight Introductory, Modified and In-School Designed Bat-and-Ball Program That Will Be Available to Elementary Schools Nationwide in 2018

WHO:    

  • Luke Gregerson - Member of 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros and 2017 World Baseball Classic Champion Team USA
  • Zach Eflin - RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Max Moroff - Second Baseman, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • George Grande - Broadcaster, Cincinnati Reds
  • Tony Reagins - Senior Vice President, Youth Programs, Major League Baseball
  • Paul Seiler - Chief Executive Officer, USA Baseball

 

WHAT:  As the baseball world holds its annual Winter Meetings in the Orlando area, USA Baseball and Major League Baseball will host a special 'FUN AT BAT' event for young students at Bay Meadows Elementary School. Approximately 100 third grade students will participate in a series of fun bat-and-ball activities that focus on fundamentals and character development, which will be run by Orange County Public Schools Physical Educators. The effort is part of 'Fun At Bat,' a program by MLB and USA Baseball designed to offer an introductory, modified and in-school bat-and-ball activities for younger students. Additionally, each participant will receive a USA Baseball Championship Principles book, Fun At Bat t-shirt, USA Baseball hat, and bat & ball set, and signed certificate of achievement to take home.

Orange County Public Schools adopted the Fun At Bat program to implement in-school as part of the physical education curriculum. Approximately 87,000 students in the district will engage in the program as part of their in-school physical education curriculum, which is the largest participation of any market in this initial Fun At Bat year. The program will be available nationwide to school districts beginning with the 2018 school year.

 Fun At Bat, a USA Baseball youth initiative is a bat and ball program for all children created for use in elementary school P.E. classes. The overarching goal of this program is to promote fun and active lifestyles for children, while teaching them the fundamental skills of bat and ball sports. The program also includes a literacy component and teaches character traits such as leadership, teamwork and fair play. All provided program materials are available in English and Spanish. Fun At Bat is a part of the PLAY BALL initiative which is the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, special events and casual forms of play.

WHEN:  Tuesday, December 12th, 8:45 a.m.-10:05 a.m. ET

WHERE:  Bay Meadows Elementary School, 9150 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, Florida 32836

CONTACT: 

  • Steve Arocho, Major League Baseball, (718) 614-3487, steven.arocho@mlb.com
  • Kerline Batista, Major League Baseball, (347) 998-2049, kerline.batista@mlb.com
  • Tyler Collins, USA Baseball, (260) 402-4719, tylercollins@USABaseball.com
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USA Baseball Adds New Assets to Online Education Center

November 17, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. - USA Baseball announced on Thursday the addition of four new educational assets, featuring content provided by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), in an effort to promote continuing education throughout the baseball coaching community.

USA Baseball has produced four new online coaching modules, each of which include clinic videos from recent ABCA National Conventions. These modules are now available on the USA Baseball Online Education Center, at no cost to users.

The USA Baseball Online Education Center currently includes - among other resources - a catalog of online courses and modules for players, coaches, parents and umpires, hosted by some of baseball's most esteemed professionals. These are completely free of charge and aim to provide a positive baseball experience for all those involved. The four new modules featuring premier ABCA content are:

  • Managing Players, featuring Andy Green, Manager of the San Diego Padres, and Chris Burke, former MLB player and current TV analyst
  • Coaching Philosophy and Approach, featuring Jack Thomson, Head Baseball Coach at Sierra HS (Calif.), and Dave Jauss, Coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Infield Development, featuring Marty Lees, Head Baseball Coach at Washington State University, and Eddie Smith, Head Baseball Coach at Lower Columbia College
  • Outfield Development, featuring Jake Boss, Head Baseball Coach at Michigan State University, and Matt Bragga, Head Baseball Coach at Tennessee Tech

 

These modules, like the rest of the course offerings on the USA Baseball Online Education Center, are equipped with a functionality that allows the user to select their preferred language (English or Spanish) upon launching the module. When the user selects Spanish as their preferred language, the course will automatically be delivered entirely in Spanish, including videos with Spanish subtitles.

"Today's launch marks another important step in the build out of our Online Education Center," said Rick Riccobono, USA Baseball's Chief Development Officer. "With the support of the ABCA, we're proud to add these developmentally focused resources which will not only impact technical teachings, but also serve to reinforce our commitment to building a positive culture across all levels of our game."

The introduction of the new modules is in alignment with the Quality Coaching Framework unveiled by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in October 2017. The Quality Coaching Framework is the latest in a series of efforts by the USOC to advance the coaching profession in the United States by improving the standard of coaching education and developing high-quality resources to support National Governing Bodies (NGBs). The Quality Coaching Framework is available on the USOC's website, TeamUSA.org, as well as the USA Baseball Online Education Center.

The four new coaching development modules and the USOC's Quality Coaching Framework can be found by accessing the USA Baseball Online Education Center at USABaseball.Education.

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