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
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.