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 2018 season. The updated compliance program includes the addition of two national organizations to the Full Compliance level, bringing the total to 25 fully compliant national and regional organizations, an increase of nearly nine percent from 2017.
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 long-term development and health of amateur players continues to be a priority for Major League Baseball," said Chris Marinak, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Major League Baseball. "We continue to be encouraged by the ongoing proliferation of the Pitch Smart program, and see it as a core component for every amateur organization's rule book."
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.
PONY Baseball and Prep Baseball Report join the lineup of fully compliant Pitch Smart organizations for 2018. The returning fully compliant national organizations from 2017 include: American Amateur Baseball Congress, American Legion Baseball, 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 Amateur Baseball Federation, 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 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.
The Select Compliant Pitch Smart organizations for 2018 include: Babe Ruth League, Dixie Youth Baseball, Game Day USA and NCTB Baseball.
The Educational Supporters of Pitch Smart for 2018 include: Amateur Athletic Union Baseball, National Federation of State High School Associations and Ripken Baseball.
"We are pleased that Pitch Smart compliance has become the expected standard across all levels of the amateur landscape," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's Executive Director and CEO. "USA Baseball continues to move down the path of being a comprehensive body of governance and providing educational and health and safety programs for the amateur game."
In addition to the national and regional organizations listed, 73 state and local organizations have been recognized as Full Compliant, Select Compliant or Educational Supporter organizations for 2018. USA Baseball will continue to collaborate with all organizations on their Pitch Smart progress throughout the 2018 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.