46ft to 60ft 6in: Making The Transition

46ft to 60ft 6in: Making The Transition

“My son is going to be moving back to 60’6″ and I am worried about his arm health. What is the best thing we can do?” 

This question has come up many times from parents of kids I work with. It is a big jump in distance for kids as young as 12, especially those who are still waiting for a growth spurt. I have pitchers of all different sizes, some are making the move to the bigger field who physically may be a little behind the curve. However, the answer for all players in this situation, is the same. A healthy and more efficient delivery will help the transition be smoother and less stressful on the arm. The same goes for position players. Proper footwork and rhythm with upper body movements promotes stronger more accurate throws. In this article I will express my opinion on the topic of youth field regulations and give a few pointers for coaches, kids, and parents who are asking these same questions.

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Field Regulations:

There are many distance regulations regarding youth baseball fields. In my opinion, TOO MANY.

Generally, the distance between base paths on fields for 12-year-olds and below in baseball is 60 feet. A local Little League board of directors may opt to use a 50-foot diamond in the Tee Ball divisions. The distance in all divisions of baseball for 13-year-olds, is up to 90 feet, with a local league option to shorten the distance to 75 feet for Junior League Baseball and 70 feet for Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division for regular season play.

The pitching distance for divisions of baseball for the Major Division and below is 46 feet. Pitching distance for divisions of baseball for Junior and Senior League Divisions is 60 feet, 6 inches, with a local league option to shorten the distance to 54 feet for Junior League Baseball and 50 feet for Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division for regular season play.

Distance from the back of home plate to the outfield fence is a local league option, but the following distances are recommended,  Major Division and below is 200 feet. Intermediate (50/70) Baseball is 200 feet while Junior and Senior League Divisions is 300 feet.

I think there should be 3 field models at the most.

  1. 46/60 – Tee Ball and 8-10U Divisions
  2. 50/70 – Major/Intermediate Divisions (11-14)
  3. 60’6″/90 – Junior and Senior League Divisions (High School)

Less regulations would mean not having to use portable mounds, that are not realistic and sometimes dangerous to throw off of. Just like hitters, youth pitchers wouldn’t have to worry about changing distances at different fields and leagues. Having 11-14 year old kids play on 50/70 fields would not only be an easier and safer transition to the bigger field, the quality of performance is higher. It fits the age group perfectly and makes for better baseball.

Making The Transition: 

Have A Plan

If you are a parent or player that is going from a Little League to MLB size field, there are a few areas you should work on and improve. Whether a player is making the transition of pitching from 46 ft or 50 ft to 60 ft 6 in, a throwing progression plan is necessary, as well as a strength and conditioning program. Combining the two will increase strength, which is a huge positive in promoting smooth and healthy movements that protect your body and the throwing arm.  A proper throwing specific warmup, throwing progression, and training day drills for off season and in season practice plans are a must. Baseball Rebellion tailors to all throwers with specific drills and practice plans as you progress through the program.

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Create A Strong Delivery:

The videos below are a before and after of 12 year old Nathan Galloway. It is easy to see the difference between the two clips. Notice in the second video, the similarity in his delivery at both distances. He creates momentum toward the target with his lower half, relaxed arms, and uses core strength to stay connected to the ground through a strong finish. Nathan has been in the Baseball Rebellion pitching program for 2 years and has worked extremely hard to get his mechanics where they are now. His transition to 60’6″ has been smooth, moving into longer warm up throws and strengthening the follow through has enhanced all of his pitches.

I hope this article helped answer some of the questions you have on your son’s transition to a bigger field, as well as inform you on the work needed to make that jump. Thank you for reading, if you have any question please don’t hesitate to ask.

Dave Shinskie – Leader of the Pitching Rebellion

About the Author

Dave Shinskie is the only certified Baseball Rebellion throwing / pitching instructor and writer. After spending the last year training and learning the pitching methodology under Justin Orenduff at I.T.S. Baseball, Dave will serve as the leader of the pitching rebellion and will continue to research & develop training concepts for baseball rebellion. Dave experienced a high level of success as a professional baseball player and a Division-1 Starting Quarterback, his experience as an athlete, as well as his education background, will be vital to the ongoing development of both baseball pitchers and throwers. Dave was selected out of high school in the 4th round of the 2003 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins, with his last MLB assignment in 2009 with Double-A Toronto Blue Jays. Following dave accepted a full athletic football scholarship at Boston College at age 25. He set BC Freshman passing records with 2,049 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2013, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College where he majored in Human Development with a Minor in Communications. Wish you could learn and train with Dave Shinskie? Now you can by signing up for Baseball Rebellion's Online Pitching / Throwing Lessons!

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