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How to Build a Pitcher's Mound

By Denise Sullivan

Building a pitcher's mound in your backyard makes it convenient for you or your children to practice pitching. This is especially helpful for younger children who play in leagues with smaller mounds. Instead of practicing on the adult-size mounds at the public park, your child can practice on a pitcher's mound that has the same dimensions as the one he will be using in a live game.

Cut a piece of string that is half the diameter of your pitcher's mound. As a reference point, a regulation pitching mound is 18 feet in diameter, so you would need a 9-foot long piece of string. If you are simply building a pitcher's mound for your own home use, you can adjust this measurement as needed to create a larger or smaller mound.

Attach the string to a stick and push it into the dirt at the center of the pitcher's mound area. Attach a piece of chalk to the other end of the string, then pull the string tight and rotate the chalk around the circle to draw the outline of the pitcher's mound.

Mix equal parts sand, dirt and clay to create the texture for your pitcher's mound.

Decide how high you want to make the pitching mound. Check your league's rules for the allowed mound height. The regulation height is 10 1/2 inches for most adult leagues. Make a mound out of your mixed soil in the middle of the chalk outline, making sure it is slightly higher than your desired mound height. You will be packing down on the top of the mound.

Use the back side of a shovel to flatten the top of the pitcher's mound. A regulation mound should have a flat circle on the top that is 5 feet in diameter. With the side of the shovel, scrape down the front of the mound so it slopes down toward the flat ground at the edge of the circle.

Dig a small, 2-inch deep trench on top of the mound to hold the rubber. Lay a 6-by-24-inch strip of rubber in the trench. The rubber should be placed slightly toward the back of the mound. For a regulation 18-foot diameter mound, the rubber should be 10 feet from the front of the mound and eight feet from the back. Adjust these measurements accordingly if you are building a pitcher's mound of a different size.

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