MLB, USA Baseball announce Pitch Smart compliance program

Youth baseball organizations partner with Pitch Smart to adopt pitching safety guidelines

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced today the development of a Pitch Smart compliance program, designed to assist the public in identifying the organizations that have adopted Pitch Smart guidelines and principles. The compliance classifications are two-tiered, with organizations being identified as in "full compliance" or "select compliance."

"The Pitch Smart compliance program is a great example of all members of the baseball community working together as One Baseball to make our game better," said Chris Marinak, Major League Baseball's Sr. Vice President of League Economics and Strategy. "Our medical experts tell us that following pitch counts and rest guidelines is one of the best ways for young pitchers to avoid arm injuries, and this is an important step towards furthering that cause."

The Pitch Smart compliant organizations are led by Dixie Baseball -- Boys and Majors -- and Little League Baseball, who have committed to immediately implement all standards of the Pitch Smart program across all competitions. The two organizations continue to be committed in this space, having instituted pitch count programs for player safety prior to the launch of the Pitch Smart program in November 2014.

Perfect Game USA, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and USA Baseball have each joined the program as select compliance organizations, meaning they will immediately implement Pitch Smart guidelines for specific events, and have assembled a detailed plan to adopt all standards in subsequent calendar years. The three organizations, which previously did not have pitch count rules for events, will be first-adopters of pitch count standards since the launch of the program by acting immediately to implement the guidelines, for select events, and Pitch Smart's educational efforts.

In addition to the two levels of compliance, the program will also recognize organizations who are "educational supporters." The group of educational supporters includes AABC; AAU; American Legion; Babe Ruth; Dixie, Youth; Game Day USA; Nations Baseball; PONY; and Ripken Baseball. These groups assist in the proliferation of the Pitch Smart principles and are progressing towards program compliance.

"The creation of the compliance program for Pitch Smart represents an important step in setting the expected standard for which pitching rules should be set in competition," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball's executive director/CEO. "The two-tier structure, and the inclusion of the educational supporters, provides all amateur organizations the opportunity to be a part of this landmark initiative in a measured and reasonable timeline."

Full compliance represents the highest level of compliance in 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.

Select compliance -- the second level of compliance in the program -- is defined by the incorporation of each of Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across select competitions with a plan to progress towards the adoption of all standards of "Full Pitch Smart Compliance" in coming years. All select compliance organizations support Pitch Smart educational efforts across all platforms.

Pitch Smart Educational Supporters agree with the philosophies of the Pitch Smart program, promote Pitch Smart awareness through web, social media and on-site awareness, and work towards "Select" and "Full" program compliance in the future.

For more information on Pitch Smart and the Pitch Smart compliance program, please visit PitchSmart.org.

About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, World Cup and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit USABaseball.com.