Types of Portable Pitcher’s Mounds
Over the years I have used and seen quite a few different portable pitchers mounds. The outdoor pitching decks have become a great tool for turf protection on natural turf fields. The indoor pitching mounds have provided great winter work for those folks up north. The indoor mounds have greatly improved since my college pitching days. Now we are seeing more portable pitching mounds being used for workouts on softball fields and being used for games on youth fields. I guess that’s ok for the recreation level but once you start wearing spikes the turf on those pitching platforms becomes a different problem both for the pitcher, mechanics etc…
Generally, there are a few different types of portable mounds that are specifically constructed for Outdoor or indoor use. There are pro portable mounds and recreation mounds. Basically its a slightly raised box that is a minimum 7ft long x 4ft wide. The plywood type portable mounds are raised slightly by running 2×4 pieces of wood under the structure. These work ok but the are cumbersome to move and may not last very long. I’ve seen in south america where they construct their own wooden type platforms, but they are always flat with no slope. They are basically plywood and outdoor carpet. The photo at the top of the blog is a welding experiment I was admiring in Prague a couple of years back. The wheels need to be changed so they don’t tear up the grass and leave ruts but its a good start for a frame.
I recall in Beijing they built a couple and they were constructed so large they needed to be carried to the field by 7 people. I came back a few months later and they had one that 1 person could move but..the wheels were the support for the pitcher while he threw BP and that caused problems because they couldn’t support his weight. There is a need to have small stanchions or posts placed next to the wheels or in the center of the deck to stabilize the pitching platform. Sometimes these stanchions or small posts are to long and thin so they tear the turf when you lift it.
Lately I’ve had some emails asking where folks can find portable mounds. I’ve been pretty lucky with the pitching decks I have ordered from Beacon. OnlineSports has a couple that look ok. I like Burbank Sports net Companies portable mound as well ( photo above) . The aluminum construction makes them sturdy but light weight. Big tip: Remember that you will need to purchase a taller L-screen when you get a standard 8 inch high pitching deck. The BP pitcher can be taller than the screen which is not very safe. Purchase an outdoor pitching platform that is made from aluminum and has wheels on one side so 1 person can move it off the field quickly. Bottom line is that building these platforms may save you a few bucks but unless you have the proper tools and products it may be just as cheap to purchase them.