Pitching Machine Policy
UpdatedTuesday May 17, 2022 bySteve Severn.
If you want to use an AGSA Pitching Machine, You MUST read this document!!
Download the entire document below.
AGSA currently has 5 softball pitching machines located at 4 different fields around the County.
- Barcroft #3 – “Jugs”- Super Softball (heavy-duty) machine, stored under Press Box in crawl space
- *Washington Liberty HS Softball field- “Jugs”- Super Softball (heavy-duty) machine, stored in AGSA shed
- Tuckahoe Park Field #2- “Jugs”- PS-50 (medium-duty) stored in the AGSA shed
- Greenbrier Park #1-(Yorktown HS)
- Jugs” - Softball (0-60 mph) machine, remains set-up in batting cage spring thru fall seasons
- “Jugs” -Super Softball (0-70 mph) machine, remains set-up in batting cage spring thru fall seasons
The criteria for locating our pitching machines is based simply on the close proximity of electrical power and storage.
Greenbrier is the only location where we leave machines set-up, as those are the only locked batting cages not owned by the schools.
* Washington-Liberty HS has two cages and during the high school season, there is often 3-wheel "Hack-Attack" machines set-up in the cages.
Do not use these if you are unfamiliar with the operation of 3-wheel machines.
Operation and Safety
- All of these machines are capable of “ejecting” balls in excess of 60 mph that can mimic the fastest pitchers in the sport. This also makes them a potentially dangerous machine to be treated with the utmost respect.
- ONLY 12” rubber, “dimpled” softballs, specifically designed for pitching machines are to be used.
- NEVER use wet balls, as their trajectory can be erratic and unpredictable
- NEVER use a machine that is wet, as it poses both an electrical hazard and erratic ball behavior
- ONLY adults are allowed to set up and operate the machines
- No children are allowed to feed balls to the machine or be in close proximity to the spinning wheel.
- Never attempt to move the machine while it has power or the wheel is spinning
- Only one (1) batter is allowed in the cage when hitting.
- All batters MUST wear an approved batting helmet with facemask while in the cage.
- Always feed several balls into the machine without a batter to check speed and accuracy.
- No One is allowed to use any machine unless they have specific approval from their League Commissioner
- Never leave the machine or balls uncovered when not in actual use.
- If you set–up the machine, you are personally responsible for returning the machine and all balls back in to its storage area and verifying that it is securely locked.
- If a second coach comes after the first coach is done and wants to continue use of the machine, then the first coach MUST confirm that the second coach is assuming the responsibility for storing and locking up the machine.
- Regardless of anything else. The last coach on the field is responsible for confirming that the machine and balls are stored and locked before leaving the field.
Greenbrier User Responsibilities
The convenience of having machines permanently set-up at Greenbrier Park is a significant advantage for teams playing and practicing on that field. However, with that convenience comes an even greater responsibility for coaches to ensure that the equipment is protected and secure at all times. This means any coach using the machines is personally responsible for the following:
- All balls (including behind the backstop) are picked up and returned to the storage basket
- Machine is turned off and unplugged
- Both the machine and balls MUST be completely covered with its appropriate tarp upon leaving the field
- The net cage surrounding the pitching machine MUST be locked upon leaving the field.
- If you are the last coach to leave the field, regardless if you used the machine or not, you are responsible for all of the above.
- Additionally, the last coach on the field is responsible to check that all locks on all gates to the field and batting cages are locked.
It cannot be emphasized enough, these machines are expensive ($2000+) and require routine seasonal maintenance just to keep them operational. If they are left uncovered and exposed to water the control panel WILL self-destruct. That is a $500 part to replace. In essence, it is the entire contribution of a League sponsor for 1 year. Regrettably, AGSA has had to purchase several control panels due to someone leaving the machine out and exposed to the elements. We all need to take the responsibility to care for our equipment, otherwise it will just become too cost prohibitive.