13 year olds pitching distance

More and more towns in Massachusetts are having 13 year olds pitching from Pony league distance instead of the full 60-feet-6 to help transition kids from little league to regular field dimensions. Pony league distance is about halfway between LL and regular.

Should more towns adopt this for the 13 yo age group?

Isn’t pony league 54 feet, that is the same as USSSA for 13 and 14 yr olds. USSSA doesn’t move till 15 u. There are some 14u tournaments that use the 60/90 distances but those are mainly Major.

In our area USSSA, Babe Ruth, LLI, tournaments and middle school are 60/90 at 13U. One semi-local tournament venue plays 54/80 at 13U but goes to 60/90 at 14U. No Pony League in the area.

I think a lot of this just has to do with the types of fields that are available for organizations to use. Our area has the ability to adjust a field from 46/60 to 50/70 but on the big field the mounds make a change from 54/80 to 60/90 difficult.

Most of the mounds my 14u kid uses are supposed to be 54’, but what they do is set it down the hill a little, the distance ends up being about 57’ vs 54’. My kid would like the 60’ distance better but no matter.

The 54’ distance I think keeps kids that haven’t physically matured pitching, there are some pitchers on my son’s team that would never make 60’ consistently this year, they are luck to make it at 54’ sometimes. By the time they are freshman they are starting to mature more and the smaller kids can get the ball there.

Favors the hitters. 60’ is too far for most 13U/14U who have not had their growth spurts and who are still learning.

Favors the hitters. 60’ is too far for most 13U/14U who have not had their growth spurts and who are still learning.[/quote]

That’s what I expected too. What I observed though was that kids’ abilities held pretty true to form. The weaker hitters were still weak- same for the pitchers. The good hitters and pitchers were still good hitters and pitchers. Some hitters actually regressed for awhile.

In thinking back on the experience I think the size of the 60-90 field tended to equalize any advantage the hitter may seem to have.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I just think it’s difficult though to convince local authorities to build fields for a one year or two year age group. I have seen some fields where home plate was moveable in order to preserve the integrity of the mound. What I saw seemed to work OK but is not very commonly found here.

If someone thinks it keeps more kids in the game I’m all for it.

I’m from MA as well, and I love it. We started doing it in Douglas at 12 years old, and helps the transition greatly.

I like the intermediate distance for 13yo’s. Although, when I built my bullpen, I had 4 distances I had to try to accomodate. :roll: