Pitching Machine Rules
When done with the cage but there is a team behind you ready to use the cage:
- pickup all balls and put them in the buckets
- turn machines off unless the new team coach is walking in the cage as you are leaving.
- do NOT leave all the balls for the other team to pickup.
When done with the cage and you are the last team on the field.
- Pickup all balls and put them in the buckets
- Unplug the machines and wrap the cable around the machine
- Hang the bucket under the machine so the balls don't get wet if it rains. Use a bucket cover if there is one.
- Cover the machine with a trash can
- lock the cage
(even if you think you are not the last team, if you see no other teams, go ahead and lock up)
This can be done with one person but two is preferable.
- Hold the machine upside down on the ground and slide in the poles.
- Tighten the Tbar by turning it clockwise until the poles do not move.
- If too loose the machine will be unstable and may collapse so be sure it is tight.
- Turn the machine over and put the wheel over the pitchers mound. (for Texas) - for Rookie measure out 28 feet. Line up the machine wheel with home plate by looking through the ball shoot.
- Plug the machine in and turn it on. If the machine doesn't turn on at Fox - hit the reset button on the plug in the 3rd base dugout.
- For Texas the machine is 38mph. Rookie is 28mph. Wait for the machine to beep after setting the speed.
- Have a coach behind home plate helping get the machine lineup by pitching 10-20 balls until there are consistant strikes.
- Adjust the height of the pitches by loosening the smaller Tbar on the left of the machine and pulling up or down on the machine - very gently. Too much of an adjustment completely throws off the height. Be sure the smaller Tbar on the left is completely tight or the machine will move.
- Once the machine is tuned for the game, you should still do some practice balls every inning. (for Texas)
- Do not adjust the speed. Coaches who adjust the speed will be subject to ejection (Texas).
- Again to adjust the height - Loosen the Tbar on the left and pull or push on the machine very gently if the balls are consistently high or low. This should be done between innings and not during at bats to speed up the game. (if during an at bat and the machine is often high or low, call time out)
- New baseballs with new seems will often come in higher. In later innings the balls may start to pitch lower as a result and you may need to adjust the machine. (for Texas)
- If the field is wet, have a towel to dry off the balls and the wheel. Wet machines will not work and the balls will slip on the wheel when putting them in the chute.
- For Texas - Pitching machine coaches are not allowed to instruct the runners. You cannot yell run or slide - you will be subject to ejection by the umpire. You are free to instruct the hitters to get closer to the plate, etc - but don't slow down the game and don't call time out to adjust the hitters stance.
- Keep the Tbar and bracket screwed into the machine at all times.
- (Completely unscrewing the Tbar from the base causes unnecessary ware on the base and eventually the bolt will strip the groves making it impossible to screw in. You should only unscrew the Tbar enough to get the 3 poles out when disassembling. Often only one or two turns are required to slide the poles out.
- game machines are stored in the sheds, not the cages.
- gently place the machine in the shed, do not drop it. (we have had the MPH screen crack as a result)