Mound Care For a Better Playing Field
Mound Care must be attended to every day. Daily mound care also includes the bullpen areas and homeplate. This attention will make a better playing field, one your players will take pride in.
The mound elevation should be shot at least once each year. The rulebook says the elevation from homeplate should be 10" in height. For good mound care it's important to have accurate measurements, following the diagrams in your rulebook.
The slope on the front side of the mound should be 1" for every foot up to 6 feet. (see diagram below) The diameter of the mound is 18 feet and the distance in high school from the front of the pitcher's rubber to the back tip of home plate should measure 60' 6".
When practicing proper mound care it's important to fill the holes every day. Holes usually occur in front of the pitching rubber and where the pitcher's front foot lands. Fill the holes using a mound clay product in a bag. Take a flat shovel and square out the holes, then apply the mound clay product packing it down with a tamp and leveling it with your shovel. We do not use clay bricks. It takes extra time and the mound clay works just as well.
After replacing the holes use a garden water bucket to lightly wet the mound area. Tamp the area with the new mound clay. Wet a second time, rake the area and tamp again. Place an old towel over the area being tamped so the mound clay does not stick to the tamp. (can also wrap a towel around the tamp and tape it to stay wrapped).
The most important thing is to keep the clay areas covered 365 days a year(not just when you see rain in the forecast). The covers will protect the clay area and keep it from getting dried out and cracked. Nice moist clay is easy to rake everyday after you remove the field covers. (see photos below) Do the same thing for the bull pen areas and homeplate.
To afford buying covers you might as for donations or approach a local business about purchasing them and placing their logos on the covers for advertising.
For good mound care keep your tarps from blowing away by using u-shaped stakes (find them in the section at the stores that sell tents) and a rubber mallet. (the rubber mallet will keep you from bending them).