Top Coach Podcast preview: Mike Rooney- the voice of college baseball

topcoachA former player at Notre Dame and coach at the NCAA Division I (Arizona State), NJCAA (Phoenix College) and high school (Malvern Prep) levels, Mike Rooney is now one of the foremost college baseball analysts the game has to offer. In addition to being one of the more entertaining Twitter follows (@Mike_Rooney) out there, “Roons” is as tuned in with the college game as anyone. He recently sat down with Top Coach Podcast and our friend Jack Warren. Here’s a sneak preview of the interview: Continue reading

abcaofficialThe ABCA Board of Directors voted in June to name Inside Pitch Magazine the Official Magazine of the American Baseball Coaches Association. With the move, all 2015-16 ABCA members will receive a free subscription to the magazine starting with the fall issue, which will be mailed with the October edition of Covering All Bases.

“This is a great magazine that our Board of Directors voted to put the ABCA name on,” said ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. “In addition, the free subscription is another great benefit that our members have asked for and we were able to deliver. We are extremely excited about this enhanced partnership.”

In a survey conducted to ABCA members in May, 78 percent of respondents indicated they were interested in receiving Inside Pitchin the mail as part of their membership.

With the partnership, Inside Pitch will continue to feature subjects of interest to ABCA coaches, and members will have a greater opportunity to be featured in the magazine.

ABCA members who have attended the convention in recent years are already familiar with the magazine, as it was distributed free in the convention packets.

Members were given free access to the Inside Pitch app with the ability to read several issues this past spring. Members will continue to have free access to the Inside Pitch app, which features full issue content plus extras. Details about the app will be emailed periodically.

For more information, visit abca.org

“Travel Ball Rules: A Look Into The Positives & Negatives”

article by Justin Brown

article by Justin Brown

Summer is a time when all ages are in action on the diamond, specifically within the ‘travel ball’ circuit, a scene that has grown within past ten years. Parents and players are drawn to the travel ball environment to play against high-quality competition and in front of coaches and scouts. These tournaments have created the need for rules and bylaws to help things run effectively and smoothly, but can change the way the game is played:

Pitcher Workload Management

There is a clear push to limit the overuse of young pitchers in the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) rulebook. Sets of limitations have been put into place to manage the use of a young athlete and with the rise of arm injuries, a set of guidelines for pitcher workloads is a much-needed asset:

“7.05.C.2 ONE DAY MAXIMUM: The maximum number of innings a player can legally pitch in one (1) day. Rule 7.05.C.2 Example: In the 7U – 12U age divisions, a player may legally pitch a maximum of six (6) innings in one (1) day. The player would be ineligible to pitch the next day. Similarly, in the 13U – 14U age divisions, a player may legally pitch a maximum of seven (7) innings in one (1) day. The player would be ineligible to legally pitch the next day. Continue reading

Excited to announce our official partnership with the ABCA!

ABCA_LogoThe American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the leading professional organization for amateur baseball coaches, announces its newly forged relationship with Inside Pitch as an official partner of the ABCA. “The Inside Pitch magazine has been provided to attendees of our annual convention for the past three years. The quality of the magazine and its contents are excellent and the goals of Inside Pitch are consistent with those of the ABCA,” says ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz. “Through this relationship, our entire membership will have access to Inside Pitch and will be afforded opportunities to contribute to the magazine.”

Both the ABCA and Inside Pitch were busy in 2014. Along with a new design for its Covering All Bases newsletter, the ABCA recently launched a new website which offers new features, an updated look and simpler navigation for its members and others interested in the organization. The website redesign also includes the ABCAvideos.org site, which offers special discounts and free access to members and convention attendees. The ABCA has also enhanced the registration processes for both its membership and its annual convention, made its online Job Postings and Open Dates pages free for anyone to view, and has increased its presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help spread news and encourage networking among members.

After unveiling its Summer issue at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fl., Inside Pitch launched a new-look website of its own, which is more content-focused and easier for visitors to navigate. Inside Pitch also announced that its online publication can now be downloaded and viewed across all platforms, including iOS, Google Play, Amazon and HTML5. The updated app includes full issue content along with exclusive extras such as videos, slideshows, music, hyperlinks and other multimedia.

“I have tremendous respect for the members, board of directors and the executive committee of the ABCA,” said Inside Pitch Publisher Keith Madison, who is an ABCA Hall of Famer himself. “Our relationship with this organization will broaden our reach and provide both the ABCA and Inside Pitch with a larger platform to promote quality instruction, cutting edge information and character in the game we all love. Saying that I’m excited about this initiative would be an understatement.”

About the American Baseball Coaches Association

Established in 1945, the American Baseball Coaches Association is the foremost professional organization for amateur baseball coaches. Its membership has grown to over 6,600 members representing all 50 states, more than 20 different countries and eight divisions across amateur baseball: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, Junior College, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth.  The Association is involved in numerous programs that promote the integrity of the profession and the development of the game of baseball. Each January, the ABCA hosts the largest baseball convention in the world.

For more information on the ABCA, visit www.abca.org

About Inside Pitch

Inside Pitch is a quarterly instructional baseball magazine for players, parents, coaches and fans that promotes integrity, thought, development and improvement of the game of baseball in a direct, unique, and first-class manner. Inside Pitch will continually strive to be informative, entertaining and inspirational for the reader and fan of amateur baseball, whether coach, player, instructor or administrator. Inside Pitch is a cross-platform publication that can be downloaded and viewed with iOS, Google Play, Amazon and HTML5 and includes full issue content along with exclusive extras such as videos, slideshows, music, hyperlinks and other multimedia.  For more information see: www.insidepitchonline.com.

Perfect Game USA getting into the ‘Spring Swing’ of things

lakepointIn the spring of 2015, Perfect Game will be hosting its inaugural Spring Swing event at its new, state-of-the-art LakePoint complex in greater Atlanta. From February 1 through April 26, 2015, the Spring Swing event will host competitive NCAA D-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA, Junior College (NJCAA) and high school Spring break, weekend, round robin, pre-conference, mid-week and invitational tournaments at LakePoint.

A leading host of the highest quality and most prestigious amateur baseball events nationally, Perfect Game has been a valuable asset to the college coaching community and Major League Baseball as recruiters and scouts can evaluate a large population of talented players in one location.

The Spring Swing will present unparalleled recruiting and scouting opportunities at LakePoint. Upon completion, the facility will boast eight turfed, lit fields surrounding state-of-the-art enclosed scout towers.

In addition to on-field competition, Perfect Game will be providing the innovative technologies. Each game will be scored and scouted by Perfect Game personnel via the GameChanger. The LakePoint facility will also be fully equipped with Trackman’s Doppler radar system, the newest and most sophisticated technology to measure velocity, spin rate, release point, launch angle and many other key metrics, and the same technology currently used by many MLB teams.

For more information about Spring Swing, contact Kevin Herlihy (phone: 678-447-4760 or e-mail Kevin@perfectgame.org) or visit http://www.perfectgame.org/springswing/. You can also keep up with the event on Twitter (@PGSpringSwing), Facebook (/PGSpringSwing) and Instagram (pgspringswing).

Interview with Perfect Game USA’s Tyson Kimm

Since its inception in 1995, Perfect Game has provided tens of thousands of young baseball prospects with the opportunity to advance their careers on to the collegiate and professional levels. Tyson Kimm, a current Vice President and Partner for Perfect Game, has played an influential role in the company’s transformation from a small indoor facility to the world’s largest independent baseball scouting organization.

Kimm started at Perfect Game in 1996 as one of PG President Jerry Ford’s four initial employees in Cedar Rapids, IA. He has been highly involved with the growth and development of all Perfect Game events, including the newest venture from Perfect Game, the PG Super25.

The PG Super25 tournament series was announced in June of 2013 with the mission of keeping baseball a “Team Sport” for decades to come. By requiring teams to maintain a consistent roster from the qualifying tournaments, through the regional tournaments and onto the championships, the Perfect Game Super25 emphasizes team commitment, integrity, chemistry and the reward of winning as a team.

All amateur baseball teams from 9u-17u will have the opportunity to prove themselves as the No. 1 team in their region and represent that region in the Perfect Game Super25 National Championship.

Inside Pitch spent some time with Tyson to learn more about the PG Super25 and what it means for the landscape of amateur baseball in every region of the country. Continue reading

Out of this world

pgwwba1This fall, Perfect Game will host its 15th annual World Wood Bat Association National Championships. The event, which is considered to be one of the best in all of amateur baseball, has seen a multitude of its alumni chosen in the MLB First-Year Player Draft since 2003, including more than 150 first round picks.

One of the game’s most respected scouting services, Perfect Game provides showcases, tournaments, online video, national rankings, player profiles, scouting reports and much more to prep players and their families. WWBA is Perfect Game’s wood bat division and puts on several high-profile tournaments throughout the calendar year, but the Jupiter spectacle is by far and away its marquee event.

With 17 pools of five teams each- 85 teams in all- the WWBA Championships are a who’s who of top prospects, MLB scouts, and top college programs.

“Typically MLB clubs will send 15 or more scouts, with some sending their entire scouting department,” said Perfect Game President Jerry Ford. “They combine the event coverage with a scouting department meeting. Pretty much all the top college baseball programs from all over the country send their coaches to attend.”

“It was actually started in San Antonio in 1998 as The Lone Star Showdown,” Ford continued. “It was our first look at Cody Ross (now with the Boston Red Sox), who was the star of the tournament.” Continue reading