Although similar in format, the pitcher’s mound in a softball field is different from that in baseball. While most sports have flat pitcher’s mounds, the baseball field has an actual mound that is slightly elevated compared to the rest of the field.
The standard height for the pitcher’s plate is 10 inches over the home plate. This difference in height of the pitcher’s mound was decided by extensive trial and error methods to determine the perfect height and distance, creating a fair and undecided match. The height of the mound was optimized to ensure that the pitcher did not always strike out the player and the batter did not always hit a home run. At the perfect height of 10 inches above the home plate cover, the outcome of each pitch is more or less unbiased and undetermined.
History of the pitcher’s mound
In the early years of baseball as a sport, the pitcher was required to stay inside the box. Known as the pitcher’s box, it was situated about 45 feet from the home plate. However, this positioning allowed pitchers to dominate and strike out batters with ease. In 1881, the front edge of the pitcher’s box was moved five feet behind. However, this change was still inadequate. In 1887, a new rule was approved, requiring the pitcher to keep his back foot on the line located a little over 55 feet from the home plate.
In 1893, the box was removed completely and the rubber pitcher’s plate was introduced. It was also moved five feet further, making up a total of 60 and half feet, today’s standard. In efforts to balance out the advantages on both sides, the elevation was awarded to the pitcher. It was then raised 10 inches in height with a standard diameter of 18 feet. The pitcher’s mound then became an indispensible part of baseball in the twentieth century.
Benefits of the elevation
The slight elevation of the pitcher’s mound allowed them to gain momentum in their stride down. The downward angle and the forward motion allows them to angle the ball with better precision, without giving them too much of an advantage over the batter. Apart from better pitching, the elevated mound also provided a number of other practical benefits on the baseball field. It was believed that the elevated mound allowed better water absorption and drainage while allowing the pitcher to reach higher velocities with each pitch. It makes sense to protect your pitchers mound with a pitchers mound cover.