The typical spots for high wear...
There are several areas of the mound and home plate that wear fairly quickly. These areas typically require regular repair. The photo and accompanying drawings highlight these common wear areas. They include:
- in front of the pitching rubber
- pitcher’s landing area
- batter’s stance in each batter’s box, especially the back foot
- catcher’s stance in the catcher’s box
Click the images for more details about these common wear areas…
The effect of cleats on wear areas...
Metal cleats tend to dig into the soil more, doing the most damage to the mound and home plate areas, by far. The result is deeper holes and excavation in the areas shown on the previous slide.
Rubber or plastic cleats typically have blunt nubs that tend to compact the soil more than dig. Areas that are fortified with clay can become extremely hard from the compaction of rubber cleats. This is especially true on fields for younger players who tend to all wear rubber cleats.
Types of fortification...
Most of the wear and tear on your field will occur on the pitching mound and at home plate. To withstand the additional wear and tear, you’ll need to fortify these areas. There are two types of fortification.
CLAY FORTIFICATION: Brick or shredded, clay is typically the ballplayer’s preference and is especially well suited for the pitching mound. You’ll get good results from clay, but it does require increased maintenance.
BARRIER MATS: These porous rubber mats are sometimes buried so the surface is slightly exposed, or they may be buried an inch or so below the soil. These work great at preserving the level areas of the batter’s and catcher’s boxes but, for safety reasons, they are not a very good option for pitcher’s mounds.
Now that you know where to look for wear, you’re ready to see what can be done to fix these areas up to keep your field safe and playable.
Try this Pop Quiz to make sure you remember wear areas. In the next lesson we’ll take a look at repairing areas that have been fortified with clay. If you do not see the quiz button below, please log in at GU to take the quiz.