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PITCHBACK PLANS AND INSTRUCTIONS.

While there is no substitute for a catcher with a young pitcher, the pitch-back offers the chance to practice when one isn't available. Eliminating the need to chase balls means the more opportunities there are to work toward accuracy. Also, a coach or parent can stand, or sit behind the screen and critique (spin, form, etc.) and photograph without having to worry about being hit by the ball.

The pitcher can stand at the 40 foot or 46 foot pitching distance and the ball will return on the fly, or on the ground, which helps the last part of the windup, coming into a fielding position. Also the rope can be adjusted at the bottom. Then the pitch-back can be used to practice fielding grounders as well as pop-ups. This can be done with a partner and turned into a game, which makes learning fun.
You can click on the picture for an exploded view.
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EXAMPLE
DESCRIPTION
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EXAMPLE
DESCRIPTION
1.   Lumber required


Materials List:
2) 2 in X 6 in X 8 ft.
2) 2 in X 6 in X 12 ft.
2) 2 in X 4 in X 10 ft.
Click Here to get instructions on how to connect the ends of the rope.
Web Page    pdf file    .gif file.
 

1) polypropylene rope ¼ inch 43feet long.
1) Tarred net, 3¼ mesh #18 twine, 32 by 50 squares (count the squares diagonally).  Run the rope through the outside squares of the net, and weave the rope ends together.

 
9.
Marking the ends of the board for the half lap joint


Measure where to start cutting the half lap joint  

 
2.


Hardware:
16) ½ in X 2 ¼ in bolts with nuts
32) ½ in washers.

16) 2 ¼ in X 7⁄16 in bolts with nuts.
16) 7⁄16 in Washers
2)  hinges
84) ¼ in Pegs to hold the net rope.

 
10.

Starting the cut for the half lap joint.




  Cut a half lap joint on the ends of the 2 X 6 boards..
 
Watch a movie
on how to make a half lap.
 

 
3. Measuring for the holes


Measure in 8" from the ends of the 8 foot 2 X 6 boards. Far enough to clear the end joint. That should leave 80". Keep dividing that 80" into halves and put a mark on the flat side of the board until the

marks are 5" apart. That will give you 17 pegs on each 8 foot 2 X 6.

11.
Knocking out the left overs.


Cut out the notches in the saw cuts and make the inside of the half lap joint smooth for good fit.  

 
4. Transfering the information to the other board


You should have 33 pegs on the 12 foot 2 X 6"s. Measure in 8" to clear the end and this will leave you 128". Keep dividing that 128" into halves and put a mark on the 2" side of the 2 X 6 until the marks are

4 inches apart. This will give you 33 pegs. You will only attach the net rope to every other 4" peg on the 12 foot side and leave the others for later to tighten the net after it stretches.

12.
Drilling the holes for the corners.


Drill the holes for the 2 ¼ in X 7⁄16 in corner bolts.

Mark the ends of both boards 1, 2, 3, & 4 so the holes will match up if you disassemble the pitchback.
 

 
5.
Measuring the jig for drilling the holes


Mark the drill guide board 3 inches from the edge.  

 
13.
Finished corner with joint.


This is how it should look after you cut and drill the ends of the 2 X 6 inch boards.  

 
6.
Putting an angled hole in the drilling jig.


To drill the holes with consistency make a drill guide out of a block of wood 6 inches deep by at least 10 inches long. Find a block that is the right thickness for the length of your drill bit. Make the hole in the  

block at a 30 degree angle so the pegs will go in slanted toward the outside of the pitch-back.

 
14.
Putting the corner together.


Put all the ends together

Tighten the nuts after you square up the frame.

 

 
6b.
Adjusting the drill bit for the <br>desired lenth.


You only want to drill a hole 1 inch deep in the net frame. You can mark the bit with tape or buy a stop collar.  

 
15.
Finished frame with the pegs inserted.


The finished frame with the pegs in and the nuts tightened.  

 
7.
Drilling a hole in the frame


The pegs can be made from 1/4 inch steel rod or bolts. If what you use isn't rust resistant, I would recommend painting them after assembly is completed.  

 
16.
Frame with the net installed.


Start putting the net on by having a person on each corner. Even out the net so there is the same amount of rope at each corner. Put the rope on at each corner around 2 corner pegs.  

Starting in the middle of each side, attach a rope to a peg. Keep attaching from the middle of each new open span.

 
8.
Help in lining up the edge of the drilling jig.


Drills the holes for the pegs at least 2 inches from the inside edge or more, so there would be enough meat in the wood to hold the tension of the net.  

 
17.
Start pitching.


Start pitching away. You can adjust the legs to return pop ups or grounders.

You can use some yarn to string a target into the

 

squares of the netting. Mom or dad can sit behind the net in their easy chair and monitor your efforts..

 

Attach the hinges on the 6 inch sides of the 12 foot 2X6 . 3 feet from the end, and opposite the side that the net pins are on. Attach the other side of the hinge to the ends of the 2"X4"X10' so they can fold flat for storage. Let the bolt heads be on the hinge side so the legs can can fold flat for storage.

Attach a rope or heavy twine from the bottom of the net frame to the bottom of the legs. If your pitch-back is sitting on a slick surface, the rope will keep the angle of the pitch-back from changing. Adjusting the length of the rope will give you fielding practice with grounders, or pop up's.