TSSAA to create baseball pitch count rule after NFHS decision

by Marta Holmes July 14, 2016, 6:08
TSSAA to create baseball pitch count rule after NFHS decision

High school softball pitchers do not adhere to a pitch count.

The National Federation of High School Sports issued a statement this week regarding the amount of pitches or innings a pitcher can throw.

The new standard will be set by the PIAA in the coming months as the NFHS is allowing each state association to establish its own set of rules regarding pitch counts.

Baseball America reported a 2015 study by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine found that 56.7 percent of Tommy John surgeries frpm 2007-11 were performed on 15- to 19-year-olds. "It should all be based on the coach's knowledge of his player, not a pitch count".

"We haven't done as good a job educating our coaches about what to do on those days when a pitcher isn't pitching, and whether he should be doing things like taking infield or how much throwing to do on those days he can't pitch", he said.

"With the innings there can be inconsistency where one kid can throw seven innings and 60 or 70 pitches and another could be around 150", IHSAA assistant director Todd Tharp said.

"Most of the research now is days rest after you throw", Reavis said.

How and who exactly will be relied upon to monitor pitch counts remains to be seen and leaves some coaches wondering if the change was necessary.

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However, the knock on innings limits has been that it is not as precise a limit as a pitch count is.

States like Texas have already established their limit at 125 pitches, and Alabama, Colorado and Kentucky have said that will be their number, too. I've never had a pitcher develop arm trouble in 38 years and we've always had the 10-inning rule. In the late 1990s, he began to notice an increase in injuries to young pitchers.

Phil Gardner, an assistant IHSAA commissioner who oversees baseball, said the specific policies have not yet been determined, but "will be in place for in in the very near future".

"I think a pitch count is definitely the way to go", he said.

The new rule, announced Tuesday, was passed Friday by the NFHS board of directors after membership unanimously approved it during the annual baseball rules committee meeting in early June. If a pitcher hits his limit in the middle of an inning, a new pitcher will have to be ready to enter the game.

Every state plus the District of Columbia are federation members, Hopkins said Tuesday.

"Obviously, they'll have to meet before this year starts, " said Bernie Dolan, executive director of the SSAC. I think you have to have some policy in place.

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