A new policy was unveiled Tuesday by high school baseball’s national governing body that now requires pitchers to be given rest between a certain number of pitches during an outing. This changes focus from innings pitched to pitch counts on the high school level.
The National Federation of State High School Associations announced in a news release that each state association will be required to develop its own pitch count restrictions. The hope is to cut down on young pitchers overusing their arm and possibly decrease the amount of Tommy John surgeries performed on 15-19 year olds.
Major League Baseball issued a press release on the new rules.
“We are pleased to see the NFHS taking this significant step towards curtailing pitcher use and fatigue,” said Chris Marinak, senior vice president of league economics and strategy at Major League Baseball. “The health of high school pitchers is critical to the future prosperity of our sport. We will continue to work alongside USA Baseball as we further proliferate this important initiative.”
Questions remain on who will keep track of pitch counts and how it will be monitored. The new rule could also affect the postseason, where pitches often throw on short rest.
Written by C. James