OHSAA ADOPTS PITCH COUNT LIMIT FOR 2017 BASEBALL SEASON
There's no need to worry if you think you're seeing strange pitching changes during the 2017 high school baseball season. Coaches aren't going crazy or making extra trips to the mound for exercise, but they are following the rules.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which serves as a national governing body for high school sports, issued a 2016 mandate requiring all states to adopt a pitch count for baseball. Each state was given the task of developing its own pitch count regulations. Although the Buckeye state has met that requirement for 2017, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has left the door open for future adjustments.
“Our initial goal was to meet the requirement of the NFHS rule that requires individual states to create their own pitch count regulations,” said OHSAA Assistant Commissioner Jerry Snodgrass, who serves as the state's baseball administrator. “After assembling a group of the necessary stakeholders, including a member of our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, we have met that goal. We continue to look at further ways in which these limitations will affect teams as well as proving adequate education for our coaches and those involved in non school baseball.”
Under previous Ohio rules, a pitcher could not throw more than 10 innings in a three day period. Below are the new guidelines.
2017 OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation
Daily Pitch Limit: 125 pitches
Number of Days Between Pitching Appearances After Pitching:
1-30 Pitches: 0 days
31-50 Pitches: 1 day
51-75 Pitches: 2 days
76 or More Pitches: 3 days
Doubleheader Note: If a pitcher throws at least 31 pitches in a game, he may not pitch in another game that day (or the next day, per the chart above).
At Bat Completion: If the daily pitch count is reached during an at bat, a pitcher may exceed the pitch count only to finish pitching to the current batter.
Data Collection System: At the end of each contest, coaches must submit pitcher data to a designated data collection system. Schools are required to keep pitch count data on all pitchers and make the data available to the OHSAA upon request.
Regulation Violation: A team shall forfeit any victorious contest in which a player violates the pitch count regulation.
Suspended/Interrupted Games: All pitches thrown during a game that becomes suspended or interrupted (due to weather or darkness, for example) shall count toward the pitch count regulation.
Scrimmages and Previews: All pitches thrown in a scrimmage or preview shall count toward the pitch count regulation.
“For the larger schools, I don't think (the pitch count) is going to make any difference,” said veteran coach Doug Miller, who takes over at East Canton after amassing over 700 wins and three state titles at Canton Central Catholic. “The bigger schools probably have a hard time getting their fifth, sixth and seventh pitchers enough work the way it is. Now they can probably get them on the mound a little more. The small schools, I think if you have a week where you play five games and you have a small roster with 14 or 15 kids, it could be tough. You might have to have every kid on your team learn how to pitch, even if it's just an inning or two.”