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Sports Medicine Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons and Kathy

New Rules for Young Baseball Pitchers

Biloine W. Young • Wed, February 15th, 2017

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Baseball players in Ohio will not be out on their fields for a few weeks but their coaches are busy poring over new pitching rules for the game. Along with other restrictions, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) has adopted pitch-count standards that will limit pitchers to a maximum of 125 pitches per day.

In addition to limiting the number of pitches that can be thrown daily, the new rule stipulates the number of days required between pitching appearances that is based on the number of pitches thrown.

The limits are zero days for a pitcher throwing up to 30 balls, one day for 51 to 75 pitcher, two days for 76 or more pitches and three days for 76 or more pitches. The new rule also contains details such as the number of days required between pitching appearances based on the number of pitches thrown. “I do agree with the new rules…arm injuries are becoming more prevalent at every level,” said Martins Ferry, Ohio, head coach Anthony Reasbeck.

At the end of each game, coaches must submit pitcher data to a designated data collection system, according to OHSAA. Schools are required to keep pitch count data on all their pitchers and make the data available to the OHSAA upon request. A team shall forfeit any win in which a player violates the regulations, OHSAA said.

”I think a kid’s arm is worth more than a win,” said River, Ohio, head coach Mark Romick said. ” Now, you see kids with Tommy John surgery coming out of high school. And that’s sad.”

Romick says that the biggest change he sees is when a team has a true ace. “Usually, your best could throw seven innings then close the next game. Those days are over.”

Romick believes that developing more arms will become a coaches’ priority. It does become an advantage to have a stable of pitchers. “There will be some players who aren’t pitchers forced into pitching later in the week and on the back end of doubleheaders.”

”I think what will happen is it will hurt schools that have depleted pitching staffs,” he said. “Some schools from West Virginia had to cancel games because they had no one left to pitch. It will make you develop more pitchers.”

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