December 1, 2016 4:00 pm
By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist
VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The North Dakota High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors met Thursday, December 1.
Highlights on the Board’s Agenda included the approval of a pitch count regulation which goes into effect for the upcoming 2017 NDHSAA baseball season.
The new regulation applies to both the Class A and Class B divisions. Details of the new pitch count regulation are as follows:
During the regular season, a pitcher can throw no more than 120 pitches per day and in turn will be limited to throwing 0-30 pitches on zero days of rest since last pitching appearance (next day), 31-45 pitches on one day of rest, 46-60 pitches on two days of rest, 61-75 pitches on three days of rest and 76-120 on four days of rest since last pitching appearance.
During the postseason, a pitcher can throw a maximum of 135 pitches for the entire tournament. A pitcher is limited to a maximum daily total of 120 pitches during the postseason and in turn will be limited to throw 0-45 pitches on zero days of rest since last pitching appearance (next day), 46-90 pitches on one day of rest, and 91-120 on two days of rest since last pitching appearance.
“The Pitch Count Committee did a great job of coming up with a regulation that fit North Dakota,” NDHSAA Assistant Director Justin Fletschock said. “We surveyed our state’s baseball coaches both to collect data on the number of severe arm injuries and to get feedback on pitch counts. What we found is that we have a very low surgical injury rate in North Dakota. We also found out that most of our coaches were already using pitch counts to protect their pitchers.
“I think we found a good balance of protecting pitcher’s arms and not drastically altering the way the game has been played,” Fletschock added.
Additional details of the new NDHSAA pitch count regulation are:
Daily limits: If a team plays two games in one day, a pitcher can pitch in both games, just add the totals together.
If the daily or postseason maximum pitch count is reached during an at bat, the pitcher is allowed to finish that batter.
Home book is the official book for pitch counts. It is recommended that teams compare pitch numbers during the game.
If a pitch count tracker is present, they are the official pitch count
Tournament Managers will track pitch counts during postseason.
Play-in games are counted as postseason contests and shall be included in the postseason tournament maximum for pitchers.
Intentional walks (IBB) do not count towards a pitcher's’ pitch count total.
If a pitcher is found to have exceeded the pitch count regulation the game will be ruled a forfeit and the player in violation must sit out the following varsity contest.
Other recommendations with the pitch count regulation are that coaches use care when choosing the pitchers next position after pitching (i.e. playing catcher).
The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors approved the pitch count policy change in July, which required all High School Associations in the nation to adopt their own pitch count regulation.