Are You Ready? Pitch Counts in 2017
Next year brings about a significant new rule in high school baseball in the US. In 2017 each state high school baseball association must implement a pitch count rule and a corresponding rest period in between games pitched.
The National High School Federation has left each individual state organization to create its own pitch limits, but it has required all 50 state federations to create pitch limits of some sort before the 2017 season begins.
Some states took the initiative much earlier than required. For example, Georgia’s new rules will limit any varsity pitcher to no more than 110 pitches in any outing. Pitchers will be able to finish facing their final batter even if that means they go beyond 110 pitches. The new rules for Georgia will also mandate three days of rest after any outing of 86 or more pitches, two days of rest after 61-85 pitches, one day of rest for 35-60 pitches. Pitchers who throw less than 35 pitches can pitch again the next day.
Arkansas has also recently adopted pitch limits. The Arkansas Athletics Activities board’s new rules limit pitchers to 110 pitches in any outing. Pitchers throwing more than 86 pitches they are required to have three days of rest before pitching again. Those throwing 61-85 pitches have to have two days of rest, while pitchers need one day of rest after throwing 31-60 pitches.
USA Baseball’s Pitch Smart guidelines that were developed with input from Major League Baseball and doctors recommends that no 17-to-18-year-old should throw more than 105 pitches while 15-to-16-year-olds should be limited to 95 or fewer pitches. Pitch Smart’s guidelines also recommend four days of rest after any outing where a pitcher throws more 76 pitches.
I think we would all agree that these steps, regardless of the specific pitch counts, will help preserve our young arms and result in healthier kids and ultimately better baseball.
FastChart can help you stay compliant. The app doesn’t only maintain pitch counts, but allows you to see how many of each pitch type has been thrown in that game, in the dugout, in real time.
Check us out at www.fastchartbaseball.com