Pitch count change for 2017 season affects smaller teams

A new rule in high school baseball will have a large impact on all schools. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) released a new rule limiting the amount of pitches a student can throw during a game without having to take a several day break.

“I would say that this has probably been going on for two years. Last year we had to record the number of pitches that our kids threw. Now, they are officially adopting a pitch count. I think that part of this has been in the works for close to the last five to seven years,” George said. “Just because the number of Tommy John surgeries has increased at the major league level exponentially. As a result, they are trying to solve the problem of all of these Tommy John surgeries at the high school level, by trying to limit the amount of usage that kids have throughout the year”.
This new rule will change how baseball practices and games are conducted. Practices will be more closely focused on improving pitching skills.

“This will definitely affect the practices for players because for a school like Newton, everyone is a pitcher. At least everyone will be getting some time in working on how to become a pitcher. What that ends up doing is, it ends up taking time away from development of other areas. So now you have to try to develop a large portion of your players to be pitchers or at least be able to throw strikes,” George said. “Another thing that we are probably going to do is be extremely vigilant in monitoring the amount of pitches that a kid is throwing during a game, so that if he hits a certain number we can factor in whether he will be throwing later in the week. It could result in making more pitching changes throughout the game to try to limit the amount of pitches that the guys are throwing.”

Some players believe that the teams will be experiencing disadvantages as an effect of the rule change.

“I think it will benefit other schools, but it will definitely be a disadvantage for us because we are a smaller team. Also, sometimes the games get cancelled and then we have games back to back each day and we just run out of pitchers to use,” junior Josh Hansen said. “Other schools that are bigger will have more pitchers to use than we do so it is a disadvantage for us.”
Despite these disadvantages, the teams will also gain the chance to strengthen their players’ skills.

“I think that there is a beneficial side for Newton because we will be have more pitchers. It will help us because instead of just having a few people we will have more options,” Hansen said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email