State enacts pitch count for high school baseball

The state has enacted pitch counts for high school pitchers.
The state has enacted pitch counts for high school pitchers.

Now it will be high school baseball coaches, and not just batters, who will be working the counts.

High school baseball pitchers in New York will be on a pitch count, following a positive vote Friday by the Executive Committee of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

“It’s a good thing for baseball players in New York state,” said Ed Dopp, Shaker’s athletic director, the state baseball coordinator and incoming executive director of Section II. “It’s a great first step in helping and protecting baseball players.”

The pitch count rule will be in place for varsity, junior varsity, freshman and modified-level play.

During the regular season, varsity pitchers will be allowed to throw between 96 and 105 pitches on four days’ rest, between 66 and 95 pitches on three days’ rest, between 31 and 65 pitches on two days’ rest, and between one and 30 pitches on one days’ rest. The varsity pitch counts are sightly higher for postseason play. For example, a pitcher can throw between 103 and 125 pitches  on four days’ rest, and between 72 and 102 on three days’ rest.

“We’ve always had a pitching rule based on innings for a week,” Dopp said. “The NFHS [National Federation of High Schools] mandated we come out with standards for number of pitches and days’ rest, based on the safety factor.

“Without question this is a big game-changer. How much, we’ll find out and then we’ll review. I wouldn’t be surprised if after we look at it there may be some tweaking of it.”

Pitch counts will be kept by the teams playing, and pitch count forms will have to be signed by head coaches or designated representatives. Any violation of the pitching rule will be considered in the same light as a school using an ineligible player.

Pitch counts get lower with each level of competition, though the days of rest are the same.

“One positive is that we may develop more pitching,” said Dopp, a former Shaker baseball coach. “On the other hand, small schools may run out of pitching. We need to study it.”

The pitch count proposal was one of many brought before the Executive Committee, with several actions taking place in terms of state championship venues.

The Binghamton area received a one-year extension to host the state baseball semifinals and championships in 2018. The event this spring will be held over two days for the first time rather than one based on an October vote by the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee approved Middletown and Union-Endicott high schools as hosts of the East and West region football semifinals for 2017-18. The East games for years were contested at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, and last fall Troy, Glens Falls and Cambridge used that venue as a stepping stone toward their state championships in Syracuse.

The girls state tennis championships will return to Latham for 2017-19, with Tri-City Fitness serving as the host venue. The Cortland area will continue to host the girls state soccer championships in 2017-19. Onondaga Community College, outside of Syracuse, will host the dual meet state wrestling championships in 2018-20. Williamsville North in Buffalo will be the new state field hockey host in 2018-20, following its run in Binghamton.

Also approved was the addition of a second boys and girls indoor track relay team (4×200, 4×400, 4×800) for state competition beginning in March 2018; the increase of working officials at indoor track and field championships from 70 to 85 for the next three years; video replay to review safety and point reductions during the NYSPHSAA cheerleading championships; and the issuing of a yellow card before a red card for boys’ and girls’ volleyball coaches.


Dopp said he will be stepping down as Shaker’s AD on March 31, and will oversee his last state baseball tournament June 9-10. Earlier this week, the 57-year-old was named Section II’s executive director, replacing Wayne Bertrand. Dopp will begin serving in his new role May 1.

Categories: Sports

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