New York passes mercy rule for high school baseball

February 6, 2018 / Baseball
New York’s athletic association this month approved a new mercy rule for high school baseball that will go into effect during the upcoming season.

The rule states that any game with a 10-run deficit will be ended after five innings. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s executive committee signed off on the change, but not everyone is on board with it.

From the Times Herald-Record:

Old-school fans and traditionalists say the new legislation ruins the game, removes any opportunity for heroic late-game rallies and embraces a movement to diminish hurt feelings that may arise with a blowout. The prevailing notion, though, is it saves pitchers’ arms and falls in line with lower pitch counts mandated by a state rule enacted in 2017.

“Baseball is a game played without a clock so I guess a comeback is always possible,″ said Cornwall coach Tom Fanning. “But other than getting extra at-bats for kids that don’t play as often, nothing good can be learned from two more innings of a lopsided game that both teams recognize as a non-competitive situation.″

In 2016, the National Federation of State High School Associations mandated that all states adopt policies to give high school baseball pitchers adequate rest between appearances. The move was a reaction to the growing number of arm injuries and reports that pitchers were overworked.

A study from The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that from 2007-11, 57 percent of all Tommy John surgeries in the United States were performed on 15- to 19-year-olds.

Click here for more on the change in New York.

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