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Texas baseball coaches association to propose pitch count

March 30, 2016 / Baseball
The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association (THSBCA) next month will propose a pitch limit to help prevent arm injuries in young athletes, The Dallas Morning News is reporting.

Texas may consider whether high school baseball pitchers need to be on a mandatory pitch count. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman
Texas may consider whether high school baseball pitchers need to be on a mandatory pitch count. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman

Current rules allow players to throw unlimited pitches and unlimited innings during a single game. If they play in more than one game in a single day, they are limited to 10 innings.

That could change if the University Interscholastic League (UIL) considers the recommendations. According to the article, THSBCA Executive Director Rex Sanders said the proposal would “call for a sliding scale based on a pitcher’s age, with a ballpark of 110 pitches being the maximum” for 18- or 19-year-olds. Younger players would have lower pitch counts, but a specific number has not yet been determined.

From the article:

“Kids are throwing so much year round that they’re not getting the rest that their body needs,” said Sanders, a former coach at College Station A&M Consolidated High School. “The National Federation, I think, in the next two or three years is going to require all states to have some type of pitching regulation, which we already do, but probably not enough. For probably 95 percent of our coaches, it has been fine. Most of them already do it anyway. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve before somebody that maybe doesn’t know much about baseball comes in and arbitrarily floats some numbers out there.”

Sanders said the proposal would include asking for a mandated number of rest days for pitchers based on how many pitches they threw. While the exact number hasn’t been determined, Sanders said the ballpark would be three to five days of rest.

Alabama, Colorado and Vermont already have rules to give pitchers mandatory rest days. The National Federation of State High School Associations has also examined the issue.

The THSBCA will make its proposal to the UIL’s medical advisory committee on April 17.

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