Baseball's pitch count rule set to begin on Thursday

Lewis-Palmer Ponderosa baseball

(Matt Mathewes/MVPSportsPics.com)

AURORA — The pioneering pitch count rule in baseball is set to be officially in effect on Thursday when the sport's regular season begins.

The new rule, one of only a handful around the country, marks a shift away from an innings limit that had been in place.

The rule was spawned out of more than a year's worth of work, which included a specific committee which was commissioned for the specific purpose of looking at pitch counts.

Specifically, the pitch count limits are as follows:

Varsity
Pitches Required Rest
86-110 3 Days
61-85 2 Days
36-60 1 Day
1-35 0 Days*
Junior Varsity
Pitches Required Rest
61-85 3 Days
36-60 2 Days
26-35 1 Day
1-25 0 Days^

* - Additionally, no pitcher may throw more than 60 pitches over two days. If they throw 60 pitches in two days, there will be one day of required rest.

^ - No sub-varsity pitcher can throw more than 35 pitches over two days. That limit will result in one day of mandated rest.

A pitcher will be allowed to finish a batter if they hit the limit (110 in varsity play; 85 in sub-varsity) during an at-bat, but must exit the game after the hitter.

The CHSAA office also released the following comprehensive video about preventing the overuse of arms in youth and high school baseball:

On Wednesday, the following reminder was sent out to all schools from Bert Borgmann, the assistant commissioner in charge of baseball, with regard to the pitch count rule, and how it will be enforced:

Welcome to the 2016 High School Baseball Season!

This year promises to showcase some of the best baseball players Colorado has ever put onto the playing field.

It also marks the beginning of the new CHSAA pitching rules. This rule was recommended by the baseball committee because we now have the science to help our players. It will take some getting used to, but it is now a rule and needs to be followed.

Many have asked about the accountability process of the new rules. Here is how that will work:

  • Umpires will NOT have any input or jurisdiction in pitch counts;
  • Each team is responsible for recording and posting to its MaxPreps page its pitching stats and by player (and game scores) within 24 hours of the conclusion of a game;
  • It is strongly recommended that both teams periodically check with each other on the number of pitches thrown during the game;
  • At the conclusion of the contest, both coaches should fill out and sign the pitching accountability form and keep a copy for reference should any questions arise following the game;
  • Should any questions arise, the primary source of information will be the official scorebook, which by rule is the home team scorebook;
  • The rules apply for every level team you have (varsity and sub-varsity alike);
  • MaxPreps will issue a report to the CHSAA office each day with the results of the games and pitch counts.

Failure to complete these steps carries a major sanction. If we start out entering these for the games tomorrow and continue through the season, there should be no issues. This comes down to a coaching integrity issue and I believe that we have coaches who have only the best interests of students at heart.

Game Changer is a web-based application that can be downloaded for free and is a seamless upload to MaxPreps. They are familiar with our rules and the Baseball Committee is encouraging those looking for a technical program to help with the counts to use this stats keeping program.

I wish the best of luck this season and hope it is all you want it to be!

All the information you need to get started this season is located at: http://chsaanow.com/sports/baseball

Please also share the following video link with players, parents, coaches and the community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNwaZfWM5bo&feature=youtu.be