The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Board of Directors approved a recommendation at its November meeting, which would place a daily limit on pitching for student-athletes based on year in school. This past June, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) changed Baseball Rule 6-2-6 to state, “Each NFHS member state association will be required to develop its own pitching restriction policy based on the number of pitches thrown during a game to afford pitchers a required rest period between pitching appearances.”
The recommendation came to the Board from the Baseball Advisory Committee, which voted unanimously to use the Pitch Smart requirements that were suggested by USA Baseball and MLB. Instead of using age groups we grouped them by grade. The committee decided to be more restrictive on the Middle School group and limited their maximum number of pitches.
|Year in School||Daily Max*(Pitches)||Required Rest (Pitches)|
|0 Days||1 Day||2 Days||3 Days||4 Days|
*Finish current batter when maximum pitch count is met.
*Can only pitch two days in succession and then a minimum one day rest period is required.
The need for pitch count restrictions comes from an increase in the number of overuse arm injuries in recent years. Since the purpose of education based athletics is to focus on the intentional development of the educational, socials, physical and emotional well-being of each student athlete, developing a restriction to put the health the student ahead of the result of the game is the right thing to do.
General Guidelines for Pitchers:
- Do not exceed 100 innings pitched in any 12 month period
- Take at least 4 months off from competitive pitching, including at least 2 months off from all overhead throwing
- Make sure to properly warmup before pitching
- Make sure a proper dynamic and static stretching plan is in followed prior to throwing
- Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
- Avoid pitching in multiple games on the same day
- Avoid playing catcher after pitching
General Guidelines for Coaches/Parents:
- Educate Pitchers on proper mechanics and throwing techniques
- Monitor pitchers for signs of mechanical breakdown and fatigue
- Take immediate action if a pitcher complains of pain
- Consult a traner/doctor/trained coach upon completion of game pitching activity
- Put in place and follow a prescribed pitching rehabilitation program.
Guidelines for Tracking:
- Exchange verification forms prior to the start of the contest. The opposing team will fill out your form
- Track pitch counts for both teams to assure accuracy. Coaches should verify pitch counts after each half inning.
- The home team will be the correct count if there is a dispute.
- Both teams will sign the forms at the end of the contest.
- If a pitcher hits the MAX number during a batter, they are allowed to finish the batter in the box.
- Pitch counts apply to regular and post season contests.
- Pitch counts will be entered into the MSHSAA website within 24 hours of the contest. Not entering the pitch count will result in a $25 fine.