CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors concluded its annual winter meeting last week. Among the items of discussion was the baseball pitch count mandated by the National Federation for State High School Associations.
“We had a great winter meeting with our board,” said Commissioner Que Tucker. “The agenda was not quite as packed as it has been in some of the past few years, which really allowed the board to get some critical work done on important items like the pitch count in baseball and skill development rules in football.”
The board considered options put forward by the NC Baseball Coaches Association as well as the NCHSAA’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Ultimately, the board elected to mix and match provisions from each group’s proposal into the current rule for the 2017 baseball season.
The approved Pitch Count rule requires a number of required calendar days of rest based on the number of pitches thrown, up to a maximum of 105 pitches in a single day. Pitch count applies only to pitches during an at bat and allows a pitcher to finish an at bat if he reaches the 105 pitch maximum.
Baseball pitch count table is as follows; 76 or more pitches requires four days rest, 61-75 pitches requires three days rest, 46-60 requires two days, 31-45 requires one day, less than 30 requires no days rest.
Any pitcher appearing two consecutive days (regardless of number of pitches thrown) must rest one day, with the exception of the State Championship Series. The State Championship series will utilize a 120 pitch maximum over the course of the full series.
The board also addressed a skill development proposal by the Football Coaches Association. The board approved a change in the skill development rules for football only, giving coaches a choice between the old skill development rules that allowed a coach to work with 21 or less players outside of established dead periods or choose to utilize the current rules that allow for skill development with an unlimited number of athletes during the “10-day window” in May.
Another immediate change implemented by the board included a decision to amend the one-year pilot seeding program in all bracketed sports for the 2016-17 year. Teams qualifying for winter and spring playoffs will now be seeded within their full region, east or west, before they are split into sub-regions for the cross-bracketing step of the process.
The board also approved changes to the qualification process for the state Cross-Country meet as well as in the regional qualification process for women’s golf.
“Ultimately the board was able to implement some changes that we all feel will benefits students while continuing to propel the Association forward in a positive direction,” Tucker concluded.