The National Federation of State High School Associations announced Tuesday that high school baseball rules will now restrict pitchers based on pitch counts, as opposed to number of innings pitched.
The revision was one of a number of rule changes that were approved by the NFHS — the national governing body for high school sports — at its Baseball Rules Committee meeting in Indianapolis last month.
The rules were later approved by the governing body's Board of Directors, prompting an official press release this week.
Per the release, the decision emphasizes "the risk that occurs when pitchers overuse their throwing arm," according to Elliot Hopkins, the NFHS staff liaison for baseball.
Each member state association, including the Florida High School Athletic Association, will be required to develop its own pitching restriction policy based on the number pitches thrown during a game, affording pitchers a required rest period between appearances.
Separately, Major League Baseball praised the NFHS decision in its own press release.
“We are pleased to see the NFHS taking this significant step towards curtailing pitcher use and fatigue,” Chris Marinak, senior vice president of league economics and strategy at Major League Baseball, said in a news release. “The health of high school pitchers is critical to the future prosperity of our sport.”
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].