For those who missed it, earlier this week the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) passed a new rule requiring all state HS athletic associations to pass a rule dealing with pitch count limitations and mandatory days of rest. These limitations are supposed to be effective for the 2017 season. UNFORTUNATELY, the NFHS also chickened out a bit. They could simply have incorporated the Pitch Smart Guidelines into the NFHS Rule Book. Instead, they allowed each state association to adopt its own rules.
The upshot of this is that in 2017 all states will have some form of pitch count limitation and mandatory days of rest. However, these rules may take many different forms. Some states will simply adopt the Pitch Smart Guidelines. But, others will try to water them down as much as possible. I encourage each of you to contact your state associations and adopt them AS WRITTEN. I am not saying these guidelines are perfect. But, they are a reasonable compromise, and probably the best we can hope for under the circumstances. Write letters to your state association. Talk to your doctor, PT, CT friends and get them involved. We finally have a chance for some real progress here. Let's not let it slip away.
Post by scorekeeper on Jul 17, 2016 13:07:44 GMT -6
It is a giant leap forward, but it really is a real shame NFHS didn’t do more to make sure good limitations were the minimum requirement, especially when they have the perfect opportunity. USA Baseball is the governing body for all amateur baseball in the country, of which HS baseball is definitely a part, and they have endorsed Pitch Smart. web.usabaseball.com/article.jsp?ymd=20150410&content_id=117388756
It was the perfect opportunity to get all of HS baseball on the same page as far as minimum standards go. If a state want more strict limitations they could, but that really wouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately, there are still enough dinosaurs in high administrative positions in the various baseball venues that there had to be a compromise or it would have been even longer before we got what we did.
What some of us are fighting for out here in the land of fruits and nuts is to use the rest part of the equation to stop most of the violations. Yes, the max limit whatever it is will be far better than IPs, but from my perspective the most important part of the pitch limit equation is the rest. Picture this. If it were possible to have a list of the dates when it was legal for every player to pitch before the game even started, how many violations would be avoided?
I’ve developed something for our coach to help him make sure he doesn’t get himself into a jam. See the pitall11.pdf attachment. That’s an example of every player who has thrown a pitch during the summer. As you can see, it also list pertinent information about their last appearances, including the amount of rest required and the date they can next legally pitch. If the date is past and it’s legal for the player to pitch I use green type and if it hasn’t passed making it illegal, the typeface is red. Since the date that one was run was 7/15 the 2nd pitcher on the list can’t pitch.
In my teams case I have that information at hand so it takes nothing more than a mouse click to get the report. I’m trying like crazy to get MaxPreps who most teams out here use to post stats, to make it possible to get the same thing. For those of you who don’t know, MaxPreps allows coaches to print game programs. See the program.pdf attachment. It would be pretty simple for them to add the same information on the game program that I put on my report.
I’d prefer the PU be given one during the pregame meeting. That way the starters could be checked to see if they’re eligible to pitch as well as any pitchers entering the game. What you’ve done is stopped rest violations from occurring. Now all you have to worry about is the max number of pitches for any pitcher in the game and that’s simple. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get something like that put into place, and even more so in the short amount of time between now and the beginning of the spring season. Also, it would be a PITA for MaxPreps to have to keep track of different rules for every state.
But in the end we are making progress and that’s definitely a good thing!!!
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Jul 18, 2016 7:22:41 GMT -6
Thanks, guys. I completely agree with you that this is a giant step forward but we need to push each state to enact meaningful pitch counts. For the record, the way I understand it the NFHS is set up to provide guidelines for high school baseball, but each state has the authority to set it's own specific rules. The NFHS also provides information and forums for discussion among the state federations.
I agree with thaseldon and encourage people to write to their state federation to join the growing list of "Pitch Smart Compliant" organizations.
Post by objectiveobserver on Jul 2, 2017 16:14:58 GMT -6
I am a high school football and baseball coach. Can anyone direct me to research that describes a reduction in arm issues in high school players that resulted from using the pitch count limits made mandatory this year?
I see suggestions about pitching and catching on the same LL team. Is there any research to support the conclusion that catching results in arm issues alone or in connection with pitching? What I'm trying to ask is; can research be found or are these recommendations the personal opinions of the authors?
Since shortstops and some other position players make maximum throws routinely in game situations, I assume the current recommendation would be not to allow a pitcher that already threw the maximum number of pitches on a day to play those positions, but is the assumption accurate?
While I no longer coach LL, when I did there was much pressure from parents to keep the number of players on a team to a minimum so that there would be few times a player was not in a game. This short bench means that the kids that can pitch are "counted upon" to pitch often. By the way, this pressure from parents to limit the roster size does not entirely go away in high school.
When making up the arbitrary pitch count rules, was there any discussion about requiring teams to expand the number of players on LL teams? Perhaps limiting the number of games a player can play in a given time frame should be discussed. By describing the pitch count regulations as arbitrary I am not demeaning the rules, just indicating that these seem not to have been verified as effective but more by consensus of opinions.
Finally, has there been any research that indicates high school quarterbacks suffer arm injuries as a result of the number of throws made in a game?
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Jul 5, 2017 14:23:04 GMT -6
Hi Objective Observer,
Thank you for your questions. The short answer is that these recommendations are based upon peer-reviewed published research studies, including four list below. I just sent these four articles to you, by email. Supplemental information is available at www.pitchsmart.org. While there is scientific evidence supporting the pitch count guidelines, more research is always of value.
Yang J, Mann BJ, Guettler JH, Dugas JR, Irrgang JJ, Fleisig GS, Albright JP. Risk-Prone pitching activities and injuries in youth baseball: findings from a national sample. Am J Sports Med 42(6):1456-1463, 2014.
Fleisig GS, Andrews JR, Cutter GR, Weber A, Loftice J, McMichael C, Hassell N, Lyman S. Risk of Serious Injury for Young Baseball Pitchers: A 10-Year Prospective Study. Am J Sports Med 39(2):253-257, 2011.
Olsen SJ, Fleisig GS, Dun S, Loftice J, Andrews JR. Risk factors for shoulder and elbow injuries in adolescent baseball pitchers. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 34(6):905-912, 2006.
Lyman S, Fleisig GS, Andrews JR, Osinski ED. Effect of pitch type, pitch count, and pitching mechanics on risk of elbow and shoulder pain in youth baseball pitchers. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 30(4):463-468, 2002.