The PIAA Board of Directors unanimously approved a pitch count rule on Wednesday that will come into play for the 2017 high school baseball season.
The rule is designed to limit the number of pitches a pitcher can throw during a week. Previously, the state’s governing body for scholastic sports based its pitching rules on the number of innings in a given week.
Under the new guidelines, if a pitcher throws 1 to 25 pitches in a game no rest is required. For 26 to 50 pitches, a pitcher requires one calendar day of rest. For 51 to 75 pitches, two calendar days are needed.
A pitcher who throws 76 to 100 pitches needs three calendar days. A pitcher is not to exceed 200 pitches in a week.
If a pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count permitted in a calendar day during an at-bat, that pitcher is allowed to continue to pitch to that batter until the batter records an out or reaches base, or until a third out has been made before the end of that at-bat.
The move was largely expected after the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approved a national pitch count rule in July. The mandate goes into effect nationwide for the 2017 baseball season.
Some questions have arisen over how pitch counts will be monitored.
The PIAA is hoping that scorekeepers will meet between innings to make sure the number of pitches thrown align. If there are any discrepancies the home book is declared the official book.
At the conclusion of each game, coaches are required to upload their pitch counts to MaxPreps.com where statistics are tracked for high school sports.