Starting in the 2016 season, high school baseball pitchers in Colorado will be subjected to strict limits on the number of pitches they’re allowed to throw.
The Colorado High School Athletics Association approved a proposal last week that requires rest days based on the number of pitches a player throws in a day, either in practice or in a game. A varsity pitcher who throws 35 pitches or fewer is not required to have a day of rest; one who throws 36-60 pitches must rest for one day; one who throws 61-85 pitches must rest two days; and one who tosses 86-110 pitches must rest for three days. The current rule restricted pitchers in terms of innings instead of a pitch count; no pitcher is allowed to throw more than 12 innings in three consecutive days.
Under the new policy, any varsity pitcher who throws more than 60 pitches over two days must then rest for one day. Additionally, a pitcher who reaches the 110-pitch threshold during an at-bat may finish off that batter, but must leave the game immediately after retiring the hitter or allowing a hit.
“The overuse of arms, especially young arms, is a real threat to baseball,” said Bert Borgmann, assistant commissioner of the state athletics association, to Ryan Casey of CHSAANow.com. “Although CHSAA can’t control what outside entities do, it can implement rules to help limit the overuse of arms during the high school season.”
The limits are even stricter for sub-varsity players: Those who throw between one and 25 pitches in a day aren’t required to have a day of rest; those who throw 26-35 must rest one day, those who throw 36-60 must rest two days; and those who throw 61-85 pitches must rest three days. Sub-varsity pitchers aren’t allowed to exceed 85 pitches in a given day, except if they’re finishing off a batter (similar to the 110-pitch limit exception in varsity).
Kevin Lytle of
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.