02/17/16 – FAQs Baseball Pitch Count Limitations

February 18, 2016 Baseball Blog Updates

Through meetings of the Kentucky Baseball Coaches Association Annual Conference and the Baseball Advisory Committee, along email requests sent since the announcement of the pitch count limitation, staff has been asked to compile a list of frequently asked questions for clarification to guide administrators, coaches and officials throughout the season with the implementation of the new pitch count restrictions. Check back throughout the year as we will revise this post with any additional information.

Can there be a form developed as a daily game log to assist in the tracking of pitch counts?
Yes.  KHSAA Form BA127 has been created and posted on the KHSAA website.  To view the form, click the following link.  KHSAA Form BA127

Can a region or district vote to have a game official (umpire) be the Designated Pitch Count Recorder?

No. The pitch count limitation is not under the jurisdiction of the contest officials. Officials are not involved in the enforcement of the limitation just as they were not involved when the limitation was based on innings pitched. The home team’s designated pitch count recorder serves as the official count.

When a student pitches in a junior varsity contest and then in a varsity contest on the same day?  Which limitation applies?  
The more restrictive limitation applies. For example: Pitcher A throws 27 pitches at the JV level (normally 1 calendar day rest following) and then 52 pitches at the varsity level (2 calendars days rest following). In this scenario, what is the amount of rest required beginning the next day? Pitcher A would require two (2) calendar days of rest before he could pitch at any level.

Can a student who throws 110 pitches in a JV contest pitch in a varsity contest on the same day?
Yes. The pitcher would have only 10 pitches available at the varsity level.

Can the pitch count be kept on a program like gamechanger and the information be placed on the paper form each inning or after the game, or does it have to be kept on an official form?
Yes, an alternate electronic form can be used during the game provided the data is transferred to the paper form following the game. There are several apps that track pitch counts through scoring software. The paper form would have to be completed and signed by the coaches immediately after the game and retained on file.

Are the pitch count charts of both teams to be presented to the coaches prior to the contest? 
Yes, KHSAA Form BA 101 Pitching Rule Verification is to be maintained and presented prior to the contest. 

What happens if you get to a site and one team has forgotten the pitch count form? How do you proceed?  
The scorebook from the team that forgot the pitch count form shall then be used to verify all pitchers who have pitched the preceding three days, and all of those pitchers are not eligible to pitch on the current day if no pitch count form is provided.

How does the new rule apply when playing out of state teams either at home or on the road?
The pitch count applies any time you take the field representing a KHSAA school, regardless of whom you are playing or where your are playing, just like the inning limitation applied previously.

Does the pitch count limitation apply to out of state schools when playing a KHSAA school in Kentucky?
No. The pitch count limitation is a KHSAA rule. The pitching limitation for the out of state school would be the limitation set up by its state Association.

Do we have to remove our pitcher if, in the middle of an at-bat, the limit would be reached for a day?  
No. The pitch count limitation rule permits the pitcher to finish the at-bat in which the limit was attained and then the pitcher shall be removed from the game.

Where should the Designated Pitch Count Recorder (DPCR) be located?
The DPCR should be identified prior to the game and be within close proximity of the home team dugout to permit verification between innings.

What happens if a team continues to use a pitcher once a limitation has been reached?
The coach shall remove the player from the game. Should this not happen, the school and coach violating the pitch count should be reported to the KHSAA. Keep in mind that once a player is not eligible, there are penalties (forfeiture, fine, other administrative penalties on the coach/school) that will be assessed.

Does a balk, where the pitch is not thrown, count toward the pitch count limitation? Does a throw to a base attempting a pickoff count?
No. Neither a balk (if a pitch is not thrown) nor an attempt to pick off a base runner counts toward the pitch limit.

A batter is issued an intentional walk. No pitches were thrown during the issuing of the intentional walk. How is this scored with regard to the pitch count?
If no pitches are thrown in issuing of an intentional walk, the pitch count is not affected.

Can a game be shortened and still be official in order to address a shortage of pitchers?
No, games may not be shortened in an attempt to avoid pitching limitations (pitch count). By NFHS rule, games are seven (7) complete innings (with shortened format permitted by rule only in an emergency due to weather/darkness). Coaches may not agree to shorten contests for other reasons.

Are there additional training materials/video aids available to educate the baseball community about the pitch count?
In a continuing effort to help educate administrators, coaches, players, parents and fans, the NFHS has published a free online course – Introduction to Pitch Smart. Hosted by Hall of Famer, John Smoltz, the Introduction to Pitch Smart course aims to explain the principles behind Pitch Smart, a joint arm care initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball. This course includes topics such as risks of arm injuries, common misconceptions, and the Pitch Smart guidelines.

– KHSAA –

The KHSAA staff routinely publishes blog posts to better communicate with its various constituencies and the public. For a list of those blogs, go to http://khsaa.org/news-stats-pubs/sports-blogs/