NFSHSA calls for limits on pitches
The National Federation of State High School Sports Associations (NFSHSA) has called for a pitch count for pitchers to be in place by the start of the 2017 high school baseball seasons. Every state plus the District of Columbia are members of the federation. Several schools across the nation have pitch counts already in place, but Arkansas is not one of those schools.
The Democrat Tribune reached out to area coaches, Jason Dahl (Trumann), Adam Chamberlin (EPC), Chip Layne (Bay) and Mike Wages (Marked Tree) to get their thoughts on the new rule.
Chamberlin said he likes the new rule. "I think it's going to be good for the kids and I'm curious to see what the Arkansas limit will be. I already count pitches and try to keep my guys under 100 if possible. I they are feeling okay and we are close to the end of the game, I may let them stay in," Chamberlin said. "I know a lot of coaches who ride one pitcher too much during a season. I've had multiple rotator cuff surgeries so I know first hand what it's like going through life with a jacked up arm," Chamberlin added.
Layne said he's for the new rule. "I've not done a lot of research into it, but I'm for any rule that will help protect young arms," Layne said.
Wages thinks it's a good rule to help protect the kids. "We've always used a pitch count trying to keep the count around 85 pitches and then rest them for two to three days so the rule won't have much of an impact on us," Wages said.
"My thoughts on the pitch count rule is that it is their to protect the kids. These days kids are playing baseball year round and sometimes during the summer they play on multiple teams and if they are pitching for two different teams its a lot of stress on a young kids' arm. When I was growing up everyone played football, then basketball, and then baseball during the summer. That time off for other sports was good for keeping kids arms healthy but with things the way they are now with the amount the kids play, I think its a good thing we have a pitch count rule. No since in ruining a kids future in the sport at a young age," were Dahl's on the rule.