Hawaii high school baseball pitchers' outings will be limited by a pitch count next season in accordance to a new National Federation of State High School Association policy.
Glenn Nitta, Hawaii High School Athletic Association and Oahu Interscholastic Association baseball coordinator, said a committee will be formed and will meet soon to determine the number of pitches that may be thrown by a pitcher in a game, as well as the number of days rest before he or she may pitch again.
"I think it's beneficial to the kids," Nitta said of the pitch-count rule.
The national rules committee passed the policy last month, according to the NFHS website.
The new rule will be applied to this coming state tournament. The present rule limits pitchers by the number of outs he or she records. For example, no pitcher will be allowed to pitch more than 39 outs, or 13 innings, over three consecutive days. A pitcher throwing on the first day may have an additional nine outs on the fourth day of the four-day tournament.
An out limit was instituted for the first time during the 1961 tournament, which was then three days long. The rule limited pitchers to 45 outs. The policy came after Baldwin pitcher Glenn Oura accounted for 21 of his team's 24 innings pitched in the inaugural tournament in 1959. He followed that up by accounting for 29 1/3 of his team's 30 innings in 1960. He won all three games each year.
Whatever is adopted by the HHSAA will apply to the state tournament, but "the leagues are likely to follow" that policy, Nitta said.
As to who will monitor the number of pitches will be discussed, Nitta said. At state tournaments, the HHSAA has an official scorer. Leagues will have to determine how it will apply the rule since there are technically no official scorers. Nitta said it might be the home team's responsibility, though he understands there may be discrepancies between the teams.
It has not been determined who will be on the committee that will make the new Hawaii policy. The NFHS leaves it up to each state's association to make its own rules.
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