UIL approves pitch-count changes

Published 5:47 pm Monday, October 17, 2016

High school baseball pitchers will be limited to 110 pitches per game and must take four days of rest afterward, according to a new rule the University Interscholastic League passed Monday.

The rule takes effect immediately, pending approval from the state commissioner of education. It has been changed from allowing a pitcher to throw one game each day in an unlimited number of innings or 10 innings per day if throwing more than one game. The previous policy recommended that pitchers who threw a full game on one day not be used the next day.

Under the new policy:

  • players who throw fewer than 30 pitchers do not have to take any days’ rest before his next contest;
  • players who throw 31-45 pitches must take at least one day of rest;
  • players who throw 46-65 pitches must take at least two days’ rest;
  • players who throw 66-85 pitches must take at least three days’ rest; and
  • players who throw 86-110 pitches must take at least four days’ rest.

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No increase in any pitch-count maximum or leeway in rest days during postseason play will be allowed.

For junior high teams (grades 7 and 8), the pitch limits include: no days of rest for 0-20 pitches; one day for 21-35 pitches; two days for 36-50, three days for 51-65 and four days for 66-85.

In the event of a doubleheader, the second game will not serve as a day of rest for pitchers who threw in the opener, but the pitch-count max can be split into both games, with the total number of pitchers after the second game determining the number of rest days.

A proposal to create a split alignment for Class 5A football will be placed on a referendum ballot to be voted on by member school superintendents. Under the plan, 5A — which includes Port Arthur Memorial, Nederland, Port Neches-Groves, Central and Ozen — would be split into two 16-district divisions, similar to the current format in classes 1A-4A for football.

The ballot will also include a proposal to restore the maximum number of tournaments for team sports other than football to three and number of meets for individual sports to eight. The current limits of two and seven, respectively, were enacted in 2012.

The UIL did not immediately indicate when the referendum would take place.

A measure to allow the use of electronic devices on the sidelines and in the press box has been referred to the football rules committee, as well as a proposal to allow 1A (six-man) football to use composite balls in addition to leather balls.

The UIL also will study the creation of the discus throw, 800 meters and 200 meters for the track and field wheelchair pilot program, creation of an area golf meet, awarding points for adaptive track and field events and creation of an ambulatory event pilot program for track and field.

The UIL denied, rejected or took no action on proposals for:

  • creation of a double-elimination format for the 5A and 6A baseball players in rounds 1 and 2 and creation of a double-elimination format for the 6A state rounds;
  • allowing a unified team for a state track meet;
  • allowing the top two teams in each district to host a first-round playoff game in all classes;
  • a one-game exception to the season limit for teams with a bye in the first round of the playoffs;
  • requiring an area track meet and allowing sixth graders to compete in either cross country or track;
  • allowing coaches in Title I schools to coach their students in UIL activities during the summer and/or offseason; and
  • adding lacrosse, table tennis, boxing, bass fishing and cooking as UIL sanctioned activities, among other measures. The UIL is still considering adding gymnastics and water polo (the latter for classes 5A and 6A) as sanctioned sports.

All measures passed by the UIL except the baseball pitch-count rule are scheduled to take effect next Aug. 1, pending approval from the state commissioner of education.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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