IHSA new pitching guidlines

IHSA new pitching guidlines

Connor Walsh, Co-Sports editor

     In seasons past, high school coaches all over the state have been allowed to pitch players until their arm gave out.  There was never any rule against it, so coaches would throw their best pitcher over and over.  This season will be different, as for the first time the IHSA will be using a pitch guideline, which will include a limit of how often a pitcher can throw, and a game cap.  

     The new limitations will make coaches think twice before letting his pitchers go deep into ballgames, because once a pitcher goes over 76 pitches they are required to rest a full four days before they are allowed to take the mound again.  This will take away a team’s advantage of having a shut down pitcher, and will greatly help out the teams who rely on pitching depth to get them through games.  

     While a system was badly needed, the one that has been put into place is a little bit too conservative.  If a pitcher has a heavy workload on Monday, they are capped for a game on Friday.  With a full four days in between starts, a pitcher’s arm should be fully recovered, if not very close.  The IHSA is trying to protect kids, and by placing a limitation they are doing just that.  But a big time pitcher can throw two big games in a week if it’s necessary.  Having a game cap however, is something that has been much needed.  The limit is currently at 115 pitches per game, which is possibly still too high.  

     This could change the competitive balance in conferences across the state, giving teams with more depth in their rotation more of a chance.  It could potentially impact the state playoffs, as teams routinely ride their best arm throughout the tournament.  

     The IHSA is looking to keep more players safe under this new system, and will use this season as a test run for it.  Only time will be able to tell if these limitations will work.