Exclusive: Ohio adopts pitch count policy for high school baseball

Posted at 11:30 AM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 16:17:28-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The OHSAA Board of Directors approved a recommendation for a baseball pitch count policy this morning. The National Federation of State High School Associationsmandated last summer that each member state is to have a policy in place for this spring.

OHSAA Assistant Commissioner Jerry Snodgrass has met with a committee since December about the issue.

“I was getting feedback and the "number" really wasn't all that difficult,” Snodgrass told “It is comparable to other states. Managing it is a "concern" but we have to manage the current rule we have - though this one has more factors. We will have one of the recording mechanisms in place soon.”  

The first day of official OHSAA baseball coaching is Feb. 20. The season begins March 25 across the state.

Here is Ohio’s pitch count policy that was approved this morning:

Grades 9 through 12 can throw 125 pitches daily.

Number of Days Between Pitching Appearances After Pitching:

     1-30 Pitches: 0 days

     31-50 Pitches: 1 day

     51-75 Pitches: 2 days

     76 or More Pitches: 3 days

Some other important points:

  • A pitcher may finish the current batter if the daily pitch limit is reached during that at-bat. If a pitcher throws at least 31 pitches, he may not pitch in the second game of a doubleheader (or the next day).
  • At the end of each game, coaches will submit pitcher number and pitches throw in the designated data collection system.
  • All pitches thrown in a suspended game or “no contest” game shall count toward the daily pitch limit and total number of pitches thrown.
  • All pitches thrown in a scrimmage or preview shall count toward the daily pitch limit and the total number of pitches thrown.
  • Each school/team must keep a record of all pitches thrown by each of their players in each game and make this available upon request to the OHSAA.
  • Any player pitching during a period in which rest is required is considered to be pitching as an ineligible player. (Any victorious contest in which an ineligible player is participating will results in a forfeit).

Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams said he's in favor of anything that promotes pitchers' health.

"Pitch counts are a step in the right direction," Williams said. "And it's going to help protect these guys. But, as we all know, 50 pitches can come in all different varieties. You can have a pitcher throw 50 pitches in one inning, or he can throw them in seven innings. I think a lot of the pitch coaches would tell you, you do need to keep some context in mind. I'd be interested to see how they address that."

WCPO will continue to update this story.

Ken Broo contributed reporting.