As the Georgia High School Association prepares to enter its second baseball season with pitch count restrictions, a couple of changes were approved at the GHSA's Board of Trustees meeting Monday morning in Thomaston.
Perhaps the biggest change is that when pitch count restrictions are violated, the game will now have to be forfeited. Previously, the head coach at that level was fined $250 and forced to serve a two-game suspension.
A forfeiture along with a $250 fine and a two-game suspension adds a new dimension to the rule.
"It continues to force all of us to develp more pitching," said Walton head baseball coach Shane Amos. "We have to be in it for the kids. We're the adults here, and we have to make sure kids don't over throw."
There were two other proposals involving modifications to the pitch count restrictions.
A proposal to add wording to item 2 (e) on page 58 under the Baseball Pitching Restrictions to the effect that once a coach is warned that the pitcher is approaching a pitch count threshold, that pitcher shall be allowed to finish the batter. But, upon completion of that batter, the Days of Rest restrictions will only be based on the number of pitches that were thrown prior to reaching the threshold. That proposal was denied unanimously.
Another proposal to add wording to item 2 (e) on page 58 under the Baseball Pitching Restrictions to the effect that any pitches that were thrown during a game that was suspended or rained out shall be counted for that pitcher towards any pitching restriction thresholds. The proposal passed unanimously.
But one of the surprising moves came when the Board of Trustees rejected the proposal that the home team be responsible for providing an adult Pitch County Monitor who would have monitored the pitch counts for both teams as well as notified the umpire when a pitcher was nearing the threshold.
The motion was rejected unanimously.
Pitch count restrictions continue to dominate the Georgia high school baseball circuit, a year after they were first introduced.
"Every kid is different ... you have some who can throw forever and never have arm problems," said Schley County coach Chuck Cheek, who guided the Wildcats to the Class A public school state championship last spring.
"Then there are some who throw today, and then they can't throw again for several days. That's why we have to have pitch counts."