High School Sports

GHSA adopts pitch count rule for baseball

GHSA executive director Gary Phillips addresses the association’s fall executive committee meeting Monday at the Macon Marriott City Center.
GHSA executive director Gary Phillips addresses the association’s fall executive committee meeting Monday at the Macon Marriott City Center. rseibel@macon.com

Pitchers in baseball will be subject to a cap of 110 pitches and mandatory rest days, thanks to a proposal adopted Monday by the GHSA executive committee at its fall meeting at the Macon Marriott City Center.

The proposal was brought about by a National Federation of High Schools mandate to state associations to adopt pitch counts. The GHSA rule will force pitchers to leave the game once they finish an at-bat during which they reach 110 pitches.

Pitchers who reach 86 pitches will be subject to a three-day rest period. Throwing 61 or more pitches will prompt a two-day break, while those throwing 36 or more will need to rest for one day. In tournament play, pitchers won’t be able to throw more than 120 pitches during the entire series unless the series is extended because of weather.

Also Monday, the executive committee voted to shift determination of gender to member schools, forbidding other schools to appeal those decisions. The committee also gave initial approval to a constitutional amendment to give the GHSA board of trustees power to act in “exigent” circumstances, with such decisions subject to vote at the next executive committee meeting.

In addition, golf will become an area sport in all classifications, with each class having four areas. Qualifiers from the area tournament will advance directly to state competition, with sectionals no longer played. The executive director will have the power to add teams to state tournament competition to achieve 20 teams per class.

A proposal that addressed interim realignment at the midpoint of the new four-year realignment cycle was defeated in subcommittee, with the intent to be brought up again closer to the 2018-19 school year. Also, executive director Gary Phillips said a committee is being formed to study transfer issues.

In personnel moves, Houston County assistant superintendent for school operations Michelle Masters was named to the board of trustees, as was McEachern principal Regina Montgomery.

This was the first executive committee meeting of the new realignment cycle. Serving on this cycle from Middle Georgia are Northside athletics director Kevin Kinsler (Region 1-6A), Veterans principal Chris Brown (Region 1-5A), Mary Persons principal Jim Finch (Region 2-4A), Peach County athletics director Chad Campbell (Region 4-3A), Bleckley County athletics director Benjy Rogers (Region 3-2A), GMC football head coach Steve Simpson (Region 7-1A) and Masters (at-large)

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