Pitch limits adopted for high school baseball (2024)

High school baseball will take on a Little League feel.

California, which is in line with the national federation, has adopted pitch-count rules that will take effect this spring.

High schools currently have a weekly 10-inning, three-appearance rule. That will stay in place.

Those rules, however, have been expanded to a maximum of 110 pitches in any one outing or week for varsity pitchers.

The new rules were voted into place Wednesday at the CIF’s San Diego Section Board of Managers meeting.

Like Little League, there will be mandated days of rest depending on pitch counts.

“There is no question some coaches abuse pitchers,” said section Commissioner Jerry Schniepp. “But for the most part, our coaches do a great job.”

Damon Chase, athletic director at Helix, has a background in athletic training and has a son playing high school baseball.

“Almost every kid in high school played Little League and has seen pitch counts,” Chase said. “No one has a problem with 110 pitches. That’s not abusive.

“This rule has the athlete in mind. The good thing is that this is the right thing for high school pitchers and down the road.

“It’s about safety. So it’s tough to argue this isn’t a good thing.”

Ken Putnam, baseball coach and athletic director at Mission Hills, is in agreement with the rule.

“I can’t think of more than a time or two we’ve sent a kid out for more than 110 pitches,” Putnam said. “The temptation to overuse a kid would be on the final day of the Lions Tournament, where you could be playing a fifth game in four days, or in the playoffs when you’re in a do-or-die situation.

“But if we all live by the same rules, I’m fine with this.”

Steve Hargrave, a district administrator for the Vista school district, coached baseball at Rancho Buena Vista. He won a Division I championship in 2002. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was one of his players.

“I’m more concerned with how we implement the new rules,” Hargrave said. “Who keeps count? Who legislates disputes?”

Schniepp said it won’t be the umpires.

“The umpire’s role is to make sure there is an exchange between the coaches at the end of every half inning,” Schniepp said. “Umpires will not count pitches. That is the role of the coaches.”

But what if one coach has the opposing pitcher at 112 pitches and the other coach has that pitcher at 109?

“If the coaches don’t agree, they’re free to protest the game, and we’ll figure something out,” Schniepp said. “The simple answer is to have a display somewhere on the field with the pitch count.”

All pitch counts must be recorded into MaxPreps within 48 hours of the completion of a contest.

Easy on the arms

Maximum pitches in one baseball game is 110 for varsity and 90 for JV and freshmen.

Pitchers are limited to 30 outs or three appearances a week. The calendar week begins on Monday and ends on Saturday.

1-30 pitches doesn’t require a rest day.

31-50 pitches requires one rest day.

51-75 pitches requires two rest days.

76-plus pitches requires three rest days.

A pitcher may finish the current batter if he has reached the limit during that at-bat.

Pitches thrown and appearances made in a “no game” — a rainout, for example — count toward the total.

At the end of each half inning, the head coaches will meet and both team books will record the pitch count for all pitchers who threw that half inning. In the case of a discrepancy, the home book is considered official.

Each school must keep a record of all pitches thrown by each of their players in each game and make this available to the San Diego Section office upon request.

Yuma wants in

The Board of Managers heard a proposal from the Yuma High School District about joining the San Diego Section.

There are five public schools in Yuma — Yuma, Cibola, Gila Ridge, KOFA and San Luis. Yuma Catholic is the other high school in the city.

“I believe they’ll apply before our next board meeting in April,” Schniepp said. “What we need to look at is travel and cost for our schools.”

It’s considerably closer for the Yuma schools to play teams in Imperial Valley rather than the Phoenix or Tucson areas.

CIF Executive Director Roger Blake said there already are Nevada schools playing in the CIF.


The Football Advisory Board has voted to replace the current power rankings with the MaxPreps/CalPreps rankings to determine playoff seedings.

Competitive cheer will come up for implementation in April.

The CIF will hear a proposal at the state level to change the language for rules on athletically motivated transfers.



Pitch limits adopted for high school baseball (2024)
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