The IHSA Baseball Advisory Committee
met for its regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Tuesday, August 30, 2016. The committee’s meeting included a recommendation on pitching limitations. IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee
member Dr. Preston Wolin was a guest of the committee and worked with the committee on the recommendation.
“It was really an honor to be a part of this meeting,” said Wolin. “As a veteran of the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and a long-time advocate of pitch-count limits, this meeting was not only extremely gratifying, but really historic for the players, parents, coaches, administrators and the Association.”
***UPDATE, click here to see final pitch count Policy approved by IHSA Board on December 12, 2016 for 2017 IHSA Baseball season***
“Illinois has gone above and beyond any other state in the nation,” said Wolin. “Not only by recommending pitch count limits with days of rest in between, but the proposed rules also provide a weekly cap on the number of pitches thrown. The reason this is important is that while many of the models used by other states protect the pitcher, there is a potential for overuse by throwing the pitcher on multiple consecutive days even at the allowable number of pitches.”
The recommendation, which passed with unanimous support from the committee, will now follow normal IHSA protocol. A committee of Athletic Administrators will discuss and vote on the recommendation at their meeting on September 14. The IHSA staff will also discuss and vote on the recommendation in September or October. The recommendation will then be reviewed and voted on by the IHSA Board of Directors at their meeting on October 12. If passed by the Board with a simple majority, the recommendation would become a rule and be applicable for the 2017 IHSA baseball season this spring. The Athletic Administrators and IHSA staff votes do not have a direct impact on the recommendation, as they simply provide the Board with feedback from two other bodies.
“We need to be respectful of the rules writing process running its course, but today was certainly an important first step,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “We appreciate the passion Dr. Wolin has for the safety of high school baseball pitchers, and thank him for taking the time to participate today. We also commend our committee members for the teamwork they displayed in working together on this important issue.”
All committee member were in attendance at the meeting, including Skokie (Niles North) Athletic Director Brett Bildstein, Aurora (Central Catholic) Athletic Director/Coach Sean Bieterman, Lemont (H.S.) Principal Eric Michaelsen, Metamora Coach Eric Stone, Armstrong Athletic Director/Coach Darren Loschen, Raymond (Lincolnwood) Athletic Director/Coach Joshua Stone and Mascoutah Coach Don Eddy. IHSA Assistant Executive Director and Baseball administrator Sam Knox oversaw the meeting, while Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson attended on behalf of the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
“I think these recommendations are going to make the game safer and more enjoyable,” said Wolin. “The cooperation of the baseball coaches in coming up with these limits was outstanding. Everyone in that room was committed to the safety of our young pitchers. That dedication is being translated into our pitch count limits in the state of Illinois.”