High School Football

UIL approves pitch-count limits for Texas high school pitchers

Arlington Martin coach Curt Culbertson calls for Turner Larkins to relieve starting pitcher Nick Hendrix during the 2014 Class 6A state semifinals. Pitch counts and required rest days will now be play for high school baseball.
Arlington Martin coach Curt Culbertson calls for Turner Larkins to relieve starting pitcher Nick Hendrix during the 2014 Class 6A state semifinals. Pitch counts and required rest days will now be play for high school baseball. Special to the Star-Telegram archive

Starting in the spring of 2017, UIL baseball teams will have a pitch-count limitation.

The UIL Legislative Council concluded two days of meetings Monday in Round Rock, and handed down several rules changes in high school baseball and football.

High school pitchers will be limited to no more than 110 pitches per day. Days of rest between participation will be required based on the number of pitches thrown (four days after 110 pitches). If approved by the state’s commissioner of education, this rule change will be effective immediately.

“I’m OK with the rule. I think it’s a good thing, 110 pitches for a 17-year-old is plenty,” Arlington Martin coach Curt Culbertson said. “Who is going to enforce it? You’re in the bottom of the seventh, Game 3, third or fourth round, he hits 110, so there will definitely be some challenges.”

The council also approved a change to the Class 6A football playoffs for 2017.

The 2015-16 pilot program that gave home-field advantage to the higher seed in the first round changes in 2017. The home-field advantage will now be given in the first round to the team with the higher district finish rather than the higher seed.

In a first-round 6A Division II playoff game last year, Southlake Carroll was the top seed from its district but Cedar Hill was seeded No. 2 from its district. Both were district runners-up, but the rule gave Carroll a home game. Under the new rule, a neutral site or coin flip for home field is required since both teams finished second in their districts.

The council also voted to survey 5A superintendents on splitting Class 5A football into Division I and II districts starting in 2018 as is done in 4A through 1A.

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