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NFHS Rule Changes for 2024


johnnyg08

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The use of a one-way communication device between a coach in the dugout and a team’s catcher for the purposes of calling pitches will be permitted in high school baseball beginning in 2024.

This change to Rules 1-6-2 and 3-2-5 was one of five rules revisions approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 4-6 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The new rules prohibit coaches from communicating with any other player besides the catcher on defense and with any player while batting. The coach must also be in the dugout when using the communication device.

“This change is consistent with the growth of the game and is indicative of a measured and responsible approach to enable technology into our level of competition,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS Director of Sports and Educational Services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee. “The committee has made these changes to maintain the balance between offense and defense; increase the pace of play; and will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Game management by umpires was addressed with a change to Rule 10-2-3h. The edit removes spectators’ behavior from the umpire-in-chief’s jurisdiction when deciding to forfeit a contest. Only infractions by players, coaches or team/bench personnel are under the umpire’s jurisdiction. The committee agreed that poor behavior by spectators should be handled by game administration.

“This change is a complementary rule to support schools’ game management role in addressing unacceptable behavior and will allow the umpire to focus on the action and players on the field,” Hopkins said.

Rule 1-6-1 was added and designates a wristband with defensive shifts, pitching choices or game directions as non-electronic equipment and must be a single, solid color and worn on the forearm. Pitchers’ cards must not be white, gray or a distracting color and worn on their non-pitching arm.

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/electronic-communication-devices-from-dugout-to-catchers-to-be-permitted-in-high-school-baseball/?fbclid=IwAR1YyuiUik2ywfJMz14a--a5CB76xSmucf2HQGrRfImGTOqGCJz5clkZoOo

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Hmm ... not sure I like that change about fans.  While I WHOLLY agree that the fans should be controlled by the site administrator, an official needs to be able to call off a game if it reaches that point.  This takes away that control.  Now our only recourse is to ... just walk off?

(No, I don't anticipate this, and it is sad that the world has reached a place we even have to have this conversation.)

 

As for the electronic communication, I don't oppose it, but I feel it is going to open new doors for more shenanigans that we have to police.  Exactly how is NFHS going to "responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries"?

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25 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Hmm ... not sure I like that change about fans.  While I WHOLLY agree that the fans should be controlled by the site administrator, an official needs to be able to call off a game if it reaches that point.  This takes away that control.  Now our only recourse is to ... just walk off?

(No, I don't anticipate this, and it is sad that the world has reached a place we even have to have this conversation.)

 

As for the electronic communication, I don't oppose it, but I feel it is going to open new doors for more shenanigans that we have to police.  Exactly how is NFHS going to "responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries"?

Yeah, I agree.  "Site Administrator" doesn't exist in most of my NFHS games, there is no one there except the teams.  If I can't deal with the fans (and coaches are unable), there is no alternative to walking off/calling police/etc.

The problem I have with electronic devices is, How the HECK am I supposed to ensure an electronic device is 1 way communication?  And that the catcher doesn't wear it while at bat, etc?  This seems like it is going to be rife with cheating.

The wristband change is dumb.  I guess I don't mind the 'worn on forearm' bit, but I don't see that being all that valuable (though I guess it is because the rules committee seems to HATE belt worn ones).  IT seems entirely designed to get around that "we designed this to be worn on the BELT!" workaround.

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55 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

Yeah, I agree.  "Site Administrator" doesn't exist in most of my NFHS games, there is no one there except the teams.  If I can't deal with the fans (and coaches are unable), there is no alternative to walking off/calling police/etc.

The problem I have with electronic devices is, How the HECK am I supposed to ensure an electronic device is 1 way communication?  And that the catcher doesn't wear it while at bat, etc?  This seems like it is going to be rife with cheating.

The wristband change is dumb.  I guess I don't mind the 'worn on forearm' bit, but I don't see that being all that valuable (though I guess it is because the rules committee seems to HATE belt worn ones).  IT seems entirely designed to get around that "we designed this to be worn on the BELT!" workaround.

Most of the radios used are actual walkie talkies with wired ear pieces. The radios are usually attached to the chest protector. There are wireless one but those are fairly expensive. These have been used in college baseball for a bit. There has only been one documented incident with a team using them on offense. 

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2 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Hmm ... not sure I like that change about fans.  While I WHOLLY agree that the fans should be controlled by the site administrator, an official needs to be able to call off a game if it reaches that point.  This takes away that control.  Now our only recourse is to ... just walk off?

 

There's a difference between calling/cancelling/suspending a game, and forfeiting one.

One results in an incomplete game, or a game no longer holding an umpire (if, like you said, you just GTFO of there) - that, I think, is fully in your purview if the circumstances warrant it...including excessive abuse from the stands.  You've always had the power to say "until that person leaves this game is on hold"

 

The other involves causing one team to lose the game for said fan's behavior...the problem being, which I suspect has happened, it would be pretty easy to make it look like an abusive fan is associated with a team when they are not.  And even if you could demonstrate that that fan was indeed associated with that team, there is only so much responsibility a coach/manager can/should have - they got enough on their plates dealing with the players on the roster, let alone if one of those players has white trash for a distant uncle he didn't even know was going to be at the game.

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28 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

But didn't some vendor "redesign" theirs and claim it was meant to go on the belt? And NFHS said no anyway?

Correct. Hence, an actual rule change. They  just want to die on this hill for some reason. 

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5 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

I tried looking up a play card holder designed for the belt ... I came up empty on that, but I found something FAR COOLER!!!!

No wonder Señor Azul “beats” you at Rules citations. :shrug: 
 

Oo! Something shiny! 

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I'm still waiting for the story of the incident that sparked this backlash.  I'm sure there is an urban legend floating around about an entire team that was decapitated with a single line drive because they were all looking at their belts at the wrong moment.  In reality, it was probably a chicken-$#!+ effort by a coach to disqualify a pitcher that he didn't want to play against.

I am appreciative of the insight @lawump provided into the the NFHS process, but things like this provide no credibility for NFHS when they claim they can't fix broken rules because it is a long drawn out process.

In my research ... 

baby-yoda-yoda.gif

 

 

Here is one dedicated to mustaches!

 

mustache-belt-22-00001_750x.jpg?v=160791

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  • 2 months later...

Already seeing teams using the radios for their catchers. Shocking, a HS in Newport Beach (you know, the low rent district of Orange County) already has their team outfitted with them. Shocking, their opponent the other day from elsewhere in OC was not so equipped.

I was unaware of the rule change at the time of the game mentioned above, but being winter ball, I really could have cared less that they were using the devices. It did not seem to have any impact in the game as far as flow or speed. The other team was not using a radio and the pace of play seemed about the same regardless of which side was on the bump.

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8 hours ago, Mudisfun said:

I was unaware of the rule change at the time of the game mentioned above, but being winter ball, I really could have cared less that they were using the devices. It did not seem to have any impact in the game as far as flow or speed. The other team was not using a radio and the pace of play seemed about the same regardless of which side was on the bump.

Given the language:

"The committee... will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Is there a rule that either both teams uses them or neither team does?

 

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53 minutes ago, Velho said:

Given the language:

 

"The committee... will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Is there a rule that either both teams uses them or neither team does?

 

Unless my state tells me I need to manage this, I'm staying away from it. I've got bigger fish to fry out there. 

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9 hours ago, Velho said:

Given the language:

 

"The committee... will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Is there a rule that either both teams uses them or neither team does?

 

Again FED with doublespeak. Why not just say "both teams must have the technology available or it shall not be used"

..Or maybe they that's not what they mean? 

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