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Pitching injuries have been on the rise in high school baseball. GameTimePA takes an in-depth into the issue and why experts believe a pitch count limit could help. Christian Arnold

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The PIAA Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a pitch count rule that will go into effect for the 2017 high school baseball season.

The rule is designed to limit the number of pitches a pitcher can throw during a week. Previously, the PIAA based its pitching rules on the number of innings in a given week.

“How many times you pitch is really the damage on your arm. Not how many innings you pitch,” Dr. Glen Fleisig, the research director for the American Sports Medicine Institute, told GameTimePA.com in June.

Under the new guidelines, if a pitcher throws 1 to 25 pitches in a game no rest is required. For 26 to 50 pitches, a pitcher requires one calendar day of rest. For 51 to 75 pitches, two calendar days are needed.

A pitcher who throws 76 to 100 pitches needs three calendar days. A pitcher is not to exceed 200 pitches in a week.

If a pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count permitted in a calendar day during an at-bat, that pitcher is allowed to continue to pitch to that batter until the batter records an out or reaches base, or until a third out has been made before the end of that at-bat.

“There’s an epidemic going on here where coaches across the nation are just throwing their pitcher too much,” Central York baseball coach Mike Valencik said in June. “There has to be a limit. That limit now is limitless.”

It as an expected move, coming after the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approved a national pitch count rule in July. The mandate goes into effect nationwide for the 2017 baseball season.

This article includes reporting from the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice, via The Associated Press. 

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