Baseball Rule Changes 2018-2019 Focus on Pitching Mechanics

Amongst the changes that are approved for the 2018-2019 high school baseball season is the elimination of the rule that the entire pivot foot must be in contact with the plate of the pitcher. The revision of the rule number 6-1-3 is only one of the three changes that the State High School Association National Federation Baseball rules committee suggested at its meeting held on the 3rd to the 5th of June in Indianapolis. All the suggested changes were approved by the Board of Directors of the NFHS.

NFHS director of student services, sports and staff liaison of baseball, Elliot Hopkins feels that the state of baseball in high schools are in a great position, this is further boosted by the new rule changes that have been passed by the NFHS. The hard work and the dedication of baseball coaches are appreciated and apart from minimizing the risks that are associated with baseball, the game is coached in such a way that many young players enjoy for their high school team. At the same time game umpires were acknowledges for their high professionalism and thanked for their implementation of the rules changes approved by the NFHS.

Rule 6-1-3 Changes

The motivation behind changing rule 6-1-3 is due to the pitchers having trouble in making consistent contact with the pitcher’s plate during pivoting. Before the delivery actually start the pitcher will stand with the non-pivot foot just ahead of the line that extends across the front threshold of the pitcher’s plate then the pivot foot needs to be directly parallel to the pitcher’s plate. It was concluded by the committee that lots of pitching mounds makes it difficult for pitchers to place their entire pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and for this reason no advantage can be gained by allowing parts of the pivot foot to not be directly in contact with the pitcher’s plate.

New Signals Approved in Baseball

Two new umpire signals were also approved by the committee and these include indicating calls for “Information Available” and “Correct Rotations”, which will further advance communication. The improvement in communication during a game is imperative for umpire’s communication when it comes to base runners and defensive players and such mechanics enhance signalling between umpires.

The signal for “Correct Rotation” comes in a three-man or even four-man mechanic, umpires can indicate to fellow umpires the rotating to specific based for anticipated play. The new signal sees umpires point with both hands towards the direction of the base moved towards. The “information available” signal is to assist in sharing pertinent information and occurs when indicating that information is available relevant by tapping twice over the left chest. The complete list of rule changes is now available on the NFHS website under the Activities & Sports section, subdivision Baseball. The implementation of the rules takes effect at the start of 2020.