The reporting of pitchers and catchers to spring training is an annual rite of passage for Major League Baseball.
A proposal to institute something similar at the high school level was brought before the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors on Wednesday. But after considerable discussion, a measure to allow pitchers to get a head start on the spring sports season was voted down by a 42-22 margin.
“I’m disappointed in the fact that we, as head coaches, are expected to protect, prepare and develop more pitchers in lieu of the mandated pitch count rule instituted in 2017, but at the same time we’re not allowed to be directly involved in that process,” said Seaman baseball coach Steve Bushnell, who also serves as president of the Kansas Assocation of Baseball Coaches. “I’m not sure how voting ‘Yes’ on this proposal would have negatively affected those athletes preparing for the spring baseball season. But voting ‘No’ certainly doesn’t help those non-winter sport athletes that could benefit from being involved in a supervised throwing program twice per week for four weeks leading into the spring season.”
The proposal, introduced by the Sunflower League and presented by Lawrence baseball coach Brad Stoll, would have allowed for pitchers and support personnel (catchers) to get a head start on the spring season as long as they were not a participant in a winter sport. Pitchers could work under the supervision of their high school coaches twice a week in a voluntary arm care program for a period of four weeks prior to the official start of the spring sports season.
Last year for the first time, Kansas high school baseball teams had to adhere to a pitch count system in which a player could not throw more than 105 pitches on a single day, being allowed to finish the batter he’s facing if he reaches the limit in the middle of an at-bat. Mandatory rest periods were also introduced based on how many pitches had been thrown in a single day.
The rule forced most schools to employ additional pitchers throughout the season and the proposal vetoed on Wednesday would have allowed coaches to further develop more pitchers for their staffs.
Site for 2019 Shrine Bowl announced
The 46th Kansas Shrine Bowl will be held June 8, 2019 in Dodge City after the western Kansas town was awarded the game on Wednesday. The 2018 game will be held in Pittsburg.
“This is an event we’ve been pursuing for some time” Jan Stevens, Director for the Dodge City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said in a press release issued by the Kansas Shrine Bowl. “We’re pleased that everything has come together to be selected to host the 2019 edition. The Shrine Bowl is a well-established event and will draw a significant number of people to the community.”