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Middle School Baseball Proposal

Middle School Baseball

TMSAA Rule Change Proposal Proposed Change in Article IV Miscellaneous Section 7 Rules of the Game, TMSAA Sports Regulations Include a modification rule for middle school baseball to be played with modified field dimensions of 54’ pitching rubber with <6” mound height and 80’ base distances. Rationale: For ages 11-14 60’6” pitching and 90’ base paths is unrealistic and dangerous for adolescents. It is generally accepted that playing with fatigue is a primary predictor of injury in youth baseball because muscular fatigue is believed to alter mechanics during the arm cocking and acceleration phases. Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. from the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) team states that “playing on an intermediate size (80’/54’) field is a very good transition from the youth size field to the adult size field, regarding mechanics and quality of play.” From the ASMI Sports Medicine Forum. In researching independent leagues for this age group, USSSA, Pony, Dixie Youth, Intermediate Little League, Nations Baseball, Dizzy Dean all play on a 54/80 field. Also, North Carolina Middle/Junior High Athletic Manual has “by conference adoption, middle school teams may use modified distance…” There are very few state organizations who govern middle school programs so information is scarce. There is much research out there about the dangers of adolescence pitching frequency that have led to pitch count rules put in place by all state associations as required by the NFHS. One can conclude that adolescents pitching from a farther distance can correlate with pitching frequency data. The NFHS, TMSAA, TSSAA all have modifications for “under 9th grade” for many sports • Football has a smaller ball without NFHS Authenticating Mark and shorter playing time • Basketball has shorter playing time • Soccer periods have modifications to be shortened by state associations
 
 

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