Seth Polansky
Sports Information Coordinator

Prohibition of jewelry removed in high school baseball rules

July 11, 2022 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 11, 2022) — High school baseball players and coaches will be permitted to wear jewelry in 2023 after the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee voted to remove its prohibition from the rules. Previously, only medical and religious medals were permitted by rule.

This change to Rule 1-5-12 was one of the rules changes approved by the committee at its June 5-7 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

While most jewelry will be permitted, the Baseball Rules Committee noted that the current rules still state that any jewelry worn that poses harm or injury to a player or opponent should be removed.

“The game of baseball has evolved and players have demonstrated that wearing a bracelet or a necklace does not impede their ability to play or increase any risk to themselves or their opponents,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee.

The committee also added a definition for a lodged ball, which is when a ball remains on the playing field, but becomes wedged, stuck, lost or unreachable causing it to stop abruptly or not fall or roll immediately. The ball is declared a dead ball. The definition was necessary to differentiate when a ball becomes lodged in a fielder’s glove, in which the ball remains in play.

Rule 6 was adjusted to only use the pivot foot to determine whether a pitcher is delivering a pitch from the wind-up or set position. Previously, the position of both feet on the pitcher’s plate determined either the wind-up or set positions, prohibiting a “hybrid” position where the pivot foot was in the wind-up position and the non-pivot foot was in the set position.

The Rules Committee received tremendous input from coaches and umpires that allowing the ‘hybrid’ would assist players to succeed in pitching,” Hopkins said. “Anytime we can write a rule to improve playability or increase participation, then it is prudent that we do so for the sake of the participants.”

Rule 1-5-4 added language clarifying that eye shields attached to a catcher’s mask after manufacture are prohibited. Eye shields that are attached at the time of manufacture must be clear.

In addition, the official signals for baseball were updated to include eight pre-pitch situations and eight signals during play and results.

A complete listing of the baseball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Baseball.”

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys with 482,740 student-athletes in 16,170 high schools nationwide. The survey also indicated that 1,284 girls across the country play high school baseball.

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including almost eight million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
bhoward@nfhs.org

Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
cboone@nfhs.org

Cody Porter, 317-972-6900
Manager of Media Relations
National Federation of State High School Associations
cporter@nfhs.org

Nate Perry, 317-972-6900
Coordinator of Media Relations
National Federation of State High School Associations
nperry@nfhs.org