INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (July 5, 2018) - The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Rules Review Committee opted to delay the implementation date for high school baseballs to meet the new NOCSAE standard to January 1, 2020. All current baseballs with the NFHS Authenticating Mark stamp will be permitted for use during the 2018-19 season.
The delayed implementation was announced with the 2018-19 rule changes made by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee. The implementation date for high school baseballs to meet the the NOCSAE standard was changed from March 1, 2019. The revision of Rule 1-3-1 was recommended by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee and approved by the NFHS Board of Directors in the summer of 2017.
After the rule change was announced in July of 2017, Elliot Hopkins, the NFHS director of sports and student services and staff liaison for baseball said: “We are excited that our membership will now have equipment that meets a standard that is consistent across the country. We are comfortable knowing that all baseballs for high school play will be the same size, same weight and have similar playability.”
In July 2017, NFHS also announced the committee revised Rule 1-5-3, which will require the catcher to wear a chest protector that meets the NOCSAE standard at the time of manufacture, effective Jan. 1, 2020. The NOCSAE standard has been developed to protect the heart and the cardiac silhouette from commotio cordis, which is one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac death in young athletes in baseball and lacrosse. The 2020 date was chosen to give manufacturers enough time to produce enough available product.
“Being aware that a standard exists to protect players, this decision was easy to make,” Hopkins said last year. “When our catchers wear this chest protector, we are confident that the best protection for their heart is constructed into this equipment.”