MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (June 18, 2018) – There is not expected to be a “grandfathering” period for the new NOCSAE standard that required for high school baseballs that is scheduled to go into effect March 1, 2019. This standard will be required for varsity games only. Baseballs which have the NFHS stamp but do not meet the new NOCSAE standard can be used in sub-varsity high school games and practices.
Any rule changes or official updates from this year’s NFHS Baseball Rules Committee meeting should be announced in early July.
As of March 1, 2019, all baseballs used in high school competition shall meet the NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) standard at the time of manufacture. 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.”