Rule change allows electronic communication devices between coaches and catchers in high school baseball

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jul 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-06 16:31:24-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A new rule will allow electronic communication devices between a coach and a team’s catcher in high school baseball beginning in 2024.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Basebell Rules Committee approved the new rule at a meeting in Indianapolis last month.

The rule allows the use of a one-way communication device between a coach in the dugout to the team’s catcher for the purpose of calling pitches.

According to NFHS, the new rule prohibits coaches from communicating with other players besides the catcher on defense and with any player while batting. The coach must also be in the dugout when using the device.

“This change is consistent with the growth of the game and is indicative of a measured and responsible approach to enable technology into our level of competition,” Elliot Hopkins, NFHS Director of Sports and Educational Services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee, said. “The committee has made these changes to maintain the balance between offense and defense; increase the pace of play; and will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Other rule changes include game management by umpires.

The rule removes spectators behavior from the umpire’s jurisdiction when deciding to forfeit a contest. Only infractions by players, coaches or team members are under the umpire's jurisdiction.