In the wake of professional, minor league and college baseball approving the use of communication devices in recent year, high school teams around the country will now have the option of doing so also.
The National Federation of State High School Associations last week approved a rule where communication devices can be used between a coach in the dugout and the catcher on defense for the purpose of calling pitches.
The coach must use the communication device from the dugout only, and the catcher on defense is the only player on the field a coach can communicate with through 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,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and educational services and liaison to the baseball rules committee in a statement. “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.”
In Major League Baseball, the pitcher and catcher are allowed to use two transmitters on the field, with up to five defensive players in the field being allowed to wear receivers.
A communication device between coaches from the dugout and catchers playing defense on the field is also used in college and minor league baseball.