NYSPHSAA approved an addition to NFHS Rule 3-1-4:
The designated hitter and the pitcher may be the same person. If the pitcher opts to bat for himself, he is treated as two separate positions – a pitcher and a designated hitter (abbreviated P/DH on the lineup card) – and may be substituted for as such (i.e. if a player who starts the game as the P/DH is relieved as the starting pitcher, he may not return to the mound even if he remains in the game as the DH, and he may not play any other defensive position after being relieved as the pitcher.
This proposal will further support the NYSPHSAA Pitch Count Rule and limit the throwing, wear and tear on the starting pitchers arm when they are placed in the field after pitching. Additionally, it gives the coach flexibility with his lineup card. Other important elements to this rule: if a coach, lists his starting pitcher as just “P” on the lineup card then the pitcher can DH or go to a position after he pitches; a coach can still DH for another position other than pitcher if he lists the starting pitcher as “P” on the lineup card; if a pitcher is listed as “DH/P” he can only pitch or DH in the game (or be removed from the game).
- The starting pitcher is listed as the P/DH on the lineup card. His team gets a 12 run lead after one inning. Can the coach replace the pitcher and put him in left field? Answer: No, the new addition to NFHS Rule 3-1-4 prohibits the starting pitcher from playing any other position in the field once he is removed from pitching.
- A coach must list the starting pitcher as the P/DH? Answer: No, it’s the coaches’ option to list the starting pitcher as the P/DH.
- A starting pitcher is listed on the lineup card as P (or 1). Can the coach replace him as pitcher and have him play second base? Answer: Yes, because the pitcher was not listed as the P/DH on the lineup card.
- The coach neglects to list the starting pitcher as the P/DH when the lineup cards are turned into the umpire-in-chief. Can he make a correction after the first inning? Answer: No, all lineups are final after they are turned into the umpire-in-chief.
- A coach can still have a designated hitter (another player) for the starting pitcher? Answer: Yes, the new addition to NFHS Rule 3-1-4 does not change this option.