The NFHS Part I Exam and Answer Key can be found here:

If you have read the 2019 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations, you have undoubtedly read #12, concerning the legality of a bat with an embedded chip.  It contradicts what you heard from us and possibly passed on to your membership.

After a talk with Hopkins this morning, it seems that a sharp interpreter found Rule 1-3-2(a)3, which states that, 'Materials inside the bat or devices used to alter the bat specifications and/or enhance performance are prohibited and render the bat illegal.'

Therefore, the Marucci bat that was mentioned, is illegal, at least for the 2019 season.

Still thinking strikes,

Ron & Andy



To: NFHS Baseball Administrators and Baseball Rules Committee Members

From: B. Elliot Hopkins, MLD, CAA, Baseball Rules Editor and National Interpreter

Subject: The Usage and Allowance of Cheek and Jaw Protectors attached to Batting Helmets

Date: February 15, 2019

NYSPHSAA approved an addition to NFHS Rule 3-1-4:

New Addition:

The designated hitter and the pitcher may be the same person. If the pitcher bats 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 (ie, 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 pitcher.)

A player may replace the starting P/DH as the new P/DH.  The starting P/DH may only return as the DH if substituted for, for any reason; example - pinch run for or pinch hit for.

If the P/DH is removed from the mound he may only DH.  Any replacement for the now DH may only DH, he may not enter the game in any defensive position.

Modified That Baseballs Meet a NOCSAE Standard by January 1, 2020 (1-3-1) — To maintain a consistent and uniformed standard for high school competition, every baseball manufactured should meet the same level of quality and playability. However, due to the number of baseballs that some high schools have in their inventory, the implementation date was moved back to accomodate that surplus. The effective date is January 1, 2020.

Removing an Element of the Pivot Foot Requirement (6-1-3) — This rule change eliminates the requirement for the entire pivot foot to be in contact with the pitcher’s plate. Many pitching mounds are constructed such that it is problematic for a pitcher to have his entire pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate. No advantage is gained by having some of his pivot foot not in contact with the pitcher’s plate.

Umpire Signal – Correct Rotation — When using a 3- or 4-person mechanics, the umpires indicate to their partner(s) where they are rotating to a specific base for coverage of an anticipated play. The umpire(s) points with both hands in the direction of the base that he/she is moving toward.

Umpire Signal – Information Available — The game umpire indicates to his/her partner that he/she has some information that is relevant by tapping two times over his/her left chest (heart).