October 3, 2019
The Advisory Panel of JHBF met in Osaka on September 20 and decided to recommend high school pitchers maximum 500 pitches in games for 7 days. JHBF is expected to implement the plan after a trial period of 3 years starting from next March. In addition, the Panel decided to ask Consumer Product Safety Association to review the current standard of non-wooden bat which was introduced in 2001, in an effort to protect pitcher on the mound from a batted ball and aligning the bat standard closer to that of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the U.S.A. The Panel hopes to achieve its objective by reducing the maximum diameter from 67 m.m. to 64 m.m. which is the average of wood bat and will shorten the distance of a hit ball as a result of lower coefficient of restitution.
Wood bat is used for Under-18 World Cup since 2004 and at Asian Championship since 2007.
The Panel was established in April after the Prefectural Federation of Niigata independently announced last December that it would introduce a rule to ban more than 100 pitches a game. The Niigata Federation, however, withdrew its decision and agreed with JHBF that they take the matter up on national level at a new Panel dedicated to prevent injuries to pitchers.