Those states that conduct high school softball in the fall of the year or conduct high school baseball during the summer months may be laughing at our attempts to force these summer games into the least hospitable season of all for school sports: spring.
After an extra-long winter, there has needed to be extra attention during early season baseball practices and games to assure that throwing arms have been brought gradually into condition for the rigors of a year that is likely to compress a full schedule of games into a shortened playing season.
While baseball pitchers continue to be protected during games by a rule that does not allow a student to pitch for two calendar days that follow the day when he pitched his 30th out, no other players are similarly restricted, nor are there any rules that apply to any players during practices, or to softball.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball recently reported an increase in elbow injuries among its players. Some commentators, both inside MLB and out, were quick to suggest that at least part of the blame is that pitchers are throwing harder than ever, doing so on a year-round basis, and starting at an earlier age.
It could be, then, that long winters are not such a bad thing, provided we’re patient when spring finally arrives, and use common sense for all players all season long, in both practices and games.
We look forward to the culmination of this year’s reluctant spring when the MHSAA hosts the Semifinals and Finals of both baseball and softball at a new venue, Michigan State University. Hope you’ll join us June 12-14.