October 8, 2019

NFHS Rule Changes for 2020

NFHS Rule Changes for 2020

By Brady Hood
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

With each new high school baseball season umpires, coaches, and players must reacquaint themselves with the rulebook. Each year the Rules Committee at NFHS clarify, add, or remove rules to improve the game at the high school level. This coming year is no different with a major change to the Designated Hitter rule (NFHS 3-1-4).  

The new rule states, “Designated Hitter (DH) can be used in two ways. The DH can be listed as the tenth starter replacing one of the other nine players when it is their turn to bat. The other method is that that any one of the starting defensive players can be their own DH (in effect having two positions) within the confines of the rule requirements.”

This new rule will allow coaches more flexibility to best utilize their players. It will also protect players by giving coaches more options managing their pitchers. With pitch count rules, this will keep a player in the game on offense without needing to keep them pitching for the sake of their bat. 

The way the lineup cards are officiated won’t change. Umpires will still need to verify the substitute in the lineup and whether the coach wants to kill the DH. The Coach’s must still declare a DH at the start the of the game or they forfeit the use of a DH. 

Overall, I think this is a positive change and will get more players off the bench and into the game.   

Don't strike out!

Become a part of the largest baseball rules community in the world!

Get free access to baseball forums, rules analysis and exclusive email content from current and former Major League Baseball players and umpires.