Earlier this summer the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee voted to remove its rules prohibiting the wearing of all types of jewelry on the baseball field, along with a few other rules.
Starting in 2023, high school baseball players and coaches across the nation will now be permitted to wear jewelry on the baseball field. Before they voted to remove this rule, only medically suggested and religious medallions were allowed to be worn. All religious medals were to be taped and worn under the uniform, and a medical alert must be taped but may be visible.
Though previously viewed as a potential safety issue on the field, the board of directors at NFHS came together and decided that jewelry is not worthy of being held as a threat to the safety of players and coaches.
In an NFHS article written about the rule posted on July 11, 2022, the director of sports for NFHS and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee, Elliot Hopkins, spoke on the matter.
“The game of baseball has evolved and players have demonstrated that wearing a bracelet or a necklace does not impede their ability to play or increase any risk to themselves or their opponents,” Hopkins said.
Although most jewelry is now permitted during baseball events, the Baseball Committee also declared that any type of jewelry that may cause harm to any player or opponent should be removed by the official’s discretion.
Necklaces, chains, and bracelets are all an everyday part of dressing for high school athletes, baseball players in particular. It’s safe to say that most young baseball players want to be like the MLB superstars. Ronald Acuña Jr, Mookie Betts, and Francisco Lindor are all players to name that rock chains and necklaces on the field. It’s no wonder that the NFHS board of directors had to eventually change this rule. Players want to show their colors on the field.
Junior Rex Dingman wasn’t a fan of the anti-jewelry rule.
“I don’t really see why not, because we’re not going to try and grab it or anything, so I don’t really see why we can’t [wear jewelry],” Dingman said.
Not only did NFHS initiate this rule change, they also added a few other rules. Pitcher’s on the mound are now allowed to pitch from the “hybrid” position on the mound. A hybrid delivery is when the pitcher’s non-pivot foot is placed in front of the rubber prior to the pitcher’s first movement.
The hybrid is legal in both Major League Baseball and the NCAA.
“The Rules Committee received tremendous input from coaches and umpires that allowing the ‘hybrid’ would assist players to succeed in pitching,” Hopkins said (NFHS).
Prior to this rule being added, pitchers were only permitted to deliver a pitch from either the windup or the stretch position. Although these are most commonly used, it is limiting the pitcher’s ability on the mound and allows less creativity. The hybrid can possibly allow for more success from pitchers and ultimately bring in more competition.
They also declared that all eye shields/visors placed on catcher’s masks after manufacturing are prohibited. Any eye shield placed on the catcher’s mask during manufacturing must be clear and untinted.
With these new rule changes, it is safe to say that there will be a new level of swag on the baseball field for high schoolers across the country next spring.