AHSAA introduces throwing period

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prep baseball players looking to get their arms warmed up a little earlier this year now have the chance.

The AHSAA announced a new three-week conditioning program for high school baseball teams Jan. 9, with regular team practices scheduled to begin Jan 30.

A proposal passed by the AHSAA in March 2005 opened the door for the early practices, which will be supervised by coaches. AHSAA officials said that orthopedic surgeons Jim Andrews and Larry LeMak of Birmingham confirmed that the earlier starting date for throwing exercises would help players strengthen their arms prior to the season and avoid injuries.

&8220;The three-week throwing period and the three weeks of team practice allows players to throw the recommended six weeks prior to the opening of the season Feb. 20,&8221; an AHSAA press release said.

The new practices come with some guidelines and restrictions put into place to ensure that full practices do not take place until the end of the month.

Only gloves and baseballs will be used during the sessions and no practice-like drills are allowed. Players are not permitted to wear any gear except for the catcher when a pitcher is throwing from the mound.

&8220;Throwing is usually something that gets overlooked with only three weeks before the season,&8221; Thompson baseball coach Pat Hamrick said. &8220;This should give us a chance to get well-conditioned in throwing before we actually start practice.&8221;