VHSL to allow up to 30 games?

I was wondering if anyone would like to weigh in on this currently pending proposal, though I suppose it couldn't take effect until at least 2019.

In combination with the pitching limit rules already in place, I have to think this would both provide a ton of pitching opportunities to guys who are further down the staff ladder, hasten the promotion of younger guys from JV teams, and possibly result in larger rosters being kept after tryouts end.  But I would also think this will lead to a lot of games being much more high scoring, and possibly long.

The idea of having a ton of Saturday doubleheaders seems designed to prevent this from busting travel budgets, but there will be budget impact if only for the additional baseballs and umpires.  And I don't know what the policy will be if, e.g., rain comes down after game 1 but before game 2 is  official.

I've always thought 20 was too few, but I have to admit that 25 might be enough to suit me. 

Other thoughts?

Original Post

I like the idea of lengthening the schedule to 30 games.  20 games seemed to be barely enough.  25 would be good.  Traditionally the local HS rarely had Saturday double headers.   There were double headers but usually they were a mid week game or during spring break.

I love the games and would love to see more of them.  I guess the one concern out there is whether the programs can afford more games. 

Kind of reminds me of the reasons behind the NCAA's cap on scholarships.  That being, there are obviously many programs who could afford to fund far more, but many who can't afford what's permitted now, and still more who struggle to keep pace.  The cap keeps the well funded programs from running away from everyone.

Some schools have 2500 students to draw from and maybe also a business community to seek donations from.  Other schools can only dream of having access to those resources. 

But I don't know if you could allow more games for 6A, 5A etc. and not for 1A, 2A etc.  That would probably spark a riot.

Season runs from Mid March to early May and is about 11 or 12 weeks.  Back out spring break (although many teams play games that week) and you are talking 3 games a week.  1 week of rain and suddenly you can find yourself playing 5 or 6 games in 8 to 10 days.

Several things jump to mind immediately:  Pitching - how many places have enough for that? Practice - when does that happen?  School - games typically involve a 4 or 5 hour commitment sometimes more with travel whereas practice is usually 90 minutes or so.  When do kids do their work?  Cost - adding 10 games will probably cost school districts such as the SED $15,000 dollars or so.  Each school will spend $750 on umpires (5 home games X $150) and $500 on travel ( 5 away games X $100 for the bus).  Coaches might want more money too.

None of it is insurmountable - but there are people that will argue against for these reasons and they won't be crazy.  

The idea is to put VHSL baseball more in line with the NCAA in relation to other HS sports.  Basketball plays 22 game (in relation to 27-29 in NCAA).  Football plays 10 (in relation to 12 in NCAA).  Baseball plays 20 (in relation to 56 in the NCAA).  By comparison, that's 1/2 as many games.

Also an effort to get more in line with surrounding states - NC plays 23.  WV plays 32. TN plays 30.

Silence Dogood posted:

I think 30 is a little aggressive. I think 25 is a better number. I guess you perhaps schedule 30 to play 25, knowing you are going to lose a few to weather?

Weather indeed is a major issue for 30, but 25 is doable for scheduling.

However, many schools (even in 6A) have 2 excellent SPs, with a 3rd SP for those short scheduled games. With a 25 game schedule, you'll need 4 SPs to get through a season with many rainouts as well as an increase in relief pitchers. Not at all impossible, and opens up opportunities to many players, but don't expect that overall runs scored will stay at the same level.

I will say that private schools -- which in many cases have far fewer students to draw from than the public schools -- have long played more games in a shorter time span.  And they often have far greater distances to travel for away games.  I should think their example of how to manage it (e.g., split Saturday doubleheaders) is there for anyone to emulate or, if they prefer, not.

But again, I can't see how this works unless you're giving more guys time on the mound.  And while that means more guys get their shots, to me it also means that many games will be played with the pitching being much more hittable (or yielding more walks, or both) and therefore, with a lot more runs being scored. 

IMO, no to Sat DH's! There will be enough of that with summer ball. In NOVA, there was a huge turnover in coaching with just 20 games. I like the Friday night games. Puts less pressure on studies during the week. Schools wont have enough pitching. You cant turn a bench rider into a pitcher just because you have a 30 game sched. Its not that easy. Plus Saturdays should be for recovery/working out to keep strength up.

Having more games allowed is a better alternative to having just 20.  Rather than just increasing the allowable schedule by 50%, a more common sense approach would be to keep the regular schedule at 20 games, which is the present max.  However, allow for an unlimited number over Spring Break.

Many teams travel, or play in Spring Break tournaments, and this year, some will be limited to 2 games due to the current 20-game limit.  If we could play in a Spring Break Tournament with no restrictions, that gets you 3-5 more games.  In addition, your not using the final 2-4 non-district games available for the tournament.  That allows for targeting non-district games at a regional level.  ie Hanover vs. Nansemond River, Western Branch vs. Cosby, etc.

In the end, 20 regular games + a tournament gets you to 23-25 games, doesn’t mess with the “regular season”, and if a team were to go deep into the postseason...they would approach 30 games for the year.  Just a thought...

Not sure how many districts have the problem of using 16 or 18 games for the Home & Home district schedule.  For those that do that is your entire season.  I know in the SED several teams head for SC and in the old days WB and GB headed for FL. They would get 2 + a charity game.  In some of those tournaments teams would go 3-0 and come home and leave a few games on the pond.  So the idea of district schedule plus 6 or 7 making a 24/25 regular season that allows for 4 or so spring break games plus a couple of other more local affairs makes sense.

It would allow for some spice in the scheduling without over doing it on pitching.  Plus if there is weather problems - those extra games can just be dropped.

Let all Spring Break tournament-format games count as one (1) game and only one (1) game, regardless of the number of games played within the tournament and where the tournament is played. Teams not traveling can create their own local tournament to pick up those games and would hopefully prompt some local private vs public school competition.

Add Reply

Likes (0)