Electroniccommunicationdevices for high school baseball may be coming to Connecticut

Jul. 11—The CIAC baseball committee will have to vote whether to allow the devices in Connecticut high school baseball when they next meet in September.

"It's technology that is coming and I would guess it will go through, but we have to go through the process as we do on any new rule and see what everyone thinks," Brookfield athletic director and CIAC baseball committee member Steve Baldwin said. "I am an old school guy who will touch his nose nine times to give a sign to the catcher, but this is the way the game is going and we will look at it and adapt."

Baldwin said this would be the most significant rule change to CIAC baseball in as long as he can remember.

Once the committee convenes, they have to get the proposal through the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors (CAAD) and then through the coaching committee before it can be approved.

The cost of the devices ranges from $150 up to $500 but Baldwin said it is much less expensive than basketball shot clocks which will be in place for the first time next winter in the CIAC. The cost of the shot clocks, which includes a recurring expense of an operator, was a factor in delaying its approval.

Baldwin said the committee would want to get the devices approved with time for schools to add them to the budget for next spring's season.

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Major League Baseball introduced PitchCom technology last season as a way to limit sign stealing and speed up the game.

Unlike MLB where coaches can communicate with catchers and catchers and pitchers with each other, the NFHS rule only allows for a one-way communication from coaches in the dugout to send pitch calls to catchers.

The new rules prohibit coaches from communicating with any other player besides the catcher on defense and with any player while batting. The coach must also be in the dugout when using the communication device.

"This change is consistent with the growth of the game and is indicative of a measured and responsible approach to enable technology into our level of competition," Elliot Hopkins, NFHS Director of Sports and Educational Services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee said in a press release. "The committee has made these changes to maintain the balance between offense and defense; increase the pace of play; and will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries."