Specific HS rule concerning height of glove in set position?

My son will be playing his first season of HS ball this spring. He was working out with a local baseball academy during January and one of the coaches advised him that NFHS rules are different than the OBRs and that he needed to change the way he comes set:

Currently when he comes set, the top edge of his glove is about eye-level. The coach said that NFHS rules say that the top edge of the glove must be no higher than chin level.

Anybody familiar with this rule, or the reasoning behind it? It’s no big deal to change, I just want to know if there really is a specific rule about “must come set w/ glove below the chin”…


Short answer is no not in NFHS (My book isn’t handy but I just recently reread balk rules)…now maybe Cali may have a rule on it. I know for certain that FHSAA has no mention of it, just that it has to come to a complete and noticable stop.

I doubt very much, unless it’s a point of special emphasis that has recently been enacted, that he’d get called on it ever…heck you’ve seen Andy, he’s had his hands at that level since he was an 8th grader.

My NFHS rule book is a few years old but I do recall there being a rule about the glove being no higher than chin height.

Don’t know why, though. Maybe so the plate umpire can see if the pitcher spits on the ball?

Sounds like a rather dumb rule.

Well, I also asked “Steve, the on-line umpire” this same question: Is it true, and what’s the reason?

Here’s his answer:

[b]Yes. God only knows the rationale.
Years ago the rules stated that the entire glove had to be below the chin, but it was impossible to enforce.


I think we’ll see just wait and see what his HS coach has to say about it–he’s been a successful coach for a long time at the boy’s HS and he should know if anyone does whether it’s gonna ever be a problem.

Ya gotta love this kind of trivial b.s., though–what the heck else do I have to think about all day?

the spitting on the ball makes sence. What else could it be? Hmmmm. how weird. It’s like J walking. I do it everyday and when I do, I always think to myself that I can actually get a ticket for it. Strange rules huh? Even more strange that I think about it when I do:) I will be talking to some friends about this tonight. lol.

What rule book?

re: “What rule book?”

---------Now I’m not absolutely sure anymore. I thought the academy coach told my kid that the glove-height thing was “NFHS rules”.

For sure, that’s how I asked the on-line umpire guy, Steve O, about it…“I heard that NFHS rules differ from the OBRs and say you can’t come set with glove higher than your chin…is that true, and why?”

His answer was “true” but he didn’t cite an actual rule from the NFHS rule book and, he included the kicker, “…years ago…”, so I have no idea really where his knowledge came from.

If I find out anything more about this I’ll definitely update the thread. Meanwhile, if anyone else has heard anything about it–fire away.

Maybe it’s just one of those local things: A left-coast-only NFHS amendment to prevent Californians from spitting on the ball. (Everybody else, load 'er up…)

From my 2006 NFHS Baseball Rules Book…

Rule 6

Section 1 Pitching

Article 3

For the set position… He shall come to a complete and discernable stop (a change of direction is not considered an acceptable stop) with the ball in both hands in front of the body and his glove at or below his chin. Blah blah blah…

Wow…Go figure. :shock:

Thanks , Roger!

What’s more, here’s what Ken Allan, an Official Rules Interpreter for the California Section of the NFHS had to say:

“The coach is correct. The high school rule is the same as the pro rule as far as the hands being in front of the body. The reasoning is that if the glove were any higher than the chin, the glove would be in front of his face rather than in front of his body. I would highly recommend your son change his pitching motion to comply with the rules.”

So…bear in mind, I had asked him the same two questions, “Is it really a rule” and “What is the reasoning behind it?”

… Wow…yer head ain’t your body, so if you put the glove up as high as yer head, it’d be higher’n yer body, so that’d break the rule about havin’ yer glove in front of yer body.

Okay…I get that, sort of, or maybe not so much.

I get the feeling that somebody at the NFHS kinda over-analyzed that one a little…

Would you believe NFHS has a rule pertaining to ambidextrious pitchers? The rule states that such a pitcher can pitch to a given batter as a lefty or righty but not both - he must pitch the entire at-bat the same way and can then switch for the next batter.

I never new that at all. What a total fair rule , but has anyone ( pitcher ) in MLB or minors ever ambidextrious? It would be like seeing it before it happens. That would be very intersesting to know. I have never heard of one and now you got me thinking about searching after I type this up to find out… Thanx Roger :smiley:

I’d guess that such obscure rules exist due to some situation that actually occurred. If you search YouTube, I believe you can find videos of ambidextrious pitchers.

yea. it was crazy finding that last night. I went searching and found a lot more info on ambidextrious pitchers than I could handle. Wow. I have never come across one in my life. God bless YouTube…lol