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Membership News and Information

Access Archive for past news releases and updates

February 17, 2020

Message From Tim Saunders
NHSBCA Executive Director
Greetings Coach, 
This is Tim Saunders (Dublin-Coffman HS, Dublin Ohio) Executive Director of the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (NHSBCA). As many of you are gearing up for your 2020 baseball season, the NHSBCA has been preparing to assist you in the 2020 season. This week's email is sponsored by PITCHKOUNT. With the NFHS requiring all states to implement pitch count rules, this has created a number of issues that go beyond just counting pitches. There will now be eligible and ineligible pitchers and in order for coaches to effectively manage their teams, it 19;ll be crucial that they know the exact status of pitchers. Not having this information could result in a forfeit because a coach inadvertently uses an ineligible pitcher or a team could suffer a loss because they didn 19;t know that the opposing team was using an ineligible pitcher. Either scenario is enough of a concern to keep coaches awake at night. But there is another, deeper issue at play as well.
As with any set of rules, it 19;s vitally important that there is sufficient oversight to ensure that everyone is in compliance and that there 19;s a level playing field. In order to establish and maintain competitive balance, there has to be a system to monitor the process of recording pitch count data, verifying the accuracy of that data, ensuring that each pitcher 19;s status is correct, and that teams are adhering to the required days of rest. No small task, but this is precisely what PitchKount does and why it 19;s so valuable.
The NHSBCA reach is only as strong as our contact base, if you or your association would like to share any contacts so your membership can be informed, please send those contacts along,, and we will make sure they receive updates. As you know, investing in an NHSBCA Membership is an investment in yourself and the team. If you are currently a member, thank you. If not, please take a moment to join the only organization that supports high school baseball. Below you will see a few of the many benefits of being a member.
1 Million Dollar Personal Liability Coverage
Regional and National Coaching Awards
Coaching Victory and Coaching Year Awards
National Convention/Clinic
Leadership Opportunities In Ranking and All-Region/American Committees
By Scott Manahan
Part of our NHSBCA newest initiatives is posting short videos (#FiveMinuteClinic) on social media that may help coaches along with their baseball strategy. Former Head Coach at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio shares his long time philosophy on where to place outfielders using the "wishbone concept." Like our Facebook page and keep up with our #FiveMinuteClinic hash tag.
In the coming months, we will continue to post the NHSBCA 2002 Pre-Season All-American Team sent in by state baseball associations throughout the country. Currently, we have Missouri, Maryland, North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, Delaware, Washington and, Ohio. We are looking forward to all-state high school baseball coaches associations participating.
NHSBCA Membership and
State Association News
If you have any articles, news, or videos that you would like to share with NHSBCA Membership, please feel free to send them along to Ty Whittaker,
Frank Carey NHSBCA Hall of Fame member received the Ferguson-O'Connell award at the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association for his lifetime achievement and is the highest honor given by the association. Picture included.
Last Saturday, Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches honored their NHSBCA 2020 Pre-Season All-Americans at their Leadoff Banquet. Picture included.
Below we have some shared photos from the NHSBCA Banquet in Columbus, Ohio. Special thanks to the Ohio State Baseball Coaches Association for co-hosting socials on Thursday and Saturday evenings.
The below link is a clickable map on our website; on all the state high school baseball organizations. We encourage you to be involved at the state and national levels. The NHSBCA believes strongly in our members belonging to their state high school baseball coaches associations.
Gentle reminder to all states and state high school baseball associations, deadline for all state entries is March, 15, 2020. If your state has questions or needs assistance please email,
The start of 2020 also kicks off our membership campaign. If you have not joined, now if the perfect time. The NHSBCA's benefit to high school coaches is numerous. If you look above, we have listed some key benefits of membership. Albeit, those are extremely important; our most important piece is that we are the only baseball association that strictly has the high school coach in mind.
NHSBCA Hall of Fame Member Bernie Walter offers us an interesting perspective on baseballs version of "if this, then that."
The team was missing sign after sign, which was very disturbing to the coaching staff. So during a JV game, we had a skull session to review the signs. Our third base coach was the lead instructor, which allowed me to watch. After mistake and mistake, I observed that "nobody was home." They continued to miss the coach's signs.
Our signs are elementary, so it required determining "Why" were so many signs missed.
I realized that the players didn't know "What was in order."
Many players have not played enough to understand any baseball strategies. Everything is based on score, inning, outs, the count on the hitter, and the position of base runners. Once the boys understood "what is in order," the proper play is evident to both teams 26; and most spectators. Everybody knows. There are a few surprises.
It is more important for your players to get a sign, rather than trying to hide or confuse the opponent.
I advocate using the KISS Method - Keep it simple stupid.
Teaching Situational Baseball- Clickable Excel Spreadsheet
·  "Higher Level Thinking"
·  "What's in order?"
·  "Think like a Champion!"
Step 1: The coach has to know his philosophy.
Step 2: Go to the classroom to have the team fill out a blank form of possible situations.
Step 3: Review the answers with the coach explaining the rationale.
Offensive Play Inning Score Outs Count__ Runners
Sac bunt down 1b
Sac bunt down 3b
Suicide squeeze
You're on your own - hitter
You're on your own - runner
Pro play
YOY double steal
"One looker"
One way lead
Jab step
Steal 2b
Fake bunt and steal
1st move steal
Delayed steal
Double steal
Delayed double steal
Two outplay
Force balk
"Beat the force."
"Break up two."
Calling pitches
Wipe off
Contact play
Make the ball go thru
"When they throw to 2B"
"Tag on all line dives and flys."
Straight steal of home
"There are many people who play baseball, but are only a few baseball players."
Defensive Plays Inning Score Outs Count Runners
Play the hit
Infield up
Double play depth
Set up for the bunt
"Nothing gets over your head."
Outfielders up
Guard the lines
1b hold him on
1b play behind
Throwback to the pitcher
"Ham it, damn it."
Throwback to home
"Home or tag."
Get an out
Arundel Baseball ... another form of higher intelligence.
The coach must fill out the blank form, so he understands his philosophy and can teach advance baseball thinking.
After a stellar clinic performance in Columbus, Johnston of 224 Performance has put together another video on catcher drills on balance, framing, and soft hands.
Debrief of the video by Johnston Hobbs
At the NHSBCA Annual Convention in Columbus on December 7th, we presented some drills and thoughts about healthy throwing from catchers through a strong, balanced lower body. This drill/practice attached is something we do weekly where we are working on stabilization of the lower body. We are recruiting small muscles to help the larger muscles fire and stay balanced, hence more power, speed, and better health.
In the first frame, we have our catcher throw from one knee. We focus on keeping the exchange high and starting to focus on making sure the ball gets behind the ear at a good 90 degrees angle with elbow and shoulder. This supports the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) with both the pecs and the lats, keeping things neutral and balanced. The throw is no more than 30-40 feet, and velocity can pick up as they get comfortable.
This is a progression drill, so next, we add a Bosu ball to the mix, making the catcher place his front foot on the Bosu and then making the throws. This starts firing small muscles all-around lower leg. After the front leg drill, we put an exercise ball under the back leg (while front foot on ground) to increase the challenge and fire the small muscles that help the large ones responsible for powering out from behind the plate. Seems easy at first, but then comes the hard part.
Next, we have the catcher place the front leg on Bosu and back leg on the exercise ball at the SAME time and work good exchanges. The important part here is to focus on keeping the glove and ball close to the body and back to ear to keep the COG (Center of Gravity) over the belt , so they don 19;t fall off. If your catcher takes hands back too far away from body and around, COG shifts the opposite direction , and they lose their balance. They have to keep movement tight!
After that, it's on to working the crouch on the Bosu while working soft hands. We prefer to go barehanded so we can hear if the cacher has 1c;heavy hands 1d; and receives ball with meat of the hand or with the fingers/pocket. We are always working receiving with little finger to thumb squeeze and always having thumb run horizontally so it can never be jammed. If the catcher points their thumb towards pitcher to receive, inevitably, it will get hit head-on.
We then finish up with the catcher on the exercise ball, receiving baseballs with soft hands and really focussing on timing. We drop the baseballs from overhead, and the catcher must receive the ball in the strike zone 26;..important to let the ball travel 26;makes it much more difficult but the improvements on framing are immediate! Don 19;t let the catcher to get their hand under the ball 26;.they have to frame it out of descent 26;.almost plucking from the air.
So, we have fired EVERY muscle in the lower body while working balance and good hands 26;..all the things you need your catcher to do back there and it only took about 30 minutes! If you can do this once or twice per week at the beginning of your season and once weekly after season starts, you will see a huge difference in how your catchers win strikes! These drills can be done inside and in the weight room if the weather does not cooperate or you have small groups inside. Good luck!
ABCA Convention January 1996 Nashville, Tennessee. Coach Scolinos (Cal Poly Tech) did a video on "17 Inches." We want to thank the ABCA for graciously sharing this video for the betterment of the student-athletes and the game of baseball. Please click the link below. Even though this video is from 1996, Coach Scolinos' strong message still resonates with me, and the principles still are a significant focus our my squad year to year. As most of you know, the power we wield as coaches and mentors make a powerful impact on our young people. The only discipline that lasts the test of time is self-discipline. The "17- inch plate" is a tremendous reminder of that statement.
Below is an article that was written about Coach Scolinos speech, written by Jim deMaine
The NHSBCA Ranking Committee is putting together its NHSBCA Baseball American Pre-Season ranking for March. You can continue to have updates on our website,, or our social media outlets.
User Name:
NHSBCA Members You Helped Him With His Survey Last Fall.
Please Think About Helping Kyle Matsel With His Follow Up In Arm Care Survey.
Hello, my name is Kyle Matsel, and I 19;m a physical therapist and PhD student at 
the University of Kentucky. I 19;m writing to invite you to participate 
in a survey called 1c;Understanding and Usage of Arm Care Programs and 
Injury Prevention Measures: A Survey of High School Baseball Coaches 1d;.  
The overall goal of this research is to provide the high school 
baseball coach with a 2- minute screening tool and intervention plan 
to build individualized arm care programs that reduce overuse 
injuries. With your help this tool could ultimately help baseball 
players and coaches better manage arm health. 
The survey takes approximately 7 minutes to complete and will help us 
improve arm care for baseball players. Your participation in this 
survey is voluntary, and your responses to the survey are anonymous. We 
will not collect any identifying information, and the responses you 
provide will be kept confidentially. 
Thank you for your time, 
Kyle Matsel PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS 
NHSBCA Partnership with Baseball in Black and White: Umpire App Update
Currently, Baseball in Black and White is set for beta testers for our new app. The app is free and can be found on the Apple Store and Google Play. In the NHSBCA/Baseball in Black and White newsletter. If you have any feedback for the beta app, please send us feedback to We would highly recommend coaches to check out the updated, more informative information on our NHSBCA newsletter regarding the nine-player DP/DH rule.
PO (E-Invoice)
For NHSBCA Staff Membership
If in need of a PO for staff, please request early, as it takes time for your local school districts to process a PO. Once a PO is asked for, it can be processed and sent electronically. Please include the email of the school or district accountant to expedite the processing.
Contact Ty Whittaker, If you would like us to send an e-invoice, you can make an electronic payment via a procurement card or credit card.
Lastly, we have put the finishing touches on the 2020 NHSBCA Committee Members. Please feel free to download the list.
In Baseball,
Tim Saunders