Big Blue baseball starts early in 2006
Published 8:41 pm Monday, January 16, 2006
By By Matthew Nascone
The Alabama High School Athletic Association handed down some good news to all high schools in the state on Jan. 9. Baseball teams are now allowed to start throwing a ball three weeks earlier than normal.
Regular team practice begins Jan. 30, but according to a press release all teams are allowed to participate in a three-week throwing conditioning program.
"I think this was a good idea," Escambia County baseball head coach Keith Nall said. "It allows our pitchers to get their arms ready for scrimmaging when practice starts."
Nall said the main reason this program is in place is because of the urging of two prominent Alabama orthopedic surgeons.
"Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Larry LeMak from Birmingham had a lot to do with this new program," Nall said.
Andrew and LeMak supported the proposal that was introduced to the AHSAA in March of 2005. This program allows players to throw the recommended six weeks before the start of the season on Feb. 20.
"I know that both these doctors talked to the Association and told them a program like this would help prevent arm injuries from happening," Nall said.
Baseballs and gloves are allowed during the three weeks prior to the first official practice. Each school's coaching staff must be around while the players are throwing.
Softball was not mentioned in the March proposal.