At­lantic prov­inces need to get on the same page

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cbn­com­ Ni­cholas Mercer your view Tell us what you think­com­

When two teams spend the sea­son play­ing the same sport but with a dif­fer­ent set of rules, one of them is go­ing to be at a disad­van­tage when­ever the two meet depend­ing on the way the game is played. That’s just the way it is. Which­ever set of rules is ap­plied to the game, the team which hasn’t spent the year prac­tic­ing or play­ing by those re­stric­tions is sud­denly woe­fully un­der­pre­pared. The team can be world beat­ers, but they’re hin­dered by the rule change. It plays in your head — play­ing by a dif­fer­ent set of rules that is. The way you ap­proach the game changes. It throws off your rou­tines and the way you get ready to play. Per­haps, it even changes the way you swing a bat or shoot the puck.

Take base­ball for ex­am­ple, more specif­i­cally, mi­nor base­ball in the At­lantic Prov­inces.

One would think that each would play by the ex­act same set of rules. At the mos­quito AAA and AA lev­els, if one province uses a pitch count for pitch­ers it should be safe to as­sume that the other three prov­inces will be us­ing the same phi­los­o­phy. Wrong. It would ap­pear one as­so­ci­a­tion dif­fers from the rest. That is, at the mos­quito AA level in New­found­land and Labrador, teams play with a in­ning count rather than a pitch count.

That puts them at a slight disad­van­tage at that level be­cause more energy is fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing po­si­tional play­ers than mak­ing more pitch­ers.

There should be some­thing uni­ver­sal across the board.

A de­ci­sion has to be made. Are you go­ing to fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of pitch­ers or al­low one or two dom­i­nant arms to con­trol the land­scape?

When man­ag­ing a base­ball team, you’re go­ing to go with the pitch­ers who are go­ing to win you ball games. If you have so many in­nings per tour­na­ment, along with four or five strong arms, it’s ele­men­tary that those pitch­ers will ex­haust their in­nings be­fore a man­ager will look to some­one dif­fer­ent.

If those half-a-dozen pitch­ers can see you through to the fi­nals, why would you go to a dif­fer­ent player or some­one who hasn’t pitched be­fore?

You wouldn’t. In a small way, the area of player de­vel­op­ment goes out the win­dow.

As a man­ager, you know you have those arms, so why are you wast­ing time pre­par­ing oth­ers to throw?

That’s not ex­actly the thought process you should have at that level, but it hap­pens.

With a pitch count, you’re forced to de­velop more pitch­ers. At the mos­quito level, it is only 25 pitches per player if you want to be able to play the next day. If you go over that num­ber, there are es­ca­lat­ing re­quire­ments for the num­ber of days of rest be­tween starts.

You can throw 25 pitches in one in­ning. So, you see there is a need for a pitch count sys­tem in this province be­low the AAA level.

There needs to be a some­thing uni­form to give all play­ers a fair shot.

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