Vanderbilt Baseball’s Electronic Pitch-Calling Wristbands Go Viral

SEC Network

The opening weekend of the 2022 college baseball season began on Friday, and Vanderbilt baseball is trying something new. The Commodores are trying to up the pace of play with new electronic pitch call wristbands.

A coach’s unique way of calling a game directly to his pitcher went viral for the first time on Friday night. No one really knew what it was.

In previous years, something like what Vandy uses was not legal. The Southeastern Conference has allowed the use of electronics for communication between players and coaches, but it has not been allowed nationally.

As a result, many SEC teams would use a walkie-talkie set up for coaches to speak directly to their catches through an earpiece.

Previously, a trainer would send the signal via walkie-talkie into the receiver’s earpiece. The catcher looked at his QB-style bracelet, then the catcher gave the sign.

But during non-conference games and the playoffs, it wasn’t allowed. One-way electronic devices were against NCAA rules.

This is no longer the case.

In August, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee approved the use of one-way electronic communication devices for the purpose of calling pitches and plays. The rule went into effect for the 2021-22 academic year, and teams across the country are taking advantage of it.

In Nashville, Tennessee, head coach Tim Corbin and his program are taking a different approach. Rather than using a headset to communicate with the catcher, who would then communicate with the pitcher, the Vandy Boys use the wristbands.

It is unprecedented.

Every player on the field for the Commodores wears one of the wristbands and the receivers don’t transmit any signals, ever. Instead, the coach calls a pitch or play through the electronic system and all nine players receive the signal on their wrist as soon as he can make his way through the airwaves.

After catching viewers’ attention on Friday, the show explained how the wristbands work on Saturday.

Baseball traditionalists absolutely hate the move, as they do with any change to the game.

However, when the going gets tough, the bracelet method streamlines the process and will likely be used across the country for the next few years.

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