Read: The Importance of Pitch Count Rules and Regulations

http://downtownlittleleague.org/league/content-single.php?menu_items_id=830

Over the last few years, baseball fans are sure to have noticed that Major League Baseball teams have implemented restrictions on their pitchers based on the number of pitches thrown during a game in an effort to protect their arms and reduce the risk of injury.


More and more, this trend has made its way to Little League Baseball. In 2007, Little League Baseball updated the rules of pitcher eligibility from looking at the number of innings pitched to focusing on the number of pitches thrown. The change was made due to the widely-held belief that it is a more accurate way to manage and protect youth pitchers from overuse and strain.


The effort was spearheaded by Dr. James Andrews and Glenn Fleisig, PhD, of the American Sports Medicine Institute to address the increase in injuries and surgeries associated with youth baseball. As a result, Andrews and Fleisig developed the below guidelines for youth pitchers, which is endorsed by Little League Baseball.

Pitch Counts

Age

Max. Pitches

Per Game

8

55

9

65

10

75

11-12

85

13-14

95

15-16

95



Recovery Times

Age

1 Day Rest

2 Day Rest

3 Day Rest

4 Day Rest

8-10

21-35

36-50

51-65

>66

11-12

21-35

36-50

51-65

>66

13-14

21-35

36-50

51-65

>66

15-16

31-45

46-60

61-75

>76



There are some people who feel that pitch counts are unnecessary but the fact remains: the repeated motion of throwing a baseball will undeniably put a great deal of stress on a pitcher’s arm. Overuse can lead to fatigue and, in many cases, a decrease in proper throwing mechanics. Improper mechanics can put even more stress on the arm leading to injury.


Reducing the possibility of overuse through monitoring pitch counts is one way a pitcher can remain healthy and more effectively compete in the game of baseball.


Contributed by Billy Reilly, owner of Baseball Performance Analysis, LLC and licensed physical therapist at JAG Physical Therapy in New York City.


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