Pitch Count

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Pitch Count
« on: October 17, 2014, 09:36:45 AM »
I was in town to see my nephew play this last weekend at the Monster Bash. Apparently this tournament had no pitching rules, this was 9u AAA. We played the Rico Knights, they had a lefty that was throwing bullets at us, it was really a great game. He pitched 3 innings or so and threw 30 something pitches against us. This was on Sunday. Later in the afternoon, they were playing the Dirt Dogs and it was pretty much a pitchers duel going on same lefty throwing again. I heard parents talking about how many pitches both boys had thrown, so I asked a gentleman that was keeping stats about the Rico Knights player, since he had pitched against us earlier that day. He was in his 5th inning and had thrown 80+ pitches, now that's on top of the 3 innings and 30 or so pitches he threw earlier in the day against us. The gentleman told me he had pitched 3 innings against them on Saturday and was around 55 pitches then.
Not being from the area, I wanted to ask is this normal?  I mean a 9 year old throwing over 160 pitches that's nuts. Personally I believe it borders on abuse.
Please let me know if I'm out of line.
Thanks
Dave

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 09:57:01 AM »
My son played in 9UA tournament.  He pitched Friday night for league and threw 50 pitches.  Then threw about 30+ on Saturday to close out a game.  Then threw another 30+ on Sunday to get us to the championship game.  That was a lot for him over the weekend.  I know most leagues have a limit.  Playmsp tournaments normally do not have pitching restrictions, but most of the other tournaments (usssa) do, but they are innings not pitch count.

I think for a 9U player that 160 in two days is a lot.  My 15U threw 140 over 2 games that weekend and we had a kid throw over 200 pitches that weekend and he was tired.  That was a 15U player.

Just my opinion, but it sounded like they were more worried about winning.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 10:28:53 AM »
Yes, that is way too many pitches.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 12:04:53 PM »
MSP rarely if ever enforces the USSSA pitching limitations.  Teams with only a couple of high level pitchers tend to play a lot of MSP tournaments.  3&2 Baseball, one of the other local organizers, enforces the USSSA pitching limitations.  I am one of the parents who feels that if it is a USSSA tournament then the limitations must be enforced, or points will not be awarded to teams who participate.  It should not be optional for the tournament organizers. 

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 01:38:03 PM »
Glad to hear y'alls responses, I thought it was a lot. I know back when I coached, we limited our 9-10 year olds to about 60-65 in a weekend max.   Funny thing was, they lost both of those games.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2014, 09:15:38 AM »
While I do think that is too many pitches at U9, I tend to lean more on letting the coaches make the decision rather than the sanctions.  Our boys play a bit of both USSSA and Greater Midwest Baseball.  GMB has no pitching rules, as they try to remain pure to the sport (you know, with $500 composite bats and fake mounds.....but I digress).  While they try to lean on coaches to make the right decisions for the good of the boys, yes there are some coaches that take advantage of the flexibility.  It is my belief however, that each kid is different and good coaches will know the limits.  I mean, you can limit the boys pitches to innings, but what does that really do?  If a kid goes out there and throws 3 innings and the other team fouls him off runs your pitch count up, what really does the inning count do.  Even pitch count has it's limits.  If the coach and/or catcher call primarily curve balls, pitch count doesn't do much for you there either.  So the only solution is for the sanction to over regulate, and I'm not OK with that.  As I said, each coach should know his kids limitation.  If he doesn't, parents generally do.  If I think my kid has reached a limit, I'm telling coach.  If he can't respect that, then perhaps we aren't a good fit for him.

Thanks,

Josh Greer
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Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 09:44:02 AM »
Unfortunately, as we have all seen, you cannot always trust the best judgment of some coaches.  Add that to the fact that the overall majority of coaches are not professionals and have little if any extensive coaching experience. If you combine this with the pressures of parents and coaches egos you will find that this is the reason that a reasonable level of restrictions need to be enforced.  USSSA and Little League have both consulted with professional coaches and the medical community to develop reasonable levels of pitching limitations.  I agree that in some scenarios some pitchers "could" go longer and some should be pulled earlier, but if everyone has to follow the same guidelines it evens out in the end. We only play USSSA so I cannot speak for other organizations. but as a parent of three kids who play competitive ball and a former coach in USSSA I wish USSSA would step up like Little League has and mandate their inning limits.  It may not be the perfect solution (and neither is Little League), but at least it will provide a minimum level of protection to growing pitchers arms. 

Unfortunately, you will not see some of the local companies that run tournament ball for USSSA do this voluntarily. Unless it becomes mandated by USSSA in order for USSSA points to be awarded some of the tournament companies will not mandate or track USSSA pitching limitations.  It is not a technical issue as all of these companies post results their results on the USSSA website.  The website provides a section to post innings pitch by game, but have made the decision not to do it.  As a result we routinely see teams that pitchers pitch all weekend.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 12:49:34 PM »
Playing baseball in the 70's and 80's  I remember only having a couple of kids on the team that could pitch and they pitched every game, I know darn well they were well over any pitch count we could ever imagine in today's game. My dad was a pitcher at Mizzou back in the 60's, and I talk to him today about how much a kid should pitch and he is like me, when you see a kid is tired, it is time for him to sit or be taken out of the game and given a rest. But at the same time, some kids can go alot more than your average age classification kid. I am not saying to burn out a real good pitcher, but if a kid is throwing fastballs and change ups, he is not putting alot of stress on his arm, if he is properly stretching and exercising that arm. alot of kids only pitch what they are allowed because they don't practice at home. I have my son throw 50-70 pitches a day at home, and that is not a real big deal seeing how I played baseball from after school til dark almost everyday when I was a kid and I pitched plenty of sand lot games.   Kids get into alot of trouble when a stupid coach tries to teach a real good pitcher (14U and Under) how to throw a slider, or breaking ball, that is where your arm issues come in. You can't blame some coaches for trying to win, if they only have a few good kids, they have to try and compete to hopefully draw better players to their teams, everyone knows how cut throat this sport has gotten, it is sad that the better teams will try and take a weaker teams best kids and leave them starting over. I have always kept my kids in the rules of the pitch count or innings, but sometimes the teams with lesser talent, have to try and get over that hump by trying to go a bit further with their better kids. Just my 2 cents.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 01:54:25 PM »
My opinion, is they threw the kid way too many pitches. This is why some many high school kids across the country are having Tommy John surgery. Look it up, it's now being a considered normal for kids to have had it before they reach college or the mlb draft. It's win at all cost, hey he's not my son we'll ride until he can't go on and get the next kid up. My kids are grown, I haven't coached for  7 years, but when I did I never pitched anyone close to that. Hell my 14 year u kids we limited to 80. This reminds me of the old saying: Do you want to be a super star at 9-10
or a college scholarship at 18?

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 01:44:52 PM »
It is pretty amazing what coaches will do to win games and whats it all for if these youngsters have no arm by time they reach the high school level. I played 8 years of professional baseball i was a starting pitcher in college and was moved to a closer after being drafted. The problem with tourney play is most coaches don't understand how to take care of arms so they will throw them as many innings as allowed by the tourney or as many as it takes to win the game. Every inning is different some innings you throw 8 pitches some 30 pitches the intensity of throwing 30 pitches is much greater than the 8 pitches because fatigue sets in. If your son is on pitch number 50 and pitch 30 in the inning his day is over after that inning. obviously this depends on age but throwing 200 pitches over the weekend for any age is just flat out wrong and the coach does not have the players best interest in mind at that point regardless the age. I think all youth athletes should stay under 85 pitches 12-15 years of age and any 11U or under athlete should stay under 75 pitches. The problem is most coaches throw a boy 40-50 pitches on Saturday and want to bring him back on Sunday to throw 80 pitches and this is where the injuries start happening. When you throw on Saturday you are developing micro tears throughout your arm which is normal and will always happen but Sunday is when these micro tears will start to heal themselves. If your throwing again on Sunday your body is not given the proper time to heal itself and repair the micro tears done on Saturday we compound those tears and the arm gets weaker. Sometimes you get away with this sometimes you don't. These boys only get one arm to throw with, some of these boys are elite competitors that always want the ball when the game is on the line and its the coaches responsibility to make sure that the boys arms come before anything else including winning. My team has 12 players and 9 pitch at the 13U Major level and trust me you can win tourneys without destroying a young athletes future.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 08:14:01 AM »
Every parent should watch the use of their child and insist that the coach limit their use on the mound. I would recommend finding another team if you are not comfortable with the way the coach uses your child.

I recommend following the guidelines provided by Dr. James Andrews who founded the American Sports Medicine Insitute to help with this problem. You can find the guidelines at the URL below.

http://www.asmi.org/research.php?page=research&section=positionStatement

While it can be frustrating facing teams that seem to abuse their pitchers, ultimately we try to focus just on what we can control and don't allow our kids or parents to make excuses for anything because we don't know everything that the opposing coach knows. We focus on player health and development as our top priority and winning games after that. Both can be accomplished with the right dedication and coaching but we don't ever put winning over the health and development of our players. We want kids healthy to play in high school and college if that's their goal.

Good luck.

Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2015, 10:01:31 AM »
We follow NPA Guidelines set forth by Dr. James Andrews and Pitching Coach Tom House.  Not only is Tom a Pitching coach, but he is a Professor of Bio-Mechanics and understands why things happen to the human body through out throwing and pitching process.  For more info look here:

http://nationalpitching.com/

Remember its not Rocket science, its Bio Mechanics...  Win at all cost will lead you no where, develop your players arms they will thank you later!

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Re: Pitch Count
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 09:47:55 AM »
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