Pitch Count Limit Suggestions For Youth Pitchers
By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Keeping a pitch count limit for young pitchers is a crucial part of keeping their arms healthy. Allowing a youth pitcher throw too many pitches in too short of time increases the risk of them having arm problems and burnout.
Many Little Leagues and Pony leagues around the country are enforcing pitch count limits for young pitchers. These rules state that a pitcher of a certain age can't throw a certain amount of pitches in a certain number of days. Following these rules can help keep a pitcher's arm healthy and rested.
However, most travel baseball teams don't follow a pitch count. At the younger ages, many of these teams have one or two good pitchers and they tend to rely on these players to pitch in most of their games. It is common for some travel pitchers to start three games in a single calendar week. Sometimes, these starts come in back to back days with a 100 pitch count for both days. This kind of pitching is bound to hurt the young player in the long run.
Every league has different pitching limits, but there is a common theme to them. As the pitchers get older, they are allowed to throw more pitches per game. The more pitches a pitcher throws, the more days rest they are required to have before they are allowed to pitch again. These rules have been proven to protect young players arms.
If your player is on a travel team and you feel he is getting overused, discuss your concerns with the manager. Let him know that you think he is using your player to often, and that you would like him to rest more. It is not worth your players health to have him pitch that one extra game when he is not ready.
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