of the serious injuries that occur in adult pitchers are now starting
to show up at the youth level. The USA Baseball Medical & Safety
Committee has made several recommendations to reduce the risk of injury.
- Pitchers should
not throw breaking pitches until their bones have matured
(indicated by puberty) - typically about 13 years of age. Focus should
be on good mechanics, a good fastball and change-up and good control
- Pitchers should develop
proper mechanics as early as possible and include
more year around physical conditioning. Instruction from a qualified
professional coach on the correct mechanic would be valuable.
- Pitchers should be
discouraged from returning to the mound in a game once
they have been removed.
- Players, especially
pitchers, should be discouraged from participating
in showcase games due to risk of injury or at least given proper time to
prepare or rest.
- Pitchers are discouraged
from playing for more than 1 team in a season
- Pitchers should compete
in baseball no more than 9 months a year and
should avoid other overhead throwing activities or sports
- They should be removed
immediately from a game or practice if they
complain or show signs of arm pain.
- Pitch counts should
be monitored and regulated. Below is the recommended
limits for youth pitchers.
50 pitches/game 75 pitches/wk 1000/season 2000/yr
11-12 y/o 75 pitches/game 100 pitches/wk 1000/season
13-14 y/o 75 pitches/game 125 pitches/wk 1000/season
Pitch counts pertain to pitches thrown in games only.