RESULTS: The injured group pitched significantly more months per year, games per year, innings per game, pitches per game, pitches per year, and warm-up pitches before a game. These pitchers were more frequently starting pitchers, pitched in more showcases, pitched with higher velocity, and pitched more often with arm pain and fatigue. They also used anti-inflammatory and ice more frequently to prevent an injury. Although the groups were age matched, the injured group was taller and heavier. There were no significant differences regarding private pitching instruction, coach's chief concern, pitcher's self-rating, exercise programs, stretching practices, relieving frequency, pitch type frequency, or age at which pitch types were first thrown. CONCLUSION: Pitching practices were significantly different between the groups. The factors with the strongest associations with injury were overuse and fatigue. High pitch velocity and participation in showcases were also associated with increased risk for injury.
Glenn, I sent you a letter regarding pitch counts and changing state rules to total pitches rather than innings. As I mentioned, I'm living proof of total abuse, having had four elbow surgeries including Tommy John and living since the age of 29 with an extremely arthritic elbow.
I wondered if you had research on pitch counts that was tiered toward a high school pitcher in cold weather, i.e. based on the calendar and increasing as the weather warms?
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Mar 10, 2006 16:13:43 GMT -6
oldone and amargolick. ASMI has conducted research on pitch counts in youth baseball. Pitch counts in high school baseball is also something of interest, but we haven't studied this yet. Perhaps you two - and others - can post your opinions here for discussion.
Post by coachhannah on Mar 23, 2006 14:53:28 GMT -6
11-12 year old pitchers 75 pitches per game 100 pitches per week 1000 pitches per season 3000 pitches per year
I wonder who made up these numbers. Surely they are supported by evidence and studies (I hope). I think this number is a bit high per game but ok per week.
In response to the "183 pitch count".....I threw 130 in a game and was never the same after that.
Not conclusive evidence, but 180 is a lot. Furthermore, I agree with Dr. Fleisig that there are a lot of things that determine how many pitches a person can throw. I know people who have thrown 180 and are still playing at a very high level......really depends on the individual player.
My son recently started pitching and I am managing his team. Our league uses innings pitched but I am much more in favor of pitch counts. One question I have though is do you log the pitches before the game during warm ups and the pitches between the innings towards the limit?
In our area, USSSA teams typically play tournaments over two consecutive days, and pitchers often pitch in one game both days. I am guessing the 100/week recommendation assumes rest days between outings. What pitch-count limits would you recommend for a pitcher throwing on consecutive days?
Post by opbaseball on May 17, 2006 13:55:24 GMT -6
I would like to respond to the USSSA post. We also play USSSA tournaments (U9), and here is what I go by:
If we want a pitcher to pitch in two days, we limit his first day pitches to around 30. If the pitcher goes 30 or less on Friday or Saturday, we pitch him the full 50 on Sunday.
There are also inning limits set by USSSA for tournament weekends. However, I have found that the pitch count limits control our use of pitchers more than the pitching limits set by USSSA.
Dr. Fleisig, is throwing 80 pitches over a Friday/Sunday weekend as I just described too much? Does it matter if we go 30 on Friday and then 50 on Sunday as opposed to 30 on Saturday and then 50 on Sunday?
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on May 19, 2006 6:23:49 GMT -6
I don't think there is a precise formula that will work for everybody. The major principle is that if a pitcher pitches to the point of fatigue, he should rest a couple days. 30 then 50 or 50 then 30 should both be okay, assuming the pitcher felt good (like he could continue) after the first day, and is removed if fatigued during the second day.
I have just completed my fifth year as pitching coach. This year was at the 13 year old level. I have always maintained a pitch count and restricted pitching to 6 times the age of the child. For example, if you have a 10 year old, then they can pitch no more than 60 pitches before they are removed. I have also required rest of 1 hour per pitch thrown. Under the above scenario, the pitcher would have to wait 60 hours until he could pitch during a game situation. This has worked for me and I have yet to have someone not be able to pitch because of a sore arm. I do not permit curveballs. Changeups, two and four seam fastballs, and cut fastballs have worked. Besides, I am developing a pitcher so accuracy and control are more important than strikeouts. I would prefer that a pitcher throw 3 pitches in an inning to get three outs rather than 9 and strike out the side.
In reviewing the restrictions, which I think are great, I have a question. The limitations say in one day. Is it then okay to throw in two separate games (say 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.) in the same day as long as the total pitches don't exceed the appropriate age limitation? I noticed above that the emphasis was on "game type pitching conditions", so I assume that warm up pitches don't matter, even if it takes one person 20 pitches to get warm and another 10. It seems to me that if it is OK to throw more than once in a day, then there is some period of "down time" after which you shouldn't allow a pitcher to throw again in the same day. Any ideas on what that period of time may be? What thoughts do you have about when it is OK to start doing long toss after pitching? Is the next day too soon? What is the best thing to do after a pitcher has thrown to help the arm to overcome the "shock"? I have heard running, ice, etc. I use both. What do you or others suggest.
So, by these rules, if a 7-16 year old pitcher pitches 21 or more pitches in the morning game, he is not allowed to pitch that afternoon. However, if he pitches 20 or less pitches in the morning game, my reading is that he would be allowed to pitch again in the afternoon. Then, at the end of the day, you would need to add up how many pitches the child threw that day (from both games) and determine his rest requirements from that. For example, let's say a 13 year old pitcher pitches one inning of relief in a Saturday morning game. In that inning he throws 15 pitches. Then, in the afternoon game, he relieves again. This time he pitches 35 pitches. In this case, the 13-year-old threw 50 total pitches on Saturday. He is then required to rest two calendar days, and would be available to pitch again on Tuesday. At least this is my interpretation of the rules.
As far as warm-up pitches goes, the research studies did not include warm-ups in the correlations of pitch counts and injury risks. Threfore warm-up pitches are not included in the pitch counts regulations.