9U - How much game pitching a week is too much?


#1

Unfortunately the town I live in requires my son play Little League if he plays travel ball. He is the 1 or 2 pitcher on Travel and obviously the go to pitcher on his LL team. Town travel must adhere to pitching rules of LL, but basically whether its travel or LL he is pitching two games a week at 40-70 pitches a game. That gets him 4 or 5 innings a game. He is a hard thrower I think for his age. 54 last time we checked. He is also the Travel and LL SS so he is throwing hard from there also during games, practice, warmups and in-between innings. So on top of pitching there is a 1:30 LL practice on Wed and a 2:00 travel practice on Saturday. Coaching on pitching is given during travel practice (maybe 15 minutes each pitcher) I’m starting to wonder if this is too much. Season just started in April and he has pitched 5 games. Lots of rain outs. He is doing better than fine as he hasn’t given up a hit yet, so there is no fatigue now, I’m just concerned for the future. The kids at this point are just throwing fastballs and change ups to the location of the catchers mit. Both teams are only keeping a 4 man pitching rotation with a 5th or 6th guy available only if the s**t hits the fan, which hasn’t happened yet.
Thanks in advance for your advice


#2

And I just want to add, I played SS and I trained him from a young age to play SS and hit. I never envisioned him to be a pitcher and I don’t know much about pitching as I was never a pitcher. I feel more pride from his batting and SS play than I garner from his pitching accomplishments. I wish there were better pitchers so he didn’t have to pitch.


#3

You’ll find some good discussions on this topic within LetsTalkPitching forums. Gleam what you can from others experiences, as well as from journals.

Here’s a few articles that have been posted recently by Southpaw:

http://www.abe.msstate.edu/Tools/baseball/articles/Prevention%20of%20Arm%20Injury%20in%20Youth%20Baseball%20Pitchers.pdf

http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/39/2/253.abstract?rss=1

My story is I’ve chosen fewer pitches are better at the younger ages, encouraged him play multiple sports to be a complete athlete, and make sure his academics are strong and his ego is in check. It’s worked so far and at age 11 he’s emerging into a fine young man and a dominating pitcher. At 9 we worked on mechanics, 10 was hitting, and this year he’s stepped it up to be a total defensive player. Pitch count has been under 1000 pitches per year. Also, at 9 we took the summer off from baseball so he could go swimming every day. Some 9 year olds in our neighborhood got burned out playing 12 months of the year.

I also keep track of his pitching stats, using a spreadsheet similar to what Scorekeeper has developed. After each game we discuss his efforts and the outcome, so he sees where he needs work and what works well. We’ve focused on keeping the ball down and on throwing strikes, and this year’s focus is on fielding well.

Welcome.


#4

Thanks for linking to those articles, West2East. You beat me to it. :lol:

I must say, though, that “two games a week at 40-70 pitches a game” seems like an awful lot for a 9 year old (no way I would allow my 9 year old to throw that much). The linked article “Prevention of Arm Injury in Youth Baseball Pitchers,” as well as ASMI, recommend 4 full days of rest (which excludes the day of the game and the day of the next game) for a 9-10 year old throwing that many pitches in a game. No way you can throw that many pitches in two games in a 7-day week and comply with the recommended 4 full days of rest after each game.


#5

Thanks for the replies. Those articles are very informative.
Here’s the rules the town follows
9 -10 75 pitches per day max

-If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in
a day, four (4) calendar days of rest is
required.

  • If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day,
    three (3) calendar days of rest is required

  • If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day,
    two (2) calendar days of rest is required.

  • If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day,
    one (1) calendar day of rest is required.

So he can go for 75 on a Monday and be allowed 75 more on Saturday. He is in atleast 2 games a week. You can throw 35 on Monday which is easily 2 innings and you’re pitching again Wed.

The problem is LL here is pathetically weak. The 2 travel teams for the town consistently win or strongly compete in every tournament and their travel division. Outside of those travel players the kids are very poorly skilled, so the travel players are relied upon to carry their LL team. So the town makes the players participate in LL if they want to play town travel. I would consider an AAU team but my son loves his Travel coach and he is a very good coach.
Thankfully this is just April to early June. After that it’s just 3 summer travel tournaments and Fall travel with no LL. Travel only plays 1 game a week.

I wonder if this travel LL stuff happens in other towns.


#6

[quote=“themaker75”]Thanks for the replies. Those articles are very informative.
Here’s the rules the town follows
9 -10 75 pitches per day max

-If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in
a day, four (4) calendar days of rest is
required.

  • If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day,
    three (3) calendar days of rest is required

  • If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day,
    two (2) calendar days of rest is required.

  • If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day,
    one (1) calendar day of rest is required.

So he can go for 75 on a Monday and be allowed 75 more on Saturday.[/quote]
Those pitch counts are what Little League requires too.

However, your son can’t “go for 75 on a Monday and be allowed 75 more on Saturday” each week, because if he throws 75 (or 66+) on Saturday he can’t pitch again until Thursday of the next (second) week; and if he throws 75 (or 66+) on Thursday of that second week he can’t pitch until Tuesday of the third week, meaning he threw in only one game in the second week.

That’s why a 9/10 can’t throw 66+ two games a week, week after week, without breaking those pitch count rules.


#7

Yes, that’s why I said he goes for between 40-70 pitches twice a week. No matter what, he pitches twice a week. This week he will be pitching 3 times. Went for 64 on Monday, Saturday he will start in LL to hopefully get out the top of the order within 19 pitches, then Sunday he will pitch travel. I guess the problem is that the town is not developing it’s youth. They see 6 kids they think will be good and they get all the attention. Those 6 kids get split between two travel teams and everyone else is left to learn how to pitch on their own, which won’t happen.
Forget tournaments, where there are no pitch counts, just inning counts. Usually no more than 6 innings every 2 games.
It all just seems like a lot. Physically and mentally. Pitching is a great mental stress on these little guys.