My son playes on a 9U fall ball team. In the games yesterday the coach used a child, not mine, for 50 pitches in the first game. Had him catch 2 innings and then brought him in to pitch again in the second game. “But for only 20 pitches”. That was the response I got when I questioned him on it. Am I correct in my thinking that this is potentially very bad for a child this age? Just a concerned parent.
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50 pitches is probably around the limit (maybe a bit high) for a single game for a 9u. And then it should be followed by 3 days rest (i.e. light throwing but no pitching) before pitching again.
Playing catcher after throwing 50 pitches is bad as the catcher makes as many throws as the pitcher albeit not at the same intensity. Pitching in the second of back to back games after throwing 50 pitches and playing catcher is just plain wrong.
You are correct to be concerned. Keep an eye on your kid - he’s dependent on you to watch out for his well-being.
Recommendations from ASMI and USA Baseball and Medical Safety Advisory Committee statements are generally accepted as reasonable guidelines to reduce injury in youth baseball players.
They discourage multiple appearances. In other words, once taken off the mound, they shouldn’t return to the mound especially after cooling down and without proper warm up.
9-10 year olds should be limited to 50 pitches per game and 75 pitches per week.
So if you want to be concerned, I guess those are the two areas I see where the coach either thought the safety recommendations were too strict for this particular player or he had a strategic reason (as in I want to win this stupid game) to go against the advice of medical professionals. Or he really doesn’t even know the recommendations.
Now the truth is, there is no proof that this particular incident in any way harmed the kid. Based on that, I would note it and not let my kid re-enter as a pitcher but I would not become an “active bystander” and confront the coach. That’s just me. I don’t need the grief.
It seems you have found a coach who;
A. Knows very little about the game, especially pitching
B. Cares little about the kids he coaches or their wellbeing
C. Cares more about winning a fall ball game than a kids well being. Not that its right in any game but especiallly fall ball where development should be happening.
In any case, I would confront the coach to get a true explanation on his thought process. I would also give him my opinions on the matter.
If all else fails and the coach is not receptive, find another team, he’s probably not worth playing for.
Thanks for the confirmation. I have discussed or confronted the coach however you want to look at it. The response was that he saw nothing wrong with what was done. I will share the information about the medical guidelines and hopefully we have seen the last of placing more value on a win than on the saftey of a childs arm. If not we will obvioulsy find a better situation.
Let me begin by agreeing that it’s the parent’s job to watch out for his child. But I wonder why so many people believe that once their kid gets to HS, its their duty to shut up, stand by no matter what, and never confront the coach.
From what I gathered in another conversation I had, which I think you are aware of, it seems to be the higher level of achievement the kid eventually peaks at, the lesser degree the parents recommend interceding on behalf of the player. No surprise there, although I wonder truly how much they listened to the advice they are giving now. I don’t consider high school baseball to be high level playing and i don;t consider the ranks of high school baseball to be filled with extremely knowledgeable coaches. If I hear the phrase, “the cream will rise to the top” one more time, I think I’ll barf.
The original post brings up a difficult situation for most coaches. On any given youth team, there will likely only be 2-3 kids that even want to catch. The problem is, those are often the pitchers on the team as well.
I’ve dealt with this issue many times. Honestly, there is no right answer, but here is what I do. If one of my pitchers is also a catcher, then I will pitch him the first game. Doing this allows me use his innings/pitches and he is done for the weekend. This prevents him from having to catch one game and then pitch in another game later.
Personally, I think it is better to pitch first and then catch, than to catch first and then pitch. Injury risk increases with fatigue, so I don’t want to let a kid catch and become exhausted before he even steps on the mound. If you pitch and then catch, then at least the majority of the throws as a catcher will be at lower intensities (and therefore are less stressful). I think the alternating between catching and pitching all weekend really causes issues, but that is just my opinion. I’m also not a fan of multiple appearance in the same day.
In an ideal world, you would have 2-3 catchers that weren’t pitchers, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way on a youth team.
Overuse leads to Arm Injuries resulting in Mandatory No Throwing. If a coach doesn’t see a problem with this, he doesn’t want to see a problem.
No kid, at 9U, is getting paid enough to blow out his arm at 12. It’s no fun for a 12U kid to suit up every day but npot be able to play because of Little League elbow, or worse.
I don’t see any problem with this at all.
Yours in Baseball,
This coach is missing the point on what a 9u baseball experience is all about. He should be less concerned about abusing his best players to win games and allow other kids to play and get better because isn’t that the point at 9 years old? Getting better and enjoying the game? During the time of this coach allowing a kid to pitch, catch, and then pitch again there was a kid on the bench waiting to play, get better and enjoy the game as a 9 year old. If this were to happen again it should be addressed and you should enlighten him on the purpose of a 9u baseball team is about.
[quote=“oc2viking”]I don’t see any problem with this at all.
Yours in Baseball,