BP and Pitch Count

9yr old player. Whether we are home, at practice, or before a live game, this is what his BP consists of - I always insist he throws his routine in the BP before hitting the mound. Which includes 10 relaxed warm up throws- catcher standing in front of the plate. Than 30 pitches at 80% - 10 in front of the plate, 10 on the plate, and 10 at normal distance.

In the game, he throws at 80-90%.

To protect his arm, how should I factor in BP work to pitch count? Am I having him throw to much? Any suggestions on BP routine for games? Should his BP work during practice be a different routine? He loves the work and always wants to throw more in the BP but I always cut him off.

He never picks up a ball before warming up his body.

He had his first sore arm a few weeks ago. This was my bad. I didn’t factor in accumilated pitch counts of 4 games with in a week. He went 35 thur, 35 sat, 35 mon, and 71 wed. Complained of a sore bicep saturday morning. It was determined only to be muscle. He claims his arm feels stronger than ever the last few days with no pain. Mechanics and velocity support his claim.

So he hasn’t pitched in a live game in 11 days. Played catch a few days during spring break. Threw his BP routine Thursday and Sunday- looked great, felt great! Tonight we have a game.

He is eligible to throw 75. Should I let him go the full 75 or cut him back?

FYI - He has gone 70+ pitches 4 times in the last 6 weeks with no issues before 11 days ago.

I had just responded to your post in the other thread and I think his soreness is due to overuse, but this can effect so many things such as his mechanics which can lead to other more substantial issues, a 9 yr old arm isn’t going to be able to deal with the stresses as well as a adult arm. I would consider shutting him down totally for a week, allow the muscles to rest and then start to bring him back a little slower, still lots of season left!

Good Luck


None of the pitch count charts factor in bull pen work. Or do they? The article you posted for 9-10yr says 50 a game 75 a week. Is that total including BP and games? Or just game time pitching? If it’s just game time than how often/many throws working on mechanics and placement?

This is tough. No doubt about it. Watching your kid thrive as a pitcher is pretty cool. Keeping a level head and protecting the arm is tough. We are talking LL and 9yrs old. The confidence he is getting from the attention and invites to pitch for other teams is great for him.

The balance, how do you practice enough to develop healthy mechanics, perform in games, and save the arm from over use injuries?

Those pitch numbers are only “game time” pitches, but overuse in bullpens can also have negative results to a pitchers health. I still think that a 30-40 pitch bullpen, along with other throwing, warming up, infield, outfield is a considerable amount of throwing for kids up through about 12 or 13.

Glad that the article at least has you thinking about his health and his future, good luck.

Logically, if he’s throwing like game situation in bullpen session, then they should count. There would be no difference in the strain be experienced. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t count them.

For my 11U son, his bullpen sessions are the same as game experience, so I count them.

I would keep a 9yo to less than the 75 that LL says he can throw. On an 11yo travel team I coached, we held our pitchers to 65. So I’d probably limit a 9yo to about 50-55.

With the 14yo’s I coached, if they threw 35-40 (or more) pitches one day, they needed a day’s rest. Then they could pitch to a higher limit on the third day followed by multiple days of rest.

I think throwing counts of 35, 35, 35 and 71 over the course of a week is too much. I would prefer to see him throw 35, followed by a couple days rest, followed by 55, followed by 2-3 days rest. In other words, just two outings in that week with lower counts and more rest. And it will still be hard to squeeze in a bullpen.