Is 60 feet too far to pitch for a 12U?


#1

My son plays travel ball and this year the mound is 54’ feet. I follow the major league youth baseball pitching guidelines as far as the # of innings per year, max pitches per games, rest days, etc. it does not seem to discuss throwing distance. He is a young seventh grader and wants to pitch this season for his school team. The middle school plays on a full size field where the mound is 60 feet.

Is this asking for trouble for a 12 year old? He is 5’7" and 150 pounds and is pretty strong for his age.


#2

I don’t think the distance will likely affect the wear and tear on the arm. Every pitch is close to max effort regardless of distance. Also, after LL “Majors” comes a full size field in our area for Jr Baseball. Seems fine to me. It’s probably more important to limit number of throws (which you’re doing) and never push through pain.


#3

Thinking more about this…the only way I could see it making any difference at all would be if he felt he had to throw the ball up to get it in the strikezone. That could theoretically affect his mechanics in an unhealthy way. But it’s really hard to see 6 feet making that difference…and I’m assuming from your description, he’s not going to have any trouble throwing it that far without aiming upwards…


#4

I think the key will be for your son to work his way up to 60’. Start by throwing bullpens of about 15-20 pitches a couple times a week. Slowly increase the number of pitches over time.

If he’s playing travel ball while this is happening, you’ll have to figure out how to fit it all together such that he doesn’t over-do it. Understand that once school ball starts, he will be practicing or playing 5 days a week (probably). If he goes into the season in a deficit (or if he gets into one early in the season), it will be very difficult to get out of that deficit. And that could ruin his season.


#5

KierPHS, he is pretty tall for his age so he will definitely be throwing down.

Roger, yes he is on a travel team as well. But he follows strict guidelines as far as pitching and he will either pitch for his travel team or pitch for his middle school team…not both. Luckily the middle school season is real short being no more than 9 games. By the time that is over the travel schedule will start to ramp up. Kids around here get out of school around Memorial Day.


#6

At release, the ball doesn’t care how far you intend it to travel. Just don’t alter your mechanics to gain distance. Another reason why I’m less of a long-tosser and more of a throw it as hard as you can using repeatable mechanics kind of guy. I may have pitchers throw with a crow hop, but into a net using the same target as when pitching.


#7

Totally agree that throwing hard on a line is better than long toss that involves forcing the player to tilt up and throw upwards for long toss.


#8

He should be fine. In seventh grade, I pitched in the full 60 ft six inches as age 12. I was probably your sons height, maybe an inch or two shorter and weighed like 110. So I wasn’t big, either. To top this, my mechanics were horrendous. I stepped openly, turned my body, then just side armed the ball… Lol. I threw quite a few pitches like that and turned out fine, so I’d say let him go for it!