Pitch count recommendations?

I am confused. I have been looking for pitch count recommendations for my son (11u). Is the article on this site regarding ASMI recommendations current? If not, can you point me in the right direction?

I had this pulled for me last year, so unless it has changed, this year:


These are obviously a guideline to work by, not the law as each kid has a different functional ability and strength, but that’s what the say to shoot for.

Sounds good and is close to the recomendations provided in article on this website. They are as follows:

Pitcher ages 11-12: 68 pitches/game max, 2 games/week max.

Recovery 11-12:

27 pitches: 1 day rest
35 pitches: 2 days rest
55 pitches: 3 days rest
58 pitches: 4 days rest

Here’s a link to ASMI’s recommendations. It was released in 2009 and updated in March, 2011.


Another question. Is it me or do these rest/recovery recommendations fly in the face of every tournament rule regarding pitching? My son’s team (11u majors) and darn near every other team I have seen play will allow pitchers to pitch 2-3 innings on Sat and then 2-4 innings on Sun. I have even seen them do this on the same day…so 2 innings in game 1 and then 2 innings in game 2. Basically, these recommendations say that if your kid pitches more than 27 pitches on Sat…then he is out until Mon. Am I reading that right? Agree or disagree?


Yes you are reading the recommendations correctly. It is possible to follow the recommendations in a tournament environment but you need to develop 8-10 kids that pitch plus have a plan and stick to it.

I think it is the tournaments that fly in the face of the recommendations. :wink:

You are reading it right. We always tried to do the right thing. We tried to stick to those recommendations as best we could. We developed as many pitchers as we could. And tried to have a plan and stick to it - not give in to the heat of the moment. Of course, things often don’t go as planned. But, in those situations, you still try your best to do the right thing. You owe that to the kids.

So here is what I feel, USSSA really doesn’t give a crap about pitching limitations, here are there rules which I have only seen enforced in State and World Series Play. I think that these are good limitations but the problem is that lots of pitches in one inning can really blow these numbers into outerspace. I would like to see USSSA enforce their own rules in USSSA sanctioned tournaments, there was a kid go 200+ pitches in a game a couple of weeks ago, and it wasn’t that he was even in the game, he was getting bombed on.

THE NEXT DAY: The maximum number
of innings a player can legally pitch in
one (1) day and still pitch the next day.
Rule 8.05.C.1 Example: In the 7U –
14U age divisions, a player may legally
pitch a maximum of three (3) innings in

So the first number is "One day max to pitch the next day"
Next number is "One day max"
The last number is “three day max”

7U – 12U 3 6 8
13U – 14U 3 7 8
Chart 8.05.C-1

Here is the usssa rules!


14-80 [/quote]

[quote]27 pitches: 1 day rest
35 pitches: 2 days rest
55 pitches: 3 days rest
58 pitches: 4 days rest[/quote]

Those are all really cool numbers, make a person/coach feel better, but what do they really mean.

So my nine can shit his pants throwing 52 pitches at 110%. Is that what I’m reading? He can throw 27 pitches so hard it feels like his arm will fall off and come back with one days rest?

I’ve seen the results first hand of a kid throwing his guts out to keep up with the bigger, stronger kids. Nothing like seeing a kid come off the field that can’t lift his hand over his waist.

I’m no grue, but going through this with a 12U now my opinion is posting numbers like that with no context is wrong. Parents are coming here with no idea and reading this and going off half cocked.

I’d rather my son throw 100 pitches at say 80% than 20 at 100. That’s where we’ve been really lucky. We found a pitching coach that instilled in my son the belief that pitching is done in the 80-90% range, with 100 being thrown in only every once in a while to give the hitter something to think about.

This is a great site, with a lot of well meaning posters. But one needs to keep in mind that parents are coming here with no idea.

Oh, yeah, us parents who don’t do travel teams, oh, I mean elite teams, just have no idea!

And neither do those silly highly educated medical doctors who studied youth pitcher injuries and came up with pitch limit recommendations!


[quote]Oh, yeah, us parents who don’t do travel teams, oh, I mean elite teams, just have no idea!

And neither do those silly highly educated medical doctors who studied youth pitcher injuries and came up with pitch limit recommendations!

So I’m not sure your point?

Did you read my post? I did not post those numbers as a guide for parents. I totally get that they are a guideline and that every kid is different and that some kids are going to throw at 100% and some are going to throw at less than 100%. I posted the numbers to get feedback and see if I was reading them correctly. I think that conversations like one in this thread are going to educate parents about the pro’s and con’s of various pitch count recommendations as well as provide ancedotal evidence from those who have a lot of experience working with youth pitchers. Thanks for the feedback from all!

[quote=“south paw”]Oh, yeah, us parents who don’t do travel teams, oh, I mean elite teams, just have no idea!

And neither do those silly highly educated medical doctors who studied youth pitcher injuries and came up with pitch limit recommendations!


I posted it because I’ve seen the effects of a kid trying to throw with everything he’s got, and when that happens pitch counts go out the window. LL or travel it doesn’t matter. I will add this can be more likely to happen in travel ball because the hitters are at a higher level top to bottom than you usually find in LL.

After seeing it in person I understand why some of the studies I’ve seen are showing a hard thrown fastball to be harder on the arm/shoulder than the curve.

And, more to your post. My point is that parents are coming here that have absolutely no experience, just like myself when I first found this forum 3 or 4 years ago.

Point well taken. The harder the kid throws = Lower pitch count to allow for the arm to heal.

I don’t worry about pitch count (although I still abide by them) for the soft throwing kids who are playing catch, I mean, pitching. :slight_smile:

Pitch counts are silly and innings limits are even worse. A kid can throw 15-20 pitches an inning with 10 mins between trips to the mound and repeat that 3-4 times easily with no issue putting him in the 60-80 pitch range and leave feeling good. In another outing, the same pitcher can throw 30 in the first inning, sit only 5 mins because his team went down 1,2,3 then he runs out and throws 25 more the second inning and he’s fried having thrown both fewer innings and fewer pitches.

Take the Strasburg innings limit. How many of those innings were relatively easy and how many were high pitch count innings? That should matter. Setting a number that has no real calculable fatigue value like innings pitched and you’re whacking at a pinata in the dark with no one to point you in the right direction.

It’s up to the coaches and players to work together to determine when it’s time to pull the plug. Each pitcher and situation is unique and can’t be handled with a handy-dandy one size fits all pitch count or innings limit rule.

Spinmaster, I agree with you 100%.
Pitch counts are not only silly, they are also asinine, stupid, meaningless and all synonyms thereof, and they don’t take into account such things as how a pitcher may be feeling on any given day. For example, there’s a pitcher—and this applies at all levels of the game—who starts a game and goes six innings and could go two or three more, but because he’s reached an arbitrarily imposed limit of sixty pitches, he’s yanked from the game, and a reliever comes in and proceeds to blow it. And then there’s another one who starts a game and goes just three innings and can’t take it any more, but he’s forced to go on because he hasn’t reached the arbitrarily imposed limit because the coach said so. And he blows the ball game. And then—I could go on and on, but the point is that each pitcher is different, each pitcher’s arm is different and responds differently, and you’re right, one size does not fit all—what’s sauce for the goose ain’t necessarily sauce for the gander—and when a pitcher says he’s had it, that’s the time to take him out of the game.
An example from a major league game (and that’s my particular viewpoinnt): One day Vic Raschi, one of the Yankees’ legendary Big Three, was pitching, and he seemed not to have his best stuff; in fact, he was tiring and his pitches just weren’t working. Ordinarily he would just bull his way through the inning, but not this time. And when third baseman Bobby Brown went to the mound to talk to him, Raschi inquired plaintively, “Where have you BEEN?” And Brown signaled to the dugout for Casey Stengel to get someone in the bullpen up and throwing in a hurry.
Conversely, there’s the pitcher who has a rocky first inning or two, but then he suddenly gets his groove going and is unhittable; he pitches the rest of the game and comes away with as nice and juicy a victory as one could hope for.
Arbitrary rules be damned! Coaches and managers at all levels of the game need to realize this and act accordingly. If a pitcher says he can go on and finish the game, believe him (unless he’s Pedro Martinez who has thrown 140 pitches). :slight_smile:

And therein lies the real question. How many coaches and managers have the capacity to correctly read what’s taking place and know how to act according to it? Assuming the ML is the “gold” standard and the percentage is 100%, what do you think the percentages are at each different level going all the way down to the lowest kid pitch?

Those arbitrary numbers aren’t there for ML pitchers! ML teams have put them on themselves for their own reasons. There are no limits at all on college pitchers, In your opinion does that mean there’s no misreading by coaches and managers at the college level and that there is no abuse/overuse taking place there? And how about HS limits? They range from pitch counts in Vt to virtually no limits in Tx. Does that mean all the HS coaches are up to snuff and that no HS pitchers are abused/overused?

As far as I know, at least the organizations that follow some kind of pitch limits are taking the coaches and managers out of the equation for the most part, and protecting the kids to at least some degree. You can’t make blanket statements about this subject that cover little kids with ignorant parents and coaches, and pertain equally to grown adults who are not only getting paid handsomely to put themselves at risk, but afforded the very best medical care to boot.

The day you can guarantee me that 7yo Johnny has a highly competent coach who is not only qualified to make the decision, but will do so no matter what it means to the W/L record, I’ll be the 1st one to say throw out the pitch counts. But until then, don’t try to equate Johnny’s situation to Justin Verlander’s.