Pitch Counts


#1

I found this online.

9-10 year old pitchers
50 pitches per game
75 pitches per week
1000 pitches per season
2000 pitches per year

11-12 year old pitchers
75 pitches per game
100 pitches per week
1000 pitches per season
3000 pitches per year

13-14 year old pitchers
75 pitches per game
125 pitches per week
1000 pitches per season
3000 pitches per year

I am looking for this kind of information for kids who are 16, 17 and 18 year olds.

What would you suggest for this age group?

pitches per game???

pitches per week???

pitches per season???

pitches per year???

Your help would be great. Thanks.


#2

I never really liked these types of guidelines. They don’t consider practice sessions and the ability of each kid as being unique. Practice session frequency and intensity have a major impact on endurance and pitch count thresholds. Are we only going to track game pitches and pretend every pitch thrown in bullpens or those in warm-up don’t count? That’s craziness, but that’s exactly what seems to be happening with youth pitchers.

If a kid only throws in games and does nothing on the side, then he will not be capable of throwing as many pitches in a game as a kid who plays in one game and throws two bullpens in that same cycle. Putting the same pitch count limitation on both of these kids is ridiculous.

Some kids get tired or sore after only 75 pitches that all have a hump in them and would be physically incapable of more. Pitch limits exist to protect that kid with no plan, no routine, and no conditioning.

My son throws approximately 200 pitches per week with no lingering soreness or fatigue, has never had an arm injury, and he throws harder than anyone in his age group in his league that consists of 14 teams. He throws a baseball in some capacity 5-6 days per week. If that means 1 game and 2 bullpens or 2 games and one bullpen, or three bullpens (never 3 games). It’s all due to his established routine.


#3

I’m not an overall fan of pitch counts. In some cases they’re needed, but most times it should be determined on an individual basis. Some guys can pitch one day, and then not be able to throw until 2 days after. I personally have always had a “rubber arm”. I could throw forever and my arm won’t get tired. One season a couple years ago I led to the team in innings and appearances because I wanted to pitch and my arm could handle it. There was a point where I threw four games in a row (Started one day, relief the next, start the next, relief that last game). So there’s always a difference. If the arm can handle it, let them pitch. I also for some reason always throw better and harder the day after I’ve pitched. Teams used to only have a few pitchers and they would throw every day, sometimes reaching 200 pitches in a game. Baseball culture has come to the point where coaches are babying everyone’s arms instead of going about it from the individual aspect.


#4

Can you guys answer this for me plz.

Baseball is over for the 18U team. The season runs from late April to end of August. Do you recommend players from 16 to 18 years old not to throw until March? If no, how long should the players not throw for and when should they start throwing again? How many times a week? How far distance wise? For how long? I don’t want to see kids overthrowing in the off-season then have dead arm in July.

All information would be helpful


#5

Not throwing until of March is insanity.
Taking 6-7 months off serves no purpose other than increase the odds of “dead” arm or other problems as guys will need a longer “on ramping” time after that long away.
I am assuming the kids on this 18u team did not compile 200 innings of high stress work on the mound.
If a kid is 17 and threw 40 innings where he got good rest in between outings and is throwing high 70s to low 80s I dont see any reason for time off.
I would not have him on the mound all the time but I would have him throwing on a regular program. The concept of taking months off is really based on pros; guys who are throwing high volume innings at high stress (velocity).


#6

The kids are 16, 17 and 18 years old.

Most throw in the low to mid 70s.

Most kids threw between 70-80 innings and threw around 1300 pitches.

Thoughts on rest for these players?


#7

[quote=“baseball23”]I found this online.

9-10 year old pitchers
50 pitches per game
75 pitches per week
1000 pitches per season
2000 pitches per year

11-12 year old pitchers
75 pitches per game
100 pitches per week
1000 pitches per season
3000 pitches per year

13-14 year old pitchers
75 pitches per game
125 pitches per week
1000 pitches per season
3000 pitches per year

I am looking for this kind of information for kids who are 16, 17 and 18 year olds.

What would you suggest for this age group?

pitches per game???

pitches per week???

pitches per season???

pitches per year???

Your help would be great. Thanks.[/quote]

To those that don’t like this guild line. Do you have an alternative? Innings pitched? Or no guild line at all? It’s not perfect but it’s something.


#8

1,300 pitches over a 4 month season is about 325 a month. Of course, pitches are not usually that evenly distributed.
I think rest depends on the player. A physically weak kid that is very sore after every time he pitches could do some general conditioning work and arm recovery stuff before starting to throw. A more mature kid who never struggles with soreness given the same work load probably doesnt need as much rest.
Are they playing other sports during this time frame?
What is the physical condition of the player?
Not high velocity throwers it sounds like so the strain is not the same as a guy who is throwing 90 MPH.
Having kids take months off after throwing relatively low velos and not a ton of high stress innings doesnt make sense to me. But, there is not one set thing for every guy.
To me, taking the down time to implement a good, consistent throwing program with a lot of focus on arm maintenance would be good.


#9

Just an observation…youth pitcher workloads have been reduced by mandatory pitch counts. Yet, tommy John surgery is at record numbers.

Hmmm? :yoyo:


#10

One of the things that could be postulated on that observation is the “caterpillar effect”…where guys who were on the very front end of pitch counts are snapping banjo strings…there was rampant over-use (anecdotally) during that era and it will be interesting to see how over the course of say 7 yrs…it trends.


#11

It will be interesting to see how the “pitch count” generation does in relation to health at the higher levels.
I have no issue with pitch counts per se, however, there is another side to that blade. Under preparedness. The distinction between pitching and throwing is not made at the younger level much. So a kid will hit his pitch limit, then catch a game later the same day and play SS the next morning.
The flip side of this is a kid who does nothing to prepare to pitch, throws his limit in his first game and has a sore arm. He is told to rest because his arm is sore. Tries to pitch again and again gets a very sore arm. Shut down for the season.
Chronic failure to implement even basic throwing programs and recovery work with kids is as much to blame for sore and dead arms as over work in my humble opinion.
It seems youth baseball is living at the ends of the scale a lot with pitchers with not enough kids finding that middle ground.
It drives me nuts to see (and I have seen this a lot) a high school kid get about 5 throws in the bullpen (no body warm up, no bands) then be brought into the game, the umpire, trying to keep the game moving, gives the kid about 6 warm up pitches.


#12

Some of the kids play basketball.
Some of the kids play hockey.
Some of the kids don’t do anything in the winter.

How much throwing per week should the kids be doing in the offseason? For how long? How far? We can probably only get a gym once a week in the off season


#13

Some kids have sore arms.
Some kids have tired arms.
Some kids feel good after the season is over.


#14

Some kids have good mechanics, some kids have bad mechanics, some kids are in great shape, some kids are in bad shape…
No way to answer such a general question as it relates to many different kids.
I dont believe in setting throwing limits in terms of distance.
I would make sure that if kids havent thrown in a while they ease into.
Outside of that, there are a lot of variables.


#15

If the player does not have a sore arm can he throw once a week from Sept to March? Tryouts will begin in March.


#16

What is the objective for the kid?
If it is just to maintain his arm until more serious practice/throwing starts, sure. If the goal is to increase arm endurance and strength he can throw a lot more than once a week.
Is it just throwing? Are there other workouts being done? Is the kid playing other sports?
Likely, there are different answers for different kids, so, there is not a one size fits all answer to pitch counts, throwing programs, distance ect.
If a kid is healthy and not overworked from other things throwing on a regular basis during the off season is a good thing to me. This does not mean pitching all the time off a mound, but, throwing. Whether this is playing catch with some good intent to throw hard or a structured long toss program is up to person.


#17

I just want the kid to keep throwing to keep his arm healthy. I see kids take the winter off from throwing. Most take time off from Sept to March then tryouts start in March and they are throwing a lot just to make a team. There will be other drills going on (fielding, hitting, base running, etc). He plays hockey. No pitcher will be throwing off a mound until Feb.

Thoughts?


#18

I agree he should keep throwing through the off season.
It drives me nuts when kids dont do anything throwing related, then pick up a glove and ball a week before tryouts.
Playing hockey will certainly keep him in shape I am sure. Throwing a couple of times a week would be good. The offseason is a good time to implement general arm care practices as well…bands, arm circles, throwers 10 ect., as well as good nutritional habits and rest habits. These are simple things but three things I see kids constantly ignore.