The Convention on Over-Use

Just to chirp in on these things I do make sure that when my kids have joined a team that they understand how I think he should be used and make sure that most philosophies are pretty much the same prior to being on that team. Over the last 3 years he has also played for non-daddy ball teams that the coaches do think about the kids and their futures not just about winning today. I know that in high-school and past that I don’t have any say but by then they have been able to deal with things themselves and know enough about their abilities and what their bodies are telling them to know what is best. As parents we can only guide and protect so far and then we have to let them be adults and choose their own way. Of my 3 kids one played till he was a sophomore in high school, one who is a junior is still playing in high school and one 8th grader that can’t wait to pitch in high school, he sometimes posts under my user name and has his own pitching log and is really into going farther.

Here is the official response from 3-P’s pitching;

[quote]Jim,
In mid August you sent us the following quotation:

“How about an Internet wide campaign to speak to what over-use does and how it really adversely effects kids, particularly in this very crucial age range (6-13)…This site, BB Fevor, HSBBWeb, LTP…many parental eyes see these sites, I suggest that as many as can agree, should come up with a statement that speaks to the negative aspects of over-use and “sport saturation”, particularly within the pre-pubescent age range. I wonder if ego’s could temper and good sense could prevail in the name of a healthier approach?”

You’ve asked a great question here, and we sense (and hope) your purpose for this campaign is aligned with our goals for Healthy Pitching. In the wake of the Stephen Strasburg disaster, it’s critical for parents, coaches and pitchers to be more aware of risks associated with pitching. We firmly believe that the Strasburg elbow was caused long before he arrived at the Nationals. According to Dr. Andrews and ASMI - the seeds for most of these injuries are planted at the earliest levels of organized baseball. If you look carefully at Strasburg’s mechanics - the injury was a pretty simple predication. His elbow has been historically “late” putting excessive pressure on the should and the elbow with each high velocity throw.

Furthermore, we actively campaign against overuse of amateur pitchers and proper mechanics to prevent injury as opposed to rehab - to cure injuries…

We are days away from launching our own campaign - spearheaded by Al Leiter - former MLB pitcher and current analyst on the YES Network and MLB Network. I am not sure how we can work together, but I welcome your thoughts on this very critical topic.

Regards,
Scott

Scott B. Zahn
3P Sports, Partner

szahn@3psports.com [/quote]

Here are the active links to the other sites where this discussion is on-going;

http://hsbaseballweb.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1491034941/m/723101905

Some interesting stuff.

I might foolishly be giving myself too much credit but I took care of my kid’s arm from the age of seven. I researched and read everything I could get my hands on about proper health, diet, conditioning, preparation, exercise, etc. I made him do all the things that were recommended by ASMI, House, you name it. I took him out of the game when he was squawkin’ that he could finish. And there was only one reason I did it…I “cared” about the future more than the moment.

I don’t know how you make people care about the future. Look around your son’s room. It’s full of baseball memorabilia from moments. Snapshots in time. To care about the future is going against human nature. That’s why coaches are so abusive of players…they only care about the moment. That’s all they’ve got. It takes a special person to give up ones moment for another’s future. That can’t be legislated, it can’t be ruled out of existence. It’s got to be taught one father, one coach and one player at a time.

Excellent post, Dino! :allgood:

I’m going to use that one…

“Care more about the future than the moment.”

Dino—Roger—Bravo to both of you!!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Dino,

That couldn’t have been said any better than that.

Below is a link to a terrific article written by several medical doctors titled Prevention of Arm Injury in Youth Baseball Pitchers (one of the authors is Dr. James R. Andrews, Brett Favre’s orthopedic surgeon).

Though appearing in a medical journal, the article is easy to read and understand, and is full of information useful to baseball coaches and parents.

In particular, check out Table 1. It takes five pitching variables - Months Pitched/Year; Games Pitched/Year; Innings Pitched/Game; Pitches/Game; and Pitches/Year - and compares those five variables in the control group of youth pitchers that did not require reparative surgery to those five variables in the group of youth pitchers that did require reparative surgery.

Not surprisingly, for the group of youth pitchers that did require reparative surgery, each of the five variables is statistically significantly greater than for the group of youth pitchers that did not require reparative surgery.

http://www.abe.msstate.edu/Tools/baseball/articles/Prevention%20of%20Arm%20Injury%20in%20Youth%20Baseball%20Pitchers.pdf

Thank you, little lefty. You have provided a valuable service that all youth coaches, etc., should take advantage of. This article sums it up very neatly—it states, in a nutshell (one big enough to hold a Brazil nut, in my opinion)—all the facts and suggestions regarding the prevention of pitching injuries in young players. Not to mention that a lot of more advanced, even professional, pitchers can benefit from studying it carefully. :slight_smile: 8) :clapping:

Thank you, Zita. I think that article is particularly compelling. Unlike most of the baseball material on the Internet, the article is written by actual medical doctors and, perhaps more important, is published in a professional medical journal. For those who may not know, articles published in professional journals go through a vigorous screening process that separates the chaff from the wheat. :wink:

Lefty,

Now would be a good time to ask why groups like USSSA sponsored tournaments doesn’t adhere to these limitations, USSSA has some guidelines in their rules but all the tournaments that my kids were at this year waived those rules except, state and World Series. Why do they sanction the tournament without use of all their rules? I wonder if they are afraid of enforcing them because they might not get as many entries or what…it’s all about the money.

I agree that the article littlelefty posted is quite compelling and worthy of posting infinite times, and should be read by as many parents, coaches and players as possible. I recommend a review of the CME questions for credit from the LSMS Educational and Research Foundation at the end of the article:

  1. True/False
    Elbow and shoulder pain are normal parts of pitcher development.

False
2.True/False
Proper pitching mechanics are important for success and injury prevention at any age.

True
3. True/False
Pitch counts, days of rest after pitching, and having an offseason away from baseball are all important for youth pitchers to reduce risk of subsequent injury in adolescence and teenage years.

True
4. According to the study of Olsen, Fleisig, Dun, et al, (2006) the risk factor with the strongest correlation for adolescent pitcher injury and surgery was:
a. Age the pitcher started throwing curveballs.
b. Improper pitching mechanics.
c. Regularly pitching despite arm fatigue.
d. Poor strength training.

c. Regularly pitching despite arm fatigue.

I think I got credit…

Thank you littlelefty :twisted:

[quote=“buwhite”]Lefty,

Now would be a good time to ask why groups like USSSA sponsored tournaments doesn’t adhere to these limitations, USSSA has some guidelines in their rules but all the tournaments that my kids were at this year waived those rules except, state and World Series. Why do they sanction the tournament without use of all their rules? I wonder if they are afraid of enforcing them because they might not get as many entries or what…it’s all about the money.[/quote]

I’ve had the same experience with USSSA. Omaha gets hundreds of teams the week of the college world series and USSSA waives their pitching rules for the tournaments during that time. After a kid from Texas (Gladiator Baseball) pitched 4 innings against us on Satuday and another 5 innings on Sunday, I approached the tournament director and asked him they were following USSSA rules, he said yes. I said, well this kid has broken two rules, minimum rest after the number of innings he threw and total innings in a 3 day period. The tournament director told me “we are not tracking innings pitched” and can’t verify any rule was broken.

Second instance was at the Nebraska State tournament, a kid threw a complete 7 inning game the first day and came back to throw 3 more innings in an extra inning game the next day against another team before they played us. In looking at their pitching sheets preparing for our game, I noticed the rule violation and was told that the rule violation must be protested by the team playing in that game while both teams are still on the field. During extra innings of a state semifinal game, the opposing coach “should” have stopped the game and checked to see how many innings the opposing pitcher had thrown! Because the game was not protested at the time, there was no penalty. I argued with the State Director, the intention of the rule was not to change outcomes of games but to protect kids and they would hear none of it.

There is no kidding anyone here, USSSA is a big business and generates ALOT of money.

[quote=“buwhite”]Lefty,

Now would be a good time to ask why groups like USSSA sponsored tournaments doesn’t adhere to these limitations, USSSA has some guidelines in their rules but all the tournaments that my kids were at this year waived those rules except, state and World Series. Why do they sanction the tournament without use of all their rules? I wonder if they are afraid of enforcing them because they might not get as many entries or what…it’s all about the money.[/quote]
I can only gue$$. Kinda like travel team$. Ask a travel team coach what he thinks of pitching in two leagues $imultaneously or pitching year round and he is $ure to condone both.

It’s all very predictable, really. Kinda like those who, despite their own complete lack of medical training, try to mock that medical article because it recommends protective measures they themselves failed to take or failed to take with their own son.

I guess that I am so lucky, my kid is on a travel team but the coaches do limit him to a 85-95 pitch limit for the weekend. I don’t know how that fits within the guidelines that lefty guided us to. It really has a lot to do with parents, coaches and players being smart about the future of the players. Sucks that the organizations don’t feel the same way, they throw the facade about it by having the rules in place but then make it impossible to follow the rules becasue of this kinda garbage.

littlelefty said,

This was directed at me, so I feel obliged to respond.

It appears that my lack of “medical training” offends littlelefty. I thought the whole purpose of the medical article was to inform laymen, like me, how to reduce the risk of injury to their son’s arm. I am completely baffled as to why it is you think I was mocking the medical article or the medical professionals that authored it. I agreed it was compelling, it should be read and I quoted directly from the article the answers to the CME questions. For God’s sake man…I wasn’t mocking the article…

I failed to take protective measures with my son’s arm??? Holy cow dung…have you been stalking me all these years? How do you know the abuse I heaped on my own son? Well, you could have read the ample posts I’ve made regarding how I followed each and every recommendation listed in that medical article and more (not mentioned) but just as important.

I even followed the holy grail of littlelefty recommendations: took several months off baseball with no overhead throwing each and every year and kept him from playing year round baseball. Of course I don’t take too much credit for that because frankly if you can figure out how to play baseball year round in 140 inches of snow and minus 10 degree temperatures, you are a goll dang genius.

What gives there lefty… :idk2: I get it, you just don’t like my username, right?

buwhite made the following observation and questions:

littlelefty responded:

[quote=“littlelefty”]I can only gue$$. Kinda like travel team$. Ask a travel team coach what he thinks of pitching in two leagues $imultaneously or pitching year round and he is $ure to condone both.

It’s all very predictable, really….[/quote]

In truth, a better question would be: Why don’t ALL amateur organized baseball organizations everywhere adopt the limitations. The answer is pretty simple to me, and doesn’t rely on a lack of data or ignorance. At its roots, its simply that its change, and there’s a built-in resistance to change in any form because it isn’t “comfortable”.

But in this particular case, things are even more complicated because in order to accept the change, there are a great many people who for a long time were disbelievers, who would have to admit to being wrong, and there’s a very big rub. As a species, we don’t do very well admitting we were wrong about anything, let alone admitting to it in public where we can be ridiculed for it.

littlelefty guesses that like all other things in life, since $$$$ is the root of all evil, its sure to blame here as well, and I’m sure there’s at least some degree of truth to that, but I don’t believe everything can be blamed on it, anymore than I believe every travel team coach condones, pitching in two leagues or on multiple teams simultaneously, or pitching year round. I think it might be true to a much larger degree than we’d find in a less competitive environment, but to believe everyone fits that same mold is IMO, erroneous.

I think its just a matter of time. As more and more information based on true facts becomes available, a few more folks are added to the “flock”. That might be where the largest gains are seen, but as more and more dinosaurs go toes up, the “cause” really picks up momentum.

But what’s the most ridiculous thing about it all, is how whatever limits there are, are checked and verified. I’ll give you an example.

In HS, all schools use NFHS’s rules, and in those rules it says each state assn SHALL have a pitching restriction policy. But it doesn’t say that polity needs anything other than have a reasonable rest period between appearances. So what I did was investigate that a bit. I checked the state assns of 30 states. There were 11 that I could find easily, and all of them were different! Being a hard headed person, I did a bit of deeper investigation into the sate where I live, and found out that even though there are limitations for pitchers during the “normal” HS season, no one keeps track of them! If there’s a question, a coach has to produce his “book”, and the innings are counted. Not the official scorebook mind you, but the team’s scorebook.

I also checked with Williamsport because I was interested to see what kind of data they’d collected since the pitch count rules went into effect. They told me they didn’t keep any such data at the national level, that there was no requirement to keep it as far as the regional level, and they didn’t know how levels lower than that handled it. So, I called our district and got the same answer, then contacted my local league. So far, no one has gotten back to me, even though they acknowledged my question. It appears that they operate the same way HS do, where no records are kept, and if there is a question, they have to dig through an old scorebook.

So, what’s the point? I wish I knew! The way things are, it should be pretty darn obvious that no matter what the limitations are, no one really cares if they’re adhered to or not. Every now and again, I have the audacity to suggest that a national database be kept for all amateur pitchers, containing at a minimum, a date of performance for every game pitched in, the number of pitches, and any description of arm distress.

That’s all! 3 pieces of data. Ideally, data for lessons and/or bull pens would also be included, as would any diagnoses from a MD or other qualified person on a visit for arm distress, but just the game day data would do for one Devil of a good start! How much easier would it be for your kid’s Dr to have that information to draw on during an examination than to have to drag out what might have happened from the kid or mom? How nice would it be for trends made from literally millions of players be over 5-10-15-20 years be, rather than the hundred or so in that test in the article?

It all may sound good, but I can tell you from long experience, there aren’t enough people who think there’s a big enough problem to cause concern yet. Heck, not even the Drs in that study, including Dr, Andrews do much more than advocate the things in that paper. Of course it’s a lot better than nothing, but there are absolutely no checks I can find anywhere to make sure the recommendations are followed. If you know of any, please let me know. :wink:

scorekeeper,

Good points. Here are my comments.[quote=“scorekeeper”]
In truth, a better question would be: Why don’t ALL amateur organized baseball organizations everywhere adopt the limitations. I know Little League and Pony League have adopted pitch count rules that fairly track the recommendations in the article. However, Little League and Pony League cannot enforce some of the recommendations in the article (e.g., months pitched per year, pitching on simultaneous teams, etc.) as they occur outside the league’s jurisdiction. I do know my local Little League (which has actually adopted slightly stricter pitch count rules than required by the national Little League) enforces its pitch count rules by requiring every Manager in every Division to email the pitch counts immediately after each game to the Commissioner of the Division, who then disperses them by email to all other Managers in that Division with a summary showing which pitchers on each team are ineligible to pitch in the team’s next game and which pitchers are eligible and how many pitches they can throw in the game. It works well. Everyone knows who to look out for (“OK, today watch for #5 and #19 on the other team as they are not eligible to pitch”).

The answer is pretty simple to me, and doesn’t rely on a lack of data or ignorance. At its roots, its simply that its change, and there’s a built-in resistance to change in any form because it isn’t “comfortable”. But in this particular case, things are even more complicated because in order to accept the change, there are a great many people who for a long time were disbelievers, who would have to admit to being wrong, and there’s a very big rub. As a species, we don’t do very well admitting we were wrong about anything, let alone admitting to it in public where we can be ridiculed for it. True.

littlelefty guesses that like all other things in life, since $$$$ is the root of all evil, its sure to blame here as well, and I’m sure there’s at least some degree of truth to that, but I don’t believe everything can be blamed on it, anymore than I believe every travel team coach condones, pitching in two leagues or on multiple teams simultaneously, or pitching year round. I think it might be true to a much larger degree than we’d find in a less competitive environment, but to believe everyone fits that same mold is IMO, erroneous. I didn’t really mean that ALL is explained by money, or that ALL travel team coaches condone pitching year round and playing on multiple teams, just that the two are a factor (and both are related).

It all may sound good, but I can tell you from long experience, there aren’t enough people who think there’s a big enough problem to cause concern yet. Heck, not even the Drs in that study, including Dr, Andrews do much more than advocate the things in that paper. [b]Dr. Andrews, to his credit, has appeared recently on ESPN talking about this very problem of the recent increase in youth pitching injuries and the need for pitch counts and rest restrictions. I think change has to come largely from the medical community, which has no financial interest in the matter (its actual “financial interest” would be in NO pitch counts and rest, as that would bring in more patients!). Medical doctors advising parents of pitchers and the pitchers themselves, and perhaps even handing out to them copies of this medical article or others such as the ASMI Position Statement for Youth Baseball Pitchers (which says essentially the same thing as this medical article), would go a long way to providing parents and pitchers with information they may not get from any league or coach.

But you know what? Perhaps the change can start right here. That medical article is in Adobe PDF format, which everyone has (or can download free from http://get.adobe.com/reader/?promoid=BUIGO). Save the article as a PDF document to your computer an then just email it to your baseball community. I have and everyone has been most appreciative.[/b][/quote]

[quote=“Dino”]I might foolishly be giving myself too much credit but I took care of my kid’s arm from the age of seven. I researched and read everything I could get my hands on about proper health, diet, conditioning, preparation, exercise, etc. I made him do all the things that were recommended by ASMI, House, you name it. I took him out of the game when he was squawkin’ that he could finish. And there was only one reason I did it…I “cared” about the future more than the moment.

I don’t know how you make people care about the future. Look around your son’s room. It’s full of baseball memorabilia from moments. Snapshots in time. To care about the future is going against human nature. That’s why coaches are so abusive of players…they only care about the moment. That’s all they’ve got. It takes a special person to give up ones moment for another’s future. That can’t be legislated, it can’t be ruled out of existence. It’s got to be taught one father, one coach and one player at a time.[/quote]

Excellent perspective! “One father, one coach and one player at a time.”

Our local TT did not play a summer or fall tournament. Instead, the coach recommended the kids to play fall ball to work on their fundamentals. I believe a major factor was my perspective that 10U pitchers need time off from from throwing(i.e. my son would not play because tomorrow is more important than today) and these kids needed to work more on their mechanics than getting game experience or knowing the thrills of a TT win (or the agony of defeat). Fall Ball pitch count is limited in house to 40 game pitches per week (not much) and a 40 pitch bullpen session (to work on location). After Fall Ball, the coach is planning on no practices until February in prep for next season. This will give the pitchers three months off from throwing and allow time for the arm to rest and heal.

Good news.

It looks like at least one national sports writer - over at CBSSports.Com - has picked up on the medical article Prevention of Arm Injury in Youth Baseball Pitchers by Dr. James R. Andrews et al. and written about it, even linking to it:

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/13824602/want-to-save-arms-from-blowing-out-dont-put-them-in-coach

Perhaps he’s been reading my posts? :wink: