What would you guys say or do?

Had quite the call Saturday night. The parents of the now 12 y/o old boy who had broken his forearm several years back and who I have coached the last 3 years (but not this year) phoned and wondered if I could come to their house right away. The boy played in a tournament all day it was high humidity and temp. in the mid 90’s. His father worked and couldn’t attend the games, the mother watched the other son’s last legion game so missed this boy’s first game. She then had to help cook at the brat stand for the tournament so only got to see part of the 2nd and 3rd game. I hope you get where I am going here as I am trying to say she couldn’t of seen what happened here until it was too late. She did know the boy pitched some in the first 2 games and asked the coach who would be pitching in the 3rd game. The coach replied his son, and one of the other coaches sons.

Well, to cut to the chase this little fella ended up pitching a total of 9 innings, in the heat, with a admit-tingly high pitch count. When I got to their house the forearm which hadn’t been an issue for the last couple years was swollen badly. We went through a ice regime on his arm,elbow, and shoulder. I did get the swelling down but what scares me is when I first started working on it I could hear a clicking down by the area where he had his break when i would have him flex. Hopefully, he will be ok after this, but this family as most of us in this area doesn’t have the money to run to the doctor for every issue that arises.

My question is, what would you say or how would you bring to attention to this league to force some common sense to the pitching situation in these tournaments. The only rule we have for pitch count is three innings per game. So, if they played 4 games a 8 to 12 y/o kid could throw 12 INNINGS in a day! These so called coaches never once iced between games or innings or even checked his arm.

Anyways, please tell me how you would confront this situation preferably in a more civil manner than I would like to lol.

Open for all suggestions

Well here we go with, “Who is responsible for limiting pitching in baseball”. Is it the coach, player, parents, league, umpire or god? If it were a league then I would ask some questions of the league about their policies and if they intend to change them, if not, then it falls to the player, coaches and parents.

If I read this properly, this was a tournament, with limited pitching limitations so who should be responsible, at 12 I would think the best would be coaches and parents, this would mean that a parent and/or coach would have to be educated about pitch limits and the issues that can develop from overuse. There are plenty of artiles which outline pitch limits as well as recomendations for what to throw at what age.

Here is what I have always done, even if I can’t make it to games, talk to the coaches pre season and make sure they know the max # of pitches my son can throw in a week, not a day but a whole 7 day period, how he uses them is up to him. My son knew the max # and took it upon himself to find out his numbers and what he has left. Seemed to work fairly well for my kids since they were pitching a lot since they were 10u.

One thing on your comment that I would be concerned with,

In a day of pitching I would never have a player ice between games, ibuprofen maybe, but ice is an end of day treatment for swelling, no way (even if he isn’t going to pitch again, just play) would I have a player ice. I do agree they should have asked him about his arm, maybe they asked and the kid said “I’m good”, the kid just wants to play and pitch.

I wouldn’t take it to the league, they already have their rules, I would just protect my own kid with choosing the right baseball team and coaches for him.

By the way, I would imagine the clicking isn’t his old break but a ligament not seating properly in his wrist due to the swelling.

Hey bu,

What i meant to say about the ice was, no kids arm was iced at all. after the last inning they pitched(for the day), or after the game(last of day).

I agree once a kid is iced you are done for the day, I worded that poorly.

As for the max. innings pitched per pitcher rule or max. per day rule for this league this is the only rule they have…

  A pitcher is allowed 3 total innings per game.

Nothing about if the tournament allows them to play 3 or 4 games during the same day. Also, nothing about total pitch count or total innings per week.

So, a 11 y/o kid could pitch 3 innings thurs. night, 3 innings friday night in regular season (league) games. Than have a (league) weekend tournament in which they could pitch 3 games sat. (9 innings), and 3 games sun. (9 innings) for a total of 24 innings pitched in 4 days and not break any league rule. Also, remember an unlimited number of pitches through out these innings.

Now you would think common sense would dictate any coach anywhere from doing this but after what i witnessed this weekend i’m not so sure.

I also agree with you bu on talking with the coach of the team. I believe next year every kid I coach (pitching) I will have a mutual talk with the head coach of their team and their parents on pitch count per game. If a reasonable and mutual understanding cannot be made, with guarantee that the child will have a reasonable limit of pitches per time frame, I’m not having any part of working with the kid. No, offense to the child but common sense has to prevail as I never want to go through this again with children of this age.

Any other ideas are welcomed

The answer depends on what the kids and his parents want . . . glory now, or success later. If it’s glory now, get the kid back in there next weekend for another 12 innings. Who cares about tomorrow? When he gets to high School his arm will be blown and he won’t have to worry about coaches abusing their players for a win.

If it’s success later, dump the team, buy a bucket of balls and go to the schoolyard with the neighbor kids. Use the money that’s spent on Travel Teams and put it into a good pitching coach once or twice a month. When he gets to High School, he’ll be a better, fresher player. He’ll make the team, listen to his coaches, and get better every day.

Half of our local 12U Travel Team kids, and I’m speaking mostly about the pitchers and catcher, are having arm problems from playing baseball 12 months a year, playing on different teams at the same time. One kid can’t lift his arm cause his shoulder is in great pain. Two other’s have diagnosed problems with the growth plates. Several are ignoring the problems and playing through the pain. They want to win, and win bad! Who knows what tomorrow will bring. If only they had eto the many advisers who preach caution at this level, playing multiple sports, taking a winter break, watching the pitch count, etc. Maybe they could be playing when they get to High School.

BTW, I pulled my 13 year old son from a game pitching for his 14U team when his coach was going to pitch him beyond his pitch could limit. He was at 91 pitches after five innings, and I knew the coach would keep him in the entire game. After the 5th inning, I gave the coach an ultimatum - get a reliever to pitch the 6th inning, it is a team sport, or we’re leaving. The coach argued he’s strong and he’s showing no signs of tiring. After we finished hitting, he put him on the mound. I looked straight at him, and he turned and headed to the mound to get a new pitcher. The coach didn’t like it, but I’m more responsible for my son than the coach. We had a long, private talk after the game. That was the last game he overused a pitcher.

And I can relate to a coach overusing a kid who’s dad is not there. In the one game I missed, my son threw 140 pitches in a 9 - 3 win.

ps. There are good Travel Teams with exceptional coaches who care for their kids. This rant has nothing to do with the good coaches, just the win at all cost mentality.

Excellent conversation about pitch limits, I always hated the innings rules anyway, the perfect inning is a 3 pitch inning anyway so you get penalized for having a perfect inning. I like pitch limits for kids that are 14 and under, I still don’t know if it’s the leagues that should do it, maybe to promote better competition and development of players yes. USSSA has some rules but they are waived except in State and World Series play, I think this is more because the managers are afraid to go to tournaments with limits. So then it comes down to coaches and parents, most coaches are parents too and have very little education on the subject, so those of us that do want to see our kids pitch at a higher level will find out what it takes and those that don’t will have Little Johnny pitching 200 or more pitches a week.