Take Home Points
The main objective of these guidelines is to reduce shoulder and elbow pain and injuries in young pitchers. A noticeable number (35%) of coaches reported that pitchers experienced shoulder or elbow pain during the season. As a matter of fact, 19% reported that players pitched with arm pain. These numbers are likely totally accurate, given that players themselves were not asked about pain. On the bright side, no injuries requiring surgery were reported. When I played youth baseball, there were no recommendations regarding pitch counts and time spent catching and pitching. There are parents and coaches out there that do not enforce these guidelines and this can be a reason why kids are getting arm injuries at a young age.
- Fleisig GS, Andrews JR, Cutter GR, et al. Risk of serious injury for young baseball pitchers: a 10-year prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 2011;39(2):253-257.
- Fazarale JJ, Magnussen RA, Pedroza AD, Kaeding CC, Best TM, Classie J.Knowledge of and compliance with pitch count recommendations: a survey of youth baseball coaches. Sports Health. 2012 May;4(3):202-4
- Andrews JR, Fleisig GS. How many pitches should I allow my child to throw? USA Baseball News April, 1996
Written by Coach Chris