Saving your arm: Tracking little league pitch count

little league pitcherThe last thing any little leaguer wants to feel is the dissatisfying, anticlimactic mood of watching teammates take the field while they are forced to the bench so they can recuperate from injury.

Studies have shown that most youth injuries are due to overuse, and in youth baseball players-from age 7 up to 18-year-old high school players-those injuries are a result from high pitch counts and pitching too frequently or pitching for multiple team.

"Athletes at all stages have to take precaution against overuse injuries," said Dr. Kurtis Kieleszewski, D.O., a family medicine physician in the office of Dr. Albert Przybylski and alumni of the Wayne State University baseball team. "Considering the growing trend of elbow and shoulder injuries at all ages, it has become all the more important for our youth ball players-especially pitchers-to adhere to proper pitch counts and have adequate rest days."

Dr. Kurt K.

Following the guidelines below will help youth players of all age groups to reduce their risk of injuries while staying an effective member of the team.

Maximum number of pitches per day:

 Age (Pitchers)
7-8  (50)
9-10 (75)
11-12 (85)
13-14 (95)
15-16 (95)
17-18 (105)

Days of rest after pitching:

Ages 7-14

Number of pitches (Days of Rest)
21-35 (1)
36-50 (2)
51-65 (3)
66+  (4)

Ages 15-18

Number of pitches (Days of Rest)
31-45 (1)
46-60 (2)
61-75 (3)
76+  (4)

*Source: American Sports Medicine Institute 2010