Monitor young pitchers count, types thrown:
- Dr. Padley
As durable as children are, injuries in young athletes are on the rise. Thousands of children are seen each year by health-care providers for elbow or shoulder pain. It’s critical that parents and coaches monitor their sports-related activities.
For young pitchers, proper form and technique need to be monitored, as well as the number of pitches thrown. If a young pitcher is throwing improperly, too much, too early and without proper rest, serious elbow or shoulder injuries may occur. To protect kids from overuse injuries, guidelines have been recommended for the number of pitches baseball players should throw, based on age. This also needs to be monitored closely by the parents and totaled together if a child plays on more than one team at a time.
Pitch types require monitoring, as well. When kids are still physically developing, advanced pitch types, such as screwballs and sliders, can lead to damage and injury to joints, ligaments and growth plates. These types of injuries, if ignored, can potentially cause significant or permanent damage. As young athletes mature physically, their elbows and shoulders can handle more.
Common symptoms of throwing injuries include continued pain, swelling, bruising, weakness and a “dead arm” feeling.
Other overuse signs include loss in velocity, control and endurance. If any of these symptoms appear, make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Ice and ibuprofen can help with soreness and inflammation.
If symptoms persist, contact your child’s healthcare provider for a thorough examination.
Pitch count by age per game Pitch type by age
Age 7-8: 50 Fastball: 8
Age 9-10: 75 Change-up: 10
Age 11-12: 85 Curveball: 14
Age 13-16: 95 Knuckleball: 15
Age 17-18: 105 Slider/Forkball: 16