Little leaguer's are getting big league injuries and sports medicine physicians have taken notice and Little League International has followed.
Little League Board of Directors unanimously approved a system of pitch counts to be implemented in 2007, based on a player's age, to determine how far into a game a player can pitch and how much rest he'll subsequently need.
These limits, which take effect in 2007, apply only for regular-season play. A system for tournament (all-star) competition will be announced this fall.
AgeMax Pitches Per Day 17-18 105
Rest for ages 16-under
# of pitchesDays of rest 61 + 3
For ages 17-18
# of pitchesDays of rest 76 + 3
Source: Little League International
James Andrews, a MLB shoulder and elbow surgeon states, "This is one of the most important injury-prevention steps ever initiated in youth baseball... It is certain to serve as the youth sports injury prevention cornerstone and the inspiration for other youth organizations to take the initiative to get serious about injury prevention in youth sports."
Andrew's research has indicated pitchers who stayed in the game beyond fatigue were 36 times as likely to end up needing surgery.
What can appear as a simple overuse injury or soreness to a parent or coach can very well be a serious career ending injury to a youngster's elbow or shoulder.
A young athlete should never throw with a sore arm. A young athlete should never take advil or motrin (NSAID) for muscle or joint pain without the guidance of a sports medicine physician. A skeletally immature athlete (one who still has open growth plates in the arm) should NOT throw curve balls. If soreness lasts longer than 30 minutes after activity, an appointment with a sports medicine physician should be made.
Get Better. Faster.