Little League used to restrict the amount of innings a pitcher could throw within a given week. However, in 2007 they began adopting a new policy in which the pitch count is restricted rather than the amount of innings. These pitch counts are reviewed by the Little League baseball each year in an effort to balance competitive play with safety for a young pitcher's arm. The pitch counts vary by age range. It should also be noted when a player reaches the pitch count while pitching to a batter, the player is able to finish facing that batter.
Little League pitch counts are determined by the age of the players. The pitch count maximums are the following: Players ages 17 to 18 years old are allowed to pitch 105 pitches per day; players ages 13 to 16 are allowed 95 pitches per day; players ages 11 to 12 can throw 85 pitches per day; players ages 9 to 10 can throw 75 pitches per day; and players ages 7 to 8 are limited to 50 pitches per day.
Rest periods are determined by the age of the player along with how many pitches they threw in a game. The rest periods are as follows: If a player 14 and under pitches 66 pitches or more, they must have four days rest. From 51 to 65 pitches, they must have three days rest. From 36 to 50 pitches, two days rest must be observed. From 21 to 35 pitches, one day of rest must be given. Pitchers pitching from 1 to 20 pitches do not need rest in between outings on different days. For players who are ages 15 to 18, the rules are the following. If a pitcher throws 76 or more pitches, they must have four days of rest. From 61 to 75 pitches, three days of rest are required. From 46 to 60 pitches, two days of rest are needed. From 31 to 45 pitches, one day of rest must be given. From 1 to 30 pitches, no rest is needed between outings.
Return to the Mound
In the Junior, Senior and Big League divisions of Little League, a pitcher is allowed to be removed from the mound, and then return to pitch later in that game as long as they went and assumed another position on the field. Their pitch count resumes when they return to pitch.
Another rule unique to Little League is that a player who pitches 41 or more pitches in a game cannot be moved to the catcher position for the remainder of the game.
- Photo Credit baseball park image by Dave from Fotolia.com
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