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Thread: Pitch Limit for 13 year olds?

  1. #1

    Pitch Limit for 13 year olds?

    13 year old pitchers in the fall throwing from 60 feet for the first time. How many pitches should they be limited to? I know it will vary depending upon various factors but please give an opinion. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    13 year old pitchers in the fall throwing from 60 feet for the first time. How many pitches should they be limited to? I know it will vary depending upon various factors but please give an opinion. Thanks.
    A few innings.
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    We used 2-3 innings

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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    13 year old pitchers in the fall throwing from 60 feet for the first time. How many pitches should they be limited to? I know it will vary depending upon various factors but please give an opinion. Thanks.
    I was gonna make a recommendation of some percentage drop from whatever the limits were on the smaller field, but then I thought about it for a second. Why should the limits change at all. It takes no more effort to throw 100% at 60’ than at 50’, and if anything he should be more physically mature, su he should be able to go a bit longer.

    So, if he’s in the same throwing condition, he should be able to go just as long and perhaps a bit longer than he did 6 months to a year ago.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    A few innings.
    3 innings can be 90 pitches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    3 innings can be 90 pitches.
    It could be 500 pitches. Nice game.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    It could be 500 pitches. Nice game.
    I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. It is not that uncommon for even pro pitchers to go 30 in an inning. Very common for a younger pitcher.

    My point is innings are relative and I don't see how one can limit based on them to protect a pitcher. Number of pitches is not relative.

    If he throws 3 nine pitch innings are you going to pull him?

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    Are they throwing strikes? Do they look tired? Are they just chucking or are they working on stuff? 30 pitch inning, 3 pitch inning, 8 error inning. Use judgement with the players long-term arm health in mind. Get more kids on the hill instead of riding an arm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    If he throws 3 nine pitch innings are you going to pull him?
    Probably so, since the next pitcher needs his 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    3 innings can be 90 pitches.
    Of course it could... but at that age it's typically 20-40. But I might be stating the obvious?
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  11. #11
    So you're going to limit him to say 75 (splitting the difference and giving benefit of the doubt) at 13 in his first year from 60'?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    So you're going to limit him to say 75 (splitting the difference and giving benefit of the doubt) at 13 in his first year from 60'?
    If this is addressed to me... Then I am not saying anything of the sort. OMG has posted here for a while and based on previous posts I assume his pitcher has some experience at a shorter distances. So...

    I would work him a couple of innings so he gets the experience of working three outs at 60/90.
    I would concentrate on form and function to include how to hold runners.
    I would work him a reasonable number of pitches, probably 20-40 - understanding I would have to watch total number of pitches.
    I would also work on the basics with him during practice so he can throw in a manner which limits his chance for injury, concentrating on pronation, where he points the ball and his elbow position - among other things.
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  13. #13
    I would limit them per inning and total both. I don't know what the number is because I don't know the pitchers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    I would limit them per inning and total both. I don't know what the number is because I don't know the pitchers.
    How do you limit "per inning?"
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    How do you limit "per inning?"
    Set a number, say 30. He gets to 30 he comes out.

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    I coached at the big field for the first time last season and had all 13 y.o. Some of them I knew had been pitching the previous summer at the 54-80 field size - these kids typically would not go more than four or five innings, which was somewhere around 50-60 pitches. Games started in March and these kids had also been throwing (not pitching) since early January. Some of my other kids had played since the year before and just started throwing in February - these kids pitched no more than 4 innings which was typically around 30-50 pitches.

    It was mostly determined by my judgement of whether they were getting tired or not (e.g. body language, loss of velocity, etc...).

    As the season wore on and I could "see" when my kids were getting fatigued, I would shorten or lengthen this limit as needed.

    Usually by mid-season kids would allow for more pitches.
    Last edited by jbolt_2000; 10-15-2011 at 10:26 PM. Reason: checked my numbers and did not have anyone throw the LL imposed limit of 95.

  17. #17
    The real issue is arm health, particularly at this age, where a lot of problems - particularly elbow problems - often start to show up.

    Assuming the kid is clear as far as that goes, I'd work 'em up to about 90 pitches max (depending on how much they'd thrown that week or month), adjusting for a host of factors. You've really got to know his form, so that you can see if it's deteriorating due to fatigue, because that's when the injuries can come in.

    If arm health isn't an issue, look to overall fatigue. How hot is it? What kind of shape does he appear to be in?

    After that, you've got to think about whether you're doing a kid a favor emotionally by letting him continue to pitch if he's walking in runs, or if he's just shot-putting the ball up there. Are the pitches being crushed, or is he being pretty effective? Is the kid fragile? If it's his first time out, tell him it's a 'getting acquainted session' and that he won't have to pitch much. But if it's your ace, he can usually find his way even if he's having trouble. And he won't worry so much about what his teammates think if he's just having one rocky outing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    Set a number, say 30. He gets to 30 he comes out.
    Makes sense...
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
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    I like a pitcher to accept some responsibility for a certain number of innings. For example, each pitcher throws 3 innings in a 6 inning game. Then he knows he has to get people out. He can take pride in the results of his 3 innings.

    Of course, if he gets in trouble, or otherwise looks fatigued, before his 3 innings are up, then he will come out.

    This is why I focus on innings vs. qty of pitches.

    This is also why I would never take a pitcher out of the LLWS when he has 85 pitches and only one batter left. The number 85 is an arbitrary number anyway.

  20. #20
    My thinking is based on the understanding in the op that they are just starting out from this distance. I also assumed (perhaps mistakenly) that we weren't necessarily talking about just games?

    I wouldn't want their first experience at distance to be game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    My thinking is based on the understanding in the op that they are just starting out from this distance. I also assumed (perhaps mistakenly) that we weren't necessarily talking about just games?

    I wouldn't want their first experience at distance to be game.
    I can understand that thinking, and I’d say that in most situations that would be true. But assuming the season doesn’t start with absolutely no practice, and the pitchers have never thrown from 60’ on their own, or outside of the team environment, I can see a way that getting thrown right into a game situation wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. If the game is against other players with the same hitting experience as the pitchers have pitching experience, none, it could be a lot of fun for everyone.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    If the game is against other players with the same hitting experience as the pitchers have pitching experience, none, it could be a lot of fun for everyone.
    Or a walkfest / strikeout fest. Steals (well, actually passed balls and wild pitches) to advance from base to base, including home. Final Score: 11-9.

    Away 9 Runs; 2 Hits; ?? Errors
    Home 11 Runs; 3 Hits; ?? Errors

    Of course, errors determined by who is keeping score
    Last edited by johnlanza; 10-17-2011 at 06:40 AM.

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    Yeah, most likely it wouldn’t be pretty from a skills perspective, but think about how much fun the kids would have, and how much they’d learn without even realizing it. I guess I’m one of those bozos who believes learning by making mistakes isn’t a waste of time.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    While there are pitching limits guidelines provided by ASMI and specific leagues, coaching 13U involves some common sense. A thirteen year may have a fifteen year old's body or a ten year old's body. Age thriteen is the the area where kids may be physically plus/minus three years of his actual age. At thirteen my son was 5'2", 110. He pitched one or two innings. I didn't let him throw curves. He couldn't snap it off correctly and have it travel sixty feet. He practiced his curve at fifty-five feet. He threw it in games in 14U when he was 5'4", 120 when the season started. When it ended in October he was 5'11", 135.

  25. #25
    I have to agree with TG here. There is no "one size fits all" number, if that is even what you're looking for. It depends on the pitcher. Like he mentioned every 13 year old is different. A lot of it comes from knowing your kids' mechanics. It pays to know the mechanics of each kid, and what to look for when they do get tired.

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