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Thread: Pitch Limit for 13 year olds?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roothog66 View Post
    Which is, of course, why we have them move up in the first place. It is dictated by growth. This is why I prefer a gradual distance change every two years. If the idea is that, at 9yo, 46/60 is the appropriate distance for their physical growth and at 13 or 14, it's 60/90, then doesn't it make sense that at 11 or 12 they may not be quite ready for 60/90, but that they've definitely outgrown 46/60? Especially with waht seems to me a lot more 12yo six footers playing today than I remember from the 70's. You have to admit that, if they've constructed their mechanics to throwing from 46' and have been doing it for four to six years, the move to 60' 6" requires a lot more adjustment than say adjusting your mechanics for a 6' change. Now, I don't think that, within a month or two, it matters much, I can't believe it doesn't matter at the start. I do remember, though, that at that age, we played 46/60 in LL, but when I played pickup games, we played 60/90, so I don't even remember the transition.
    Yes, it makes sense to have a gradual change, but it absolutely isn’t necessary. But the reason I don’t believe in it, isn’t that it doesn’t make sense, but rather that I’m a big believer in trying to keep things as equal as possible for all players, and not all players have the chance to play on gradually increased sized fields.

    We have a situation here, where the close fields our kids have access to are contracted to a LLI league. We have a 60/90, a 46/60, and a SB field. There is a big CR program about 25 miles south, and a lot of parents leave the LLI program because they think like you, the gradual change is a big deal. Finally, enough people got the wild hair, and they decided that since there was only one LLI Jr team using the big field, they’d lease it to the CR league so they could have another field.

    The 1st thing they did was move the mound to 54 and re-peg the bases to 80. Then to make things work out “right”, they ripped out the 10’ of IF grass to make the basepaths play right. The end result is, we no longer have a 60/90 because every time the 60’ mound get’s rebuilt, there’s a war between the two groups. Out old timer’s team had to stop using the field, the LL Jrs stopped using the field, and now we don’t have anyplace within 25 miles that has a 10’ high, 60’ mound.

    Well, in my mind, none of that was worth the year or two transition the players got, and there are variations of that that happen in quite a few places all over the country. There’s just too many damn rulebooks for me, and that means too many differences, and when everyone doesn’t have the same opportunities, to me it isn’t fair. Yeah, I know life ain’t fair, but it sure oughta be!
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Why does it require more effort to pitch at 60’ rather than 46’? Think about it. When a player throws a ball at say 65MPH, let’s say he uses “X” amount of effort. Does that amount change to “X”+”Y” no matter what distance he tries to throw it? The answer is, it doesn’t.
    .
    SK,

    You are definitely wrong. I'm not going to be able to prove this scientifically/mathematically but it takes A LOT more effort to throw from 60 than 46. I throw bp from 46 all of the time and I can throw all day/every day. But sometimes I move back to 60 and I can't go nearly as long and I will be sore for a couple of days. I don't know how to explain it but you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    SK,

    You are definitely wrong. I'm not going to be able to prove this scientifically/mathematically but it takes A LOT more effort to throw from 60 than 46. I throw bp from 46 all of the time and I can throw all day/every day. But sometimes I move back to 60 and I can't go nearly as long and I will be sore for a couple of days. I don't know how to explain it but you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
    OK omg, if you want to dispute the laws of physics, I won’t argue with you. But you can try this if you like. Get a pitching machine, and set it up for throwing strikes off a 6” high, 46’ mound. Then move it back to a 10” high, 60’ mound and see where the ball ends up. Then don’t touch any control other than the vertical adjustment, and see if you can dial it in to throw perfect strikes from there as well.

    My bet is, you’ll be able to do it quite easily, and there’s a reason why. The machine doesn’t make value judgments about how a pitch will “look”. All it does is deliver the pitch with the criteria the person setting the controls puts into it. It won’t care if there has to be a 5’ arc because the ball is traveling so slow, and it won’t care that if when the ball gets to the plate its traveling a lot slower. And that’s what you’re doing unconsciously. You’re trying to keep everything the same, and that’s why you find you have to expend a lot more energy from the longer distance.

    And that’s why if you wanted to, rather than adjust the vertical adjustment on that pitching machine, you could accomplish the same thing by increasing the velocity.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Get a pitching machine...
    Pitching machine? Come on-that's apples and oranges. Why do bp pitcher's in the big leagues throw from 40' and not '60? Because they have to-otherwise their arms couldn't take it. Hey, don't go by me. Ask anybody who has done some pitching. It's a lot more taxing to throw from a longer distance.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    Pitching machine? Come on-that's apples and oranges. Why do bp pitcher's in the big leagues throw from 40' and not '60? Because they have to-otherwise their arms couldn't take it. Hey, don't go by me. Ask anybody who has done some pitching. It's a lot more taxing to throw from a longer distance.
    I was trying to give you an easy way to understand that the amount of energy to throw a ball at a given velocity hasn’t got anything to do with the distance its being thrown. But as I said, if you want to argue that the laws of physics are wrong, its fine by me.

    The reason they throw for 40’ instead of 60’. Is that they can throw the ball at a lower velocity but still give the batter the same timing for the ball getting to the hitting zone. It’s the same thing as when you watch the LLWS and a 78MPH pitch is the ML equivalent of some much greater number. So yes, if they wanted to throw 90 at 60’ they would get much more tired than throwing in the 60’s at 40’ and giving the hitter the effect.

    But that’s not we were talking about. At least I wasn’t talking about trying to make the timing at 90 the same as at 60. That’s where you’re getting mixed up. I’m saying that if the pitcher was throwing 65 out of hand at 46’, he could go back to 60 and throw 65 out of hand with no more effort.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  6. #56
    Just ask your son. He'll tell you I'm right. Pitchers can throw from shorter distances all day. They do a lot of their mechanical drills that way.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    Just ask your son. He'll tell you I'm right. Pitchers can throw from shorter distances all day. They do a lot of their mechanical drills that way.
    Are you telling me that if you as a BP pitcher are at 60’, and exert enough energy to make the velocity of the ball at release 100mph, if you move up to 40’ it’ll be a lot easier to throw 100?

    How about trying this. Get your hands on a decent gun, then go back to 60’ and throw until you get an out of hand velocity of 75. After a period of rest, move up to 40’ or whatever, and throw until you’re back to 75 out of hand again. According to what you’re saying, it should be a whole lot easier to get that velocity.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  8. #58
    I'm not talking velocity. I'm talking effort on the part of the pitcher. Pitchers change their velocity all of the time. Strasburg might throw in the 80's in a bullpen session. The low 90's if he's trying to hit a spot. the upper 90's if he is trying to overpower a hitter. So from a closer distance a pitcher may have less out of hand velocity. And use less effort. So what? That's a good thing. He can be smoother and throw more pitches. Nobody, except some short relievers throw with maximum effort all of the time. But a 13 year old kid has to throw with more effort from 60' than 54' or 46'-just to get the ball up there pitch after pitch.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    I'm not talking velocity. I'm talking effort on the part of the pitcher. Pitchers change their velocity all of the time. Strasburg might throw in the 80's in a bullpen session. The low 90's if he's trying to hit a spot. the upper 90's if he is trying to overpower a hitter. So from a closer distance a pitcher may have less out of hand velocity. And use less effort. So what? That's a good thing. He can be smoother and throw more pitches. Nobody, except some short relievers throw with maximum effort all of the time. But a 13 year old kid has to throw with more effort from 60' than 54' or 46'-just to get the ball up there pitch after pitch.
    I’m sorry you’re not getting this. I guess I’m not communicating effectively. I’ll try one more time then I’m giving up.

    Let’s assume there’s a slingshot device we can use to throw a ball, and there are marks that tell us how far its pulled back. Let’s say we set it up at 40’ and keep shooting balls until we get them in the strike zone at 60mph. If we move back to 60’, we can get the ball in the strike zone by using the same mark, but we’ll have to point it up in the air a bit more.

    Will the ball be traveling at the speed when it crosses the plate? Absolutely not, but it will still leave the slingshot at 60mph. That’s the effect of physics. But what happens is, many people like yourself expect that velocity at the plate to be the same, and that takes a great deal more effort because it requires that slingshot to be pulled much further back. But that velocity at the plate doesn’t have to be the same because the batters and the environment are different.

    If given just a little time to grow and adjust, that plate velocity will increase naturally, as will the capabilities of the hitters. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, and in fact shouldn’t happen overnight. Plus, coaches shouldn’t push or the kids to do what they did on the small field, and if they didn’t there’s be no reason to cut down on the number of pitches they threw, because the effort would be the same.

    Now if you have a kid who’s pitch at 46’ crosses the plate at 65 and you want or expect the same tthing at 60’, I agree, that kid shouldn’t be throwing nearly as many pitches. But that isn’t his problem, its yours.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  10. #60
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    I think omg is correct when he says that throwing BP from 60 takes a harder toll on his arm then from 46. I'm not a physics expert, but I do throw BP about 4 days a week. Here's what I think - even if the thrower thinks he's putting equal effort from both distances, I think you'll find that the thrower actually uses less effort from the shorter distance.

    It's really not practical (or safe) for 1 coach to throw BP to the entire team from 60. No team does this. Every team from HS to MLB sets their L screen up about 45 ft. Because it's either throw 300 pitches from 60 at 80mph or 300 pitches from 45 at 55mph. Either way, it's roughly equivalent to an 80mph pitch for the batter.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolHandLuke View Post
    I think omg is correct when he says that throwing BP from 60 takes a harder toll on his arm then from 46. I'm not a physics expert, but I do throw BP about 4 days a week. Here's what I think - even if the thrower thinks he's putting equal effort from both distances, I think you'll find that the thrower actually uses less effort from the shorter distance.

    It's really not practical (or safe) for 1 coach to throw BP to the entire team from 60. No team does this. Every team from HS to MLB sets their L screen up about 45 ft. Because it's either throw 300 pitches from 60 at 80mph or 300 pitches from 45 at 55mph. Either way, it's roughly equivalent to an 80mph pitch for the batter.
    I know you understand it because what you said in the last paragraph, but you aren’t putting it together with what I’m telling you. It only is harder because whoever’s throwing, tries to make the performance at the longer distance equal to the shorter one. But it absolutely isn’t necessary! All it takes is a little patience to wait until the players get used to the new sized field and to grow a bit.

    As for your statement “No team does this”, I was talking to my friend about this, and he was quite surprised to hear that pro teams throw BP at something less and 60’. He played professionally from 1939 to 1958, and was a ML pitching coach from 1968 thru 1980 and says he never saw BP thrown from anything other than 60’. So, while I happen to agree that it only makes sense to throw from closer, as long as the time from release to the plate gives the appearance to the hitter of a full length pitch, it wasn’t always done that way. Heck, I used to set the L-screen up at about 10’, sit on a bucket and throw the balls to hitters. That way there were far less wasted pitches, and it was much easier to work on certain locations.

    In the end, if omg weren’t trying to maintain that high plate velocity for the longer distance, there’s no reason he couldn’t throw all day long.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  12. #62
    How about we say it like this:

    To acheive the same velocity at 60 ft instead of 46 ft a pitcher will have to throw it harder?

    My son experienced this going from 50ft to 54 ft this Fall ball season.

    His pitchcount went from 85 pitches to about 55 pitches trying to acheive the same velocity at the plate.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
    How about we say it like this:

    To acheive the same velocity at 60 ft instead of 46 ft a pitcher will have to throw it harder?

    My son experienced this going from 50ft to 54 ft this Fall ball season.

    His pitchcount went from 85 pitches to about 55 pitches trying to acheive the same velocity at the plate.
    That’s exactly right. And all I’ve done is add that it isn’t necessary, at least early on. Everyone’s struggling with the adjustment to some degree, but the pitchers more-so than anyone else.

    They’re faced with multiple problems, the main one being its much harder to hit a target at 60’ than 46’. The same pitch that would paint the edge or be at the bottom of the zone at 46’ wouldn’t even be close at 60’. But then look what happens. Rather than just allowing the pitchers to adjust, everyone wants them to do what most of us know is the worst thing possible for control, throw the ball harder, in may cases to the point of overthrowing. So what happens? The pitchers in general get frustrated and lose focus, when that’s the exact opposite of what you want them to do.

    And that’s why I maintain that rather than getting all concerned that Johnny’s FB isn’t reaching the plate at the same velocity, what should be concentrated on is allowing Johnny to adjust his mechanics so he can get the ball in or near the strike zone. I realize that’s not what most people believe. The standard thinking is get them to throw hard and they can learn control later, but this is different. They already know how to throw, but suddenly can’t control anything because of the longer distance.

    I believe that once they’ve gotten their control back to where it was on the small field, or at least close to it, then they can “stretch” it out again and worry about the velocity. It would be different if the hitters were gonna just kill everything close to the plate, but that’s far from true. They’ll be swinging heavier bats and most won’t be able to generate much bat speed, and those that do hit the ball will find the fielders able to reach more balls, and the longer run from base to base is gonna stain them.

    So in the end, I still say to just have some patience. Believe me, it doesn’t take long to make the adjustment.
    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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