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Thread: Pitch Limit for 13 year olds?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    WAAAAAAAAY back in '98, we measured, weighed, and gunned all the pitchers at the finish of the LL Majors season. Then when the LL Jrs season opened the next year, we did the same thing after a couple weeks of practice. It wasn’t as though every kid grew 6”, gained 10#s, and picked up 10MPH on the gun, but each one did have an increase in everything, and of course some more than others.

    Now I don’t mean to imply that’s true for every kid everywhere, but it sure had a lot to do with me and a lot of other folks here not suffering from many twisted panties worrying about the big jump. There’s a funny thing goin’ on at that age people somehow forget about, or don’t think has much of an impact. The kid’s are growin’, and that has one heck of a mitigating effect on how much the size of the field affects them.

    About half of our boys went to leagues that played on the 54/80, and played lots of tournaments at that distance too, but when it came time to go out for the HS team, it was impossible to distinguish one group from the other.
    Oh, I never meant to imply that it would have any effect on their ability to make a high school team, I just believe it makes the transition less frustrating and lets kids discover their weaknesses a little earlier. It is also, as you note, important to understand that the switch in distance coorelates with most kids full entry into puberty and I'm sure that's no coincedence. It's one of the reason I like a gradual increase. I think it helps offset some of the advantages of early puberty. There's nothing like watching the LLWS and seeing a 6'2" / 230lb behemoth throwing 75mph from 46' to a 4'5" / 90lb kid. You may conter with the notion that theses kids are far and few between, but two kids on my team as eights just played in the CRWS (I moved away so haven't coached them in years, but got to see the broadcast the past two years) stand 6'2" / 250 and 6' 2" / 210 as 12yos.

  2. #42
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    Root,

    I wasn’t trying to say you were implying anything. I just like to make sure that people use a good reason backed by lots of thought as to why a transitional field is supposedly so much better for the kids.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  3. #43
    Why is a 13 yr kid throwing from 60 ft? I thought it was 54 ft? My 13 yr old played fall ball this year and it was 54 ft. I can't imagine him moving from 50 ft to 60 ft.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
    Why is a 13 yr kid throwing from 60 ft? I thought it was 54 ft? My 13 yr old played fall ball this year and it was 54 ft. I can't imagine him moving from 50 ft to 60 ft.
    7th and 8th graders typically play from 60' in middle school ball.
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  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    7th and 8th graders typically play from 60' in middle school ball.
    We don't have middle school ball here in east Texas. You start playing school ball once you get into 9th grade.
    By that time you have spent two years developing a kids arm at 54 ft before they hit 60 ft.
    I just can't imagine trying to move a kid from 50 ft to 60 ft in one season.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    Set a number, say 30. He gets to 30 he comes out.
    If he is a good pitcher this would be two innings, but agree with your figure

    love it,

    drill
    Yogi Berra was asked by a reporter "How do you catch a knuckle ball?" He came right back and said "When it stops rolling"

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradosaurus View Post
    Why is a 13 yr kid throwing from 60 ft? I thought it was 54 ft? My 13 yr old played fall ball this year and it was 54 ft. I can't imagine him moving from 50 ft to 60 ft.
    My son never played at 54/80. He went right to 60/90. The local USSSA affiliate tried 54/80 for 13U fall ball (12yo's). Since my son was already older I don't know about the results or if they still do it.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    My son never played at 54/80. He went right to 60/90. The local USSSA affiliate tried 54/80 for 13U fall ball (12yo's). Since my son was already older I don't know about the results or if they still do it.
    USSSA 13U here in Florida plays on 54/80, but moves to 60/90 for 14U. It's kind of odd if you consider all the other field size progressions they do are for 2 years, but 54/80 is only for 1. In any case I'm just happy to be away from the 50/70 field.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    Yes, I agree that the warm up needs to be controlled and factored in. No, I'm not as concerned with winning as I am with development. And I feel that the extra 14' feet requires much more effort in the same way that the ss and third baseman's throw require more effort and produce more fatigue on the 90' diamond.

    If, SK, you are looking for numbers, a 12 year old throwing 80 pitches from 46' amounts to 3680'. A 13 year old throwing 80 pitches from 60' amounts to 4800'. The difference is 1120'. In terms of pitches. 1120' divided by 60' equals 18-19 more pitches or divided by 46' equals 24-25 more pitches in distance. Something like that anyways.
    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.

    What does change however, is that when the ball reaches its target, be it the plate or the catcher, it will be traveling much slower than it would on the 46’ field, it will have dropped significantly more due to gravity having more time to affect it, and it will have moved more because of rotation because it will have had more rotations for the seams to work against the air. That requires a significant alteration of release point.

    In order to make the ball behave the same way, i.e. if the ball had a velocity of 65 at the plate on a smaller field, have that same 65 on the 60’ field, yes, much more energy has to be put into the ball. IOW, if it was 70 out of hand on a 54’ field, it might have to be 75 on the big field, and that takes much more effort. (That’s not meant to be an accurate number, but just an example)

    But what happens is, just natural growth and technique mitigate the difference, and it doesn’t take very long for the players to make the adjustments. Depending on the rate of growth and how fast skills are acquired, sometimes it takes only a few months, and sometimes is takes a couple years, but eventually the adjustment is made.

    I think people get in much too big a rush for these transitions to take place. The truth is, the pitcher doesn’t need to have the same velocity and skills on the big field when 1st moving over, because what they lose on one side, they pick up because the players generally can’t get the larger, heavier bats around nearly as fast, and have much longer distances to run as well. The fielders have more time to get to balls, and even though the throws are longer, since the runners have further to run, it’s prtty much a wash.

    What I’m saying is, moving to the big field isn’t a reason to suddenly treat everyone like porcelain statues. Just make sure they get lots of practice time, and the adjustments will be made.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  10. #50
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    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.

    What does change however, is that when the ball reaches its target, be it the plate or the catcher, it will be traveling much slower than it would on the 46’ field, it will have dropped significantly more due to gravity having more time to affect it, and it will have moved more because of rotation because it will have had more rotations for the seams to work against the air. That requires a significant alteration of release point.

    In order to make the ball behave the same way, i.e. if the ball had a velocity of 65 at the plate on a smaller field, have that same 65 on the 60’ field, yes, much more energy has to be put into the ball. IOW, if it was 70 out of hand on a 54’ field, it might have to be 75 on the big field, and that takes much more effort. (That’s not meant to be an accurate number, but just an example)

    But what happens is, just natural growth and technique mitigate the difference, and it doesn’t take very long for the players to make the adjustments. Depending on the rate of growth and how fast skills are acquired, sometimes it takes only a few months, and sometimes is takes a couple years, but eventually the adjustment is made.

    I think people get in much too big a rush for these transitions to take place. The truth is, the pitcher doesn’t need to have the same velocity and skills on the big field when 1st moving over, because what they lose on one side, they pick up because the players generally can’t get the larger, heavier bats around nearly as fast, and have much longer distances to run as well. The fielders have more time to get to balls, and even though the throws are longer, since the runners have further to run, it’s prtty much a wash.

    What I’m saying is, moving to the big field isn’t a reason to suddenly treat everyone like porcelain statues. Just make sure they get lots of practice time, and the adjustments will be made.
    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.

  11. #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.

  12. #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.

  13. #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.

  14. #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.

  15. #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.

  16. #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.

  17. #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.

  18. #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.

  19. #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.

  20. #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.

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