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Thread: Pitch Limit for 13 year olds?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctandc View Post
    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.
    I didn’t see that the op was looking for a specific number at all, and his saying he realized there were several factors involved showed that. There’s no great wisdom in saying there’s no one size fits all, and I don’t think I really ever heard anyone ever say that to begin with. The numbers ASMI suggested were never a mandate that they said would end all arm problems, or had to followed to the letter or else pitchers’ arms would fall off.

    When they came out with them, a lot of coaches got their noses all out of joint because they felt they were being attacked, discredited, and told they didn’t know what they were doing, and in the process were hurting kids. Well, in many cases at the time, that was true. But times have changed, and there’s much more of an understanding that everyone’s different, but there’s now something new that’s been added to the game. People now at least think about the health of their kid’s arm, and many like omg, have the sense to seek out the advice of others, rather than to just blindly take the word of someone.

    How about it ctandc, have you ever heard of anyone state in no uncertain terms that X number of pitches will definitely hurt someone while Y number won’t? But there’s still the problem of making the determination when a pitcher needs to be done for the day, and that’s really not anymore written in stone now than it was 50 years ago. So, since the possibility is still out there that some coach is a poor judge of when that happens, the guidelines are always there to guard against catastrophe by using the old “better safe than sorry” mentality.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    I didn’t see that the op was looking for a specific number at all....
    I (op) was looking for a number of pitches or innings. People's general opinions knowing that there are differences between kids. I appreciate the opinions. I think, based on what I have heard and now seen that 1-3 innings or 30-40 pitches is about right understanding that it may be less for some kids. The advice (this is my first 13 year old team with me coming from varsity mainly) was 60-80 pitches but I now feel that is too many. After watching the kids pitch it is pretty much all they can do to get it up there to the plate (most, not all). I feel 60 feet is too far for that age (coming from little league) but it is what we have.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    I (op) was looking for a number of pitches or innings. People's general opinions knowing that there are differences between kids. I appreciate the opinions.
    Then I guessed correctly. Yahoo!

    I think, based on what I have heard and now seen that 1-3 innings or 30-40 pitches is about right understanding that it may be less for some kids.
    I truly believe that with what’s now known and understood, anyone who even mentions innings in the same breath with pitch counts as far as protecting arms, is just wasting their breath. An inning is not a measure of anything but outs, and has nothing to do with length of time or expenditure of effort. But I understand change doesn’t come easily.

    I hadn’t looked at the ASMI recommendations in a while, so I took a peek just to familiarize myself with the age group’s suggested limits. You’re limits are just about half of what theirs are, so in my mind you’re doing fine.

    The advice (this is my first 13 year old team with me coming from varsity mainly) was 60-80 pitches but I now feel that is too many. After watching the kids pitch it is pretty much all they can do to get it up there to the plate (most, not all). I feel 60 feet is too far for that age (coming from little league) but it is what we have.
    Can you put into words why you think 80 pitches pitching at 60’ is any more stressful or damaging than 80 pitches at 46’? What kind of limits did you set for your V, JV, and Fr pitchers?
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  4. #29
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    If you are going to hold them to 30-40 pitches the I assume that you're only using the experience for development, which is fine. My question would then be, is it different for your starter? I assume you will warm him up. How many pitches. Surely, you don't have guys who may or may not come out of the bullpen throw as many warmups. If so, why not lower the number of warmups and give your pitchers more pitches with a batter in the box. If you are playing to win games and want to hold them to 30-40 pitches you better have a lot of pitchers.
    I've often wondered how people who are very strict on the pitch limits treat warmups. Personally, if my pitcher is on, I don't have him take the 5 or 8 warmups. If the inning before, we went down fast, he'll usually just go one and down and let's get the show on the road. Let's say a starting pitcher throws 25 warmup pitches prior to the game, then 8 in the first inning and 5 in between innings. He throws your 40 pitches during the game and goes three innings. He has effectively thrown 43 warmup pitches and 40 game pitches for 83 actual pitches. My kid, instead, throws 10 warmups before the game, 3 before the first inning and 2 between innings. he goes five innings and throws 65 pitches. He's thrown 86 pitches to your 83. If we add an extra inning, my kid may throw 85 pitches in the game and I'll take a lot of flack for the pitch count, when in reality he may have thrown just a handful of pitches more than the kid who was pulled at 50 pitches. When scrutinizing the pitch count restrictions, does anyone take this into account?

  5. #30
    Moving from 46 to 60’ is a huge jump. It’s critical for the kids to stay within themselves and not overthrow in an attempt to mitigate the increased distance. Those accustomed to dominating on the strength of their arms at 46’ may attempt the same at 60’ and create a host of problems for themselves. At 60’ the throwers have to become pitchers or reconcile themselves to position play.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by marklaker View Post
    Moving from 46 to 60’ is a huge jump. It’s critical for the kids to stay within themselves and not overthrow in an attempt to mitigate the increased distance. Those accustomed to dominating on the strength of their arms at 46’ may attempt the same at 60’ and create a host of problems for themselves. At 60’ the throwers have to become pitchers or reconcile themselves to position play.
    I was sort of glossing over the jump from 46' to 60'. I can see the problems. Personally, we haven't played LL ball in more than a decade, so we move from 46 to 50 to 54 and then to either 57 or 60'6" at fourteen. That transition doesn't seem so bad. This is where I think LL needs to get with the times. 46/60 straight to 60/90 is brutal. OK, that's another thread!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by marklaker View Post
    Moving from 46 to 60’ is a huge jump. It’s critical for the kids to stay within themselves and not overthrow in an attempt to mitigate the increased distance. Those accustomed to dominating on the strength of their arms at 46’ may attempt the same at 60’ and create a host of problems for themselves. At 60’ the throwers have to become pitchers or reconcile themselves to position play.
    Looking back, though, I don't see that the OP specified if the move up was from 46 or 54, though. I believe it might make a difference, at least initially. My 11yo last year played up with a 14yo team and pitched a couple of innings. He didn't seem to notice the distance change - other than his 65+ mph fastball with older kids from 8 more feet was meat!

  8. #33
    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.

  9. #34
    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.
    Interesting the math. Thanks

  10. #35
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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.
    I'm not sure this is a situation where math does much good. The act of accelerating the ball probably exerts the same energy for a 46' pitch as a 60'6" pitch. However, if you are moving from 46' to 60' 6" I think there is likely to be a change in mechanics that should be carefully watched. I would doubt they throw any harder, but i can see where they may try to throw differently and this is more the justification for a limit - at least during a transition phase.

  11. #36
    What would cause them to throw differently?

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    What would cause them to throw differently?
    A lot of it might be in their heads. Some of it may be that now, the same pitch would fall short of the plate, so the release point might have to change. Obviously, a ball in the strike zone at 46' would drop much farther 14' later, don't you think? Since throwing harder probably isn't an option, or I assume they would have been throwing harder at 46', there must be some change in mechanics to cover the extra distance.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Roothog66 View Post
    A lot of it might be in their heads. Some of it may be that now, the same pitch would fall short of the plate, so the release point might have to change. Obviously, a ball in the strike zone at 46' would drop much farther 14' later, don't you think? Since throwing harder probably isn't an option, or I assume they would have been throwing harder at 46', there must be some change in mechanics to cover the extra distance.
    Makes sense. Although I think maybe that they don't always throw as hard as they can and the extra difference may cause them to "over throw" (for lack of a better term. At the end of the day I think they are going to be expending more effort, which the math shows. All the more reason to limit the pitches until they adapt to the increase in distance.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    Makes sense. Although I think maybe that they don't always throw as hard as they can and the extra difference may cause them to "over throw" (for lack of a better term. At the end of the day I think they are going to be expending more effort, which the math shows. All the more reason to limit the pitches until they adapt to the increase in distance.
    I think the math doesn't show that. Getting a ball 60' compare to 46' doesn't require more velocity, just a different launch angle. More velocity could also do it, but that implies that a pitcher wasn't at top velocity to begin with. The idea that a kid throwing, say 55 mph at 46', has the ability to turn it up a notch and throw 60mph so that it will reach 60' seems strange to me. Otherwise I think he would have thrown 60mph at 46'

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roothog66 View Post
    I think the math doesn't show that. Getting a ball 60' compare to 46' doesn't require more velocity, just a different launch angle. More velocity could also do it, but that implies that a pitcher wasn't at top velocity to begin with. The idea that a kid throwing, say 55 mph at 46', has the ability to turn it up a notch and throw 60mph so that it will reach 60' seems strange to me. Otherwise I think he would have thrown 60mph at 46'
    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.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  16. #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.

  17. #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.

  18. #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.

  19. #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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  20. #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.

  21. #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
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  22. #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.

  23. #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.

  24. #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.

  25. #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.

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