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Thread: Pitch Limit for 13 year olds?

  1. #21
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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.

  2. #22
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    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.

  3. #23
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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.

  4. #24
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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.

  5. #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.

  6. #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.

  7. #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.

  8. #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.

  9. #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?

  10. #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.

  11. #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!

  12. #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!

  13. #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.

  14. #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

  15. #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.

  16. #36
    What would cause them to throw differently?

  17. #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.

  18. #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.

  19. #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'

  20. #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.

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