With all of the hullabaloo once again over a "Marshall" thread, and the mirror study and enacted "pitch count" regulations for youth pitchers....it got me wondering if there have been any follow-up studies to see if the pitch count rules are preventing injury as was their goal.
The only reference that i could find was from an article on the MomsTeam.com® website that stated......
....which interestingly enough, only talks about "reducing the risk of shoulder injury' and doesn't mention a thing about elbow injuries and their related Tommy John surgeries, which was the original pitch counts were developed to reduce.Limits are working
According to a 2011 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina commissioned by Little League, its pitch count program appears to be working, reducing the risk of shoulder injury among pitchers in Little League Baseball (ages 8 to 13) by 50 percent.
Even in their "Position Statement for Youth Baseball Pitchers - Updated June 2012", simply reiterated their pitch count recommendations, but never said anything about their effectiveness over the years in which they have been in place.
They did however, include some additional recommendations that I are interesting and might hit a sore chord with some around here. They included....
.....so how many here are going to steadfastly follow ALL of these new recommendations?
- Watch and respond to signs of fatigue (such as decreased ball velocity, decreased accuracy, upright trunk during pitching, dropped elbow during pitching, or increased time between pitches). If a youth pitcher complains of fatigue or looks fatigued, let him rest from pitching and other throwing.
- No overhead throwing of any kind for at least 2-3 months per year (4 months is preferred). No competitive baseball pitching for at least 4 months per year.
- Do not pitch more than 100 innings in games in any calendar year.
- Follow limits for pitch counts and days rest. (Example limits are shown in the table below.)
- Avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
- Learn good throwing mechanics as soon as possible. The first steps should be to learn, in order: 1) basic throwing, 2) fastball pitching, 3) change-up pitching.
- Avoid using radar guns.
- A pitcher should not also be a catcher for his team. The pitcher-catcher combination results in many throws and may increase the risk of injury.
- If a pitcher complains of pain in his elbow or shoulder, discontinue pitching until evaluated by a sports medicine physician.
- Inspire youth pitchers to have fun playing baseball and other sports. Participation and enjoyment of various physical activities will increase the youth's athleticism and interest in sports.
Time to turn in all those radar guns from all those parents and coaches below high scholl baseball. Feel free to send yours to the: Mudvnine Saving Youth Arms Against Radar Guns Foundation. We'll be melting them all down and donating their materials recycling money to the ASMI.
But seriously, when a "scientific" study is done, and a hypothesis is drawn (youth pitchers are getting hurt requiring to many TJ surgeries), a prediction is made (too much pitching is hurting them), and a "test" (pitch counts enacted to reduce the amount of pitching and thus reduce injuries) is done.....usually there is some type of "analysis" done to see if the prediction is correct or not.
Where's the follow up "analysis", and if it hasn't been done.....why not? :