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9 y/o Perfect Game

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  • 9 y/o Perfect Game

    Our local rec league started its fall season last weekend so after my 5-year old finished his game we walked over to a neighboring field to watch my 9-year old's friend play. Turns out his friend was on the mound and the game was almost over. The mom let us know that her son was going for a perfect game. Sure enough, a couple of batters later he completed the task and there was much celebrating on and off the field.

    But something didn't sit right with me. Rather than cast aspersions or rain on someone else's parade, I figured I'd get your feedback.

    I know the 8-year olds have a strict pitch count. Isn't it safe to assume 9-year olds do as well? I've got to figure they blew past that in a 6 inning game.

    From what I've been told, 9-year olds in our league switch to hardball for the first time along with a few other rule changes (limited stealing, for example, and I think they go from 6 balls for a walk to 4). Do most 9-year old levels also have one boy pitch the whole game?

    The boy is a good player, although not nearly as good as his parents think. They're very competitive in all things, both on and off the field and his dad was one of the coaches so if there was a bending of the rules to favor his son, I wouldn't be surprised.

    One final thing - it was a little weird to witness all the celebrating when just a few feet away was another group of 9-year olds who just spend a couple of hours playing ball with not one of them reaching base.

    I completely acknowledge I could be looking at this the wrong way, so I'd be curious to read what all of you think about this.

  • #2
    I wouldn't assume they have strict pitch counts if it's rec ball. Our LL still uses innings limits. I've seen all types of kids from 6 - 12 go out and throw an unhealthy amount of pitches, especially on the younger side. There were 8yo kids routinely throwing 3 innings a game 2x a week (that's the max). They either walk kids or strike them out, they are easily throwing 75 pitches each time out, easily.

    In my experience kids like this can get through more innings on the same number of pitches in Allstars, travel, etc because kids put the ball in play.

    Kan-Man just curious what part of LI? My younger son just played a tournament in Glen Clove and other is playing out in Yapank next weekend.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kan-Man View Post
      One final thing - it was a little weird to witness all the celebrating when just a few feet away was another group of 9-year olds who just spend a couple of hours playing ball with not one of them reaching base.
      Ummm... That's gonna happen... They DO keep score... They should celebrate, as long as they don't berate the other team, it's fine...

      Having said that, a 9-year-old pitching a perfect game against other 9-year-olds isn't that big a deal... Especially in league ball... Seen more than a few at the 10u, 11u and 12u as well...

      Not sure if it was a run-ruled 6-inning game, time limit, or where his pitch count was, so I can't comment on that... If the count went over, then the game could be forfeited, and the coach could be suspended.

      Give the kid his props, but keep it in perspective...
      I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

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      • #4
        The pitch amount could be very deceiving. My 10 year old threw 5 innings in a game this past weekend and only threw 53 pitches total. He had a 4 pitch inning and a 6 pitch inning. He also didn't walk anyone. If the kid you are describing was walking and striking out a lot of people, his pitch count was probably decently high.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AdamInNY View Post
          Kan-Man just curious what part of LI? My younger son just played a tournament in Glen Clove and other is playing out in Yapank next weekend.
          I'm in Huntington, but I grew up in Sea Cliff, right next to Glen Cove.

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          • #6
            Ah ok, when I was young I live right over there in Dix Hills, played in HHH LL actually. In Queens now, but we play many teams from LI. Not Huntington specifically but teams that have kids from there (8U and 9U).

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            • #7
              9 year olds have no business throwing all 6 innings in a game. Just not worth the risk.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Standballdad View Post
                9 year olds have no business throwing all 6 innings in a game. Just not worth the risk.
                Why worry about innings at all if you have pitch counts and common sense (ie: 50 pitches under duress isn't the same as an easy 50 pitches)?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AdamInNY View Post
                  Why worry about innings at all if you have pitch counts and common sense (ie: 50 pitches under duress isn't the same as an easy 50 pitches)?
                  No way a 9 year old is under 50 pitches in a 6 inning game. Not sure what you mean about pitching under duress versus easy pitches. Pitching is pitching.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Standballdad View Post
                    No way a 9 year old is under 50 pitches in a 6 inning game. Not sure what you mean about pitching under duress versus easy pitches. Pitching is pitching.
                    Pitching is not pitching. It's been proven before that pitching with runners on, etc takes more of a toll. Could be once you have runners on you instinctively throw harder.

                    This year I saw an 8yo do it against a 9U team in travel ball. Kid was accurate, and because he was play up he wasn't missing bats. Had great defense behind him.

                    Obviously that's the rare case, and in general if I hear 9 year olds pitching in 6 innings I assume he's overused. BUt, my point is worry about pitch counts, and also take into account the situations.

                    I track my older son's pitch counts and then give a rating (S,M, or L, yes not the most scientific) which applies to effort. Those rankings are based on a combination of HBP, BB, runners on base and runners in scoring position. Next season I plan on incorporating errors and kind of errors.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AdamInNY View Post
                      Pitching is not pitching. It's been proven before that pitching with runners on, etc takes more of a toll. Could be once you have runners on you instinctively throw harder.

                      This year I saw an 8yo do it against a 9U team in travel ball. Kid was accurate, and because he was play up he wasn't missing bats. Had great defense behind him.

                      Obviously that's the rare case, and in general if I hear 9 year olds pitching in 6 innings I assume he's overused. BUt, my point is worry about pitch counts, and also take into account the situations.

                      I track my older son's pitch counts and then give a rating (S,M, or L, yes not the most scientific) which applies to effort. Those rankings are based on a combination of HBP, BB, runners on base and runners in scoring position. Next season I plan on incorporating errors and kind of errors.
                      It all taxes the arm, elbow, shoulder, etc... All I am saying is if you are going to let your 9 year old pitch, minimize the pitch count and how often he throws. Teams at that age should pitch 3 to 4 kids a game at a minimum.

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                      • #12
                        Kinda related, my son's first JV game was a 57 pitch complete game. So, sure, 50 pitches is possible in 6.
                        efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                          Kinda related, my son's first JV game was a 57 pitch complete game. So, sure, 50 pitches is possible in 6.
                          Talking 9 year old. Not the same thing. BTW, don't they play 7 in HS?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crazyhawk View Post
                            The pitch amount could be very deceiving. My 10 year old threw 5 innings in a game this past weekend and only threw 53 pitches total. He had a 4 pitch inning and a 6 pitch inning. He also didn't walk anyone. If the kid you are describing was walking and striking out a lot of people, his pitch count was probably decently high.
                            No one walks in a perfect game.

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                            • #15
                              Don't see the reason or need to have a 9 y/o throw a complete game for any reason, much less a "perfect one".

                              Didn't all of his teammates do anything to contribute to it? How much credit were they given for their part in it, by not making any errors in the field?

                              Wouldn't it have been a better or greater accomplishment if he and a couple other pitchers from his team combined to do it?

                              I just don't understand the need for the such fanfare for a 9 year old......but then again, I'm just one of them "Grumpy Old Men" that "pcarnette" so accurately described a couple days ago.
                              Last edited by mudvnine; 09-13-2012, 01:16 PM.
                              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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