Kids Pitching Injuries Are On The Rise, Why?
Despite the introduction of pitching limits in youth baseball, pitching injuries that require surgery are increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. What are the main reasons behind this continuing rise. Serious pitching injuries now occur 16 times more often than 30 years ago. A study was conducted of over 750 pitchers ages 9-18. There are several factors contributing to this rising issue.
It has become very clear that dangerous pitching habits is occurring among pitchers as young as Little League all the way through their high school years. The blame does not usually lie with the leagues or coaches. Several were found to be following the nationally recognized guidelines for pitch limits and rest. It appears that much of the blame lies with behavior of parents and their kids.
Contrary to national guidelines limiting pitches thrown, about 13 percent of pitchers pitched competitively for well over eight months of the year, 40 percent pitched in a league that does not have pitch counts or limits, nearly 57 percent pitched on back to back days and 19 percent pitched in more than one game on the same day. Almost one-third of pitchers pitched for more than one team in the same season, one-third played only baseball and 10 percent also played the position of catcher on the same team. Catcher is another position that requires a lot of throwing. The most common reasons for arm pain and tiredness can be narrowed down to five major issues. The following behaviors can lead to arm pain and tiredness which can then lead to the most significant shoulder and elbow injuries.
- Pitching for multiple teams during the same season.
- Pitching for more than one game during the same day.
- Pitching on back to back days.
- Pitching in a league without any pitch counts or playing year round.
- Throwing curve balls before entering high school.
The first step in lowering the number of pitching injuries can be remembered with a simple Rule of One philosophy. This means one game per day, one day of pitching then rest, one position at a time during a pitched game, one team at a time, only one pitch before high school and at least one season of some other sport. If a young pitcher says his or her arm is sore or tired, parents need to make sure the child takes some time off. One complaint of arm soreness or tiredness equals one full week off.
This study was conducted over a 3 year period by Beaumont Health System.
My name is Scott and I am a father of 4 children. I am here to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I hope that what I have to say will benefit you in some small way.