blade12 Show full post »
formerwiacbaseballer
banks93 wrote:
Yes, I agree with you on building a stronger arm at an early age and this requires you to play a lot of catch. I don't think that means you need to be pitching in 81% of high school games. Most high schools play two games a week. If you were to pitch in 50% of the games or once a week. I could see maybe doing 3 innings twice a week if you watched a pitchers pitch count close and had two days rest in between games.

We also use to only play baseball for a 3-4 month window in WI and be done with baseball. The kids these days are playing baseball year round with inside facilities and are not getting 8 months of rest. Football starts in August, basketball starts in November, and Baseball starts in March. There is no rest between seasons anymore everything is blended together.

Some of these kids are just throwing and playing way to many games in a year.

Which is pretty much what it was... The other pitcher and I would split 4/3 or 3/4 depending on the day and the situation, since it was 7 innings every three days back then (no mandatory two days of rest after accumulating 7 IP back then.) (It was common for me to throw four innings on Monday and then three on Thursday or Friday.)

You also hit a key point about the 3-4 month window... I was a three sport athlete, so I was only pitching "live" from March-July. My arm had PLENTY of rest time.

Listen, I know it doesn't work for everyone, but speaking from personal experience, I would have HATED the new "Pitch Smart" rules. I would have felt like I was being punished only getting to pitch once a week. [:@]
"Let's Play Two!!!"

Baseball is not a game that builds character, it is a game that reveals it.

"There are three types of baseball players: those who make things happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
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smsnyder
banks93 wrote:
Yes, we will throw kids 2 innings the first game and then 2 innings the third game. The rules of 30-40 pitches and then sitting a day are not very accurate if you play how we do in WI in my opinion. If a kid throws more than 40 pitches a game you need to get him out...

Thanks, for all of that - a lot of good info that & it's a big help.

All of this certainly brings the issue of tournaments to the front. The pitchcount guidelines are easy enough to follow for league, it's the multiple games in multiple days of tournament play that are tough. And clearly the number of tournaments is a big factor. If kids aren't playing a ton of tournaments & have breaks in between, it makes occasionally pushing it much less of an issue.
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smsnyder
formerwiacbaseballer wrote:
banks93 wrote:
There is no reason a HS kid should ever pitch in 17 of 21 high school games. Your coach was not doing you any favors. That is the poster example of OVERUSAGE.

You obviously have a strong arm to be able to still be pitching 20 years later. Do you play in BABA league?

And that is where I disagree.... That's the problem with applying a "cookie cutter" rule to everyone. Everyone isn't built the same, nor have they put in the same amount of work to build strength and improve.


Certainly that's true - but it's a universal problem with rules in anything. Jeff Gordon is safer at 85 mph than many drivers are at 35. As much as I'm struggling a little with the guidelines, I'm thankful that there's a framework provided by folks who are focused on the long term. And that it appears to be driven by data rather than subjective things or tradition ("when we were playing..." As more data becomes available on how things are working, adjustments can be made.

I would suggest that at least some degree, thinking you're the exception to the rules is not a good idea. Sure, a strong arm is obvious and more developed kids can push a little harder. And you might well be right - there are always exceptional individuals. But what you don't see - the variations in internal anatomy - is every bit as important. Easiest example - a big, strong kid with spinal stenosis. Often there's no symptoms/indications - a few millimeters variation with where a ligament or muscle attaches can make a world of difference.
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formerwiacbaseballer
smsnyder wrote:
formerwiacbaseballer wrote:
banks93 wrote:
There is no reason a HS kid should ever pitch in 17 of 21 high school games. Your coach was not doing you any favors. That is the poster example of OVERUSAGE.

You obviously have a strong arm to be able to still be pitching 20 years later. Do you play in BABA league?

And that is where I disagree.... That's the problem with applying a "cookie cutter" rule to everyone. Everyone isn't built the same, nor have they put in the same amount of work to build strength and improve.

I would suggest that at least some degree, thinking you're the exception to the rules is not a good idea. Sure, a strong arm is obvious and more developed kids can push a little harder. And you might well be right - there are always exceptional individuals. But what you don't see - the variations in internal anatomy - is every bit as important. Easiest example - a big, strong kid with spinal stenosis. Often there's no symptoms/indications - a few millimeters variation with where a ligament or muscle attaches can make a world of difference.

I was talking about how things were for me, as in how my arm (and the rest of my body) actually responded nearly 20 years ago... There was not "thinking" involved, just going off actual experience.
"Let's Play Two!!!"

Baseball is not a game that builds character, it is a game that reveals it.

"There are three types of baseball players: those who make things happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
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blade12
I was in the car around the lunch hour and think I heard on the Radio (Jim Rome or Bill Michaels) that more than 50% of all Tommy John surgeries are now performed on teenagers.

Anyone else hear that? Is that correct? It was like 53% are performed on teens.

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longball12
blade12 wrote:
I was in the car around the lunch hour and think I heard on the Radio (Jim Rome or Bill Michaels) that more than 50% of all Tommy John surgeries are now performed on teenagers.

Anyone else hear that? Is that correct? It was like 53% are performed on teens.


That doesn't surprise me. I went to a couple of showcases last year and they had 10 and 11 year olds throwing up curveballs non-stop. The coaches had no problems with it. Then last year in our 10U Derek's tourney, Prairie had a kid tossing nothing but curveballs up there. I see a couple of Dereks classmates doing the same thing. If you don't have anyone telling you to not do it, then it doesn't surprise me one bit hearing that over 50% are done on teenagers. With the huge push for AAU and travel teams, and kids playing 6-9 months out of the year now, with no one really monitoring a lot of their throwing, I would expect teenagers to be the leader in TJ surgery.

This article from 2015 says 60% between 2007 and 2011. http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/adolescents-and-teen-health-news-719/teens-increasingly-likely-to-have-tommy-john-surgery-study-701292.html
Proud And Loving Father Of An Angel Named Derek - 8/4/13

Twitter - @iamlongball
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peckulease
blade12 wrote:
I was in the car around the lunch hour and think I heard on the Radio (Jim Rome or Bill Michaels) that more than 50% of all Tommy John surgeries are now performed on teenagers.

Anyone else hear that? Is that correct? It was like 53% are performed on teens.



That is correct. Now a days, it isn't much of a risk. In fact, a lot of people come back stronger. Especially as a teen, you should have zero problem coming back from TJ surgery.

When I was in high school, our pitch counts were routinely around 140-160. In fact, a team we played against threw a guy all 9 inning (went to extras). I believe his pitch count was like 240. I do not agree with that high of a total, but I certainly have saw them get up there. The wear and tear comes from throwing breaking balls such as sliders and curve balls.
A Playoff will be much more fair than the BCS.
No matter what happens, Rodgers GREATER THAN Favre.
St. Louis Cardinals = Classless
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smsnyder
Well it would seem pitch count rules are finally coming to WIAA:



Quote:
Specific rest periods are in place when a pitcher reaches a high threshold of pitches delivered in a day.

LEVEL: High School (All Levels) PITCHES ALLOWED PER DAY: 110*

The rest periods required during the WIAA regular and tournament season are listed below:

?If a pitcher throws 76 or more pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.
?If a pitcher throws 50-75 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.
?If a pitcher throws 31-49 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.
?If a pitcher throws 1-30 pitches in a day, no calendar day of rest is required before pitching again.

A calendar day means that if a pitcher throws 76 pitches on Tuesday, that player may NOT pitch again until Saturday. If he throws 30 pitches on Tuesday that player may pitch again on the next day which is Wednesday. The starting time of the game does NOT matter in the calculation of when a pitcher is eligible to pitch again.


"The WIAA has indicated that adoption of a pitch count rule is going to happen as soon as next season."

This is slightly looser than the Little League guidelines for 15-18 year olds, but certainly a positive step.
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longball12
I have been struggling with this very topic for a month now. Do we really need a pitch count or is common sense a better guide? How many coaches carry clickers? I might go and buy one for our 11U team and track this year. I believe pitch count is a better guide than innings, but at the same time, those pitch counts seem ridiculously low to me. As in 2 many breaks. more than 30 pitches and you have to wait a day inbetween pitching? I don't know. I still think common sense should be the deciding factor.
Proud And Loving Father Of An Angel Named Derek - 8/4/13

Twitter - @iamlongball
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formerwiacbaseballer
longball12 wrote:
I have been struggling with this very topic for a month now. Do we really need a pitch count or is common sense a better guide? How many coaches carry clickers? I might go and buy one for our 11U team and track this year. I believe pitch count is a better guide than innings, but at the same time, those pitch counts seem ridiculously low to me. As in 2 many breaks. more than 30 pitches and you have to wait a day inbetween pitching? I don't know. I still think common sense should be the deciding factor.

Speaking as someone who has coached at multiple levels in high school, "common sense" isn't so "common" once the games start.... You might be surprised what coaches would ask kids to do when all they were concerned about was winning a JV game.
"Let's Play Two!!!"

Baseball is not a game that builds character, it is a game that reveals it.

"There are three types of baseball players: those who make things happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
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smsnyder
longball12 wrote:
I have been struggling with this very topic for a month now. Do we really need a pitch count or is common sense a better guide? How many coaches carry clickers? I might go and buy one for our 11U team and track this year. I believe pitch count is a better guide than innings, but at the same time, those pitch counts seem ridiculously low to me. As in 2 many breaks. more than 30 pitches and you have to wait a day inbetween pitching? I don't know. I still think common sense should be the deciding factor.


How's common sense worked so far? That 60% of Tommy John surgeries are on 15-19 year olds makes a pretty damn compelling argument that common sense & inning limits are not working. We can debate what the best mechanism for protecting young arms should be - whether the break points & rest days are too restrictive, but it's infinitely better than allowing common sense to dictate. Coaches are competitive - the other guy pushes it a little, you go just a tiny bit further and next thing you know, you're putting kids at risk in order to win. The fact of the matter is the numbers weren't pulled out of thin air - they came from the recommendations of doctors & other experts from MLB and Little League - and are based on research and actual data rather than personal opinions.

I don't mean to be insulting or anything, but I have to say I'm pretty floored you haven't been counting pitches yet if you'll have 11's this summer. Let's just completely set aside the injury aspect. Tracking pitches is an important tool in optimizing your team performance too. There are levels where kids' performance drops off - both in general for an age level, and even more precisely on a player by player basis. I've been amazed at how accurate it is sometimes. Sure pitchcount is not a substitute for watching a kid for signs of fatigue. But if you're not tracking, it's almost like ignoring batting average to set your lineup. There's a reason the pros have been using pitchcounts for years - obviously with multi-million dollar contracts (and meddling agents), safety is a concern. But at that level, above all else, the driver is wins.

Here's the thing I'd suggest to anyone who isn't counting pitches. Have somebody do it for you. And after a game, put down what you think the kids threw & then check with what they actually threw. I'd guess you'll be shocked. I've been amazed at how often in the heat of the game, I'm thinking, "just one more inning," "one more batter..." etc and without even realizing it, a couple of pitches becomes 10 or 15. I am a big believer in putting kids in a position to be challenged - to give them an opportunity to battle through a tough spot. Great growth & confidence can come from those opportunities. But letting them hang out there too long - when they're beyond the point where they're likely to be successful does just the opposite. Pitch counts help me gauge that.
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blade12
I think it's probably well intentioned but have my doubts it will be easy to report and track what kid threw how many on what day and have that available for opposing coaches to police in the next game.

What is the penalty for violating the limits? If the WIAA doesn't enforce that the limits go out the window. If I have my pitcher at 109 and you have him at 110 and he throws 1 more, then what??? Do we forfeit right then and there? Does he need 1 more day of rest? That seems like it will be very messy.

I wonder how many small schools have enough effective arms to be competitive in games once kids are limited? A lot of teams will be playing 3-4 games per week just to get them in as soon as the weather clears. Do they have 8-10 pitchers?

Common sense would be the correct answer but that is in short supply.
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formerwiacbaseballer
Along those same lines, I was always a believer of the saying "finish what you start..." My thought was, doing what you need to in order to put yourself in position to finish a seven inning game, whether it be prep work leading up to a game or what you needed to do during the game (i.e. average roughly 15 pitches or less per inning.)

With that, I had a few caveats:
1. Once my pitcher got to 100 pitches, I would not let him start a new inning.
2. Once my pitcher got to 115 pitches, I would not let him face another hitter.
2. If my pitcher had a 35+ pitch inning from the second inning on, he would not start another inning.

I found by having these "set" numbers, it was much easier to make a pitching change and not let myself say "just one more batter."

At the same time, the kids knew going in that they needed to throw strikes on a consistent basis in order to not only be successful, but "finish what they started." I, as a coach, was always pleased when I could give a kid the chance to do just that.
"Let's Play Two!!!"

Baseball is not a game that builds character, it is a game that reveals it.

"There are three types of baseball players: those who make things happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
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longball12
smsnyder wrote:
longball12 wrote:
I have been struggling with this very topic for a month now. Do we really need a pitch count or is common sense a better guide? How many coaches carry clickers? I might go and buy one for our 11U team and track this year. I believe pitch count is a better guide than innings, but at the same time, those pitch counts seem ridiculously low to me. As in 2 many breaks. more than 30 pitches and you have to wait a day inbetween pitching? I don't know. I still think common sense should be the deciding factor.


How's common sense worked so far? That 60% of Tommy John surgeries are on 15-19 year olds makes a pretty damn compelling argument that common sense & inning limits are not working. We can debate what the best mechanism for protecting young arms should be - whether the break points & rest days are too restrictive, but it's infinitely better than allowing common sense to dictate. Coaches are competitive - the other guy pushes it a little, you go just a tiny bit further and next thing you know, you're putting kids at risk in order to win. The fact of the matter is the numbers weren't pulled out of thin air - they came from the recommendations of doctors & other experts from MLB and Little League - and are based on research and actual data rather than personal opinions.

I don't mean to be insulting or anything, but I have to say I'm pretty floored you haven't been counting pitches yet if you'll have 11's this summer. Let's just completely set aside the injury aspect. Tracking pitches is an important tool in optimizing your team performance too. There are levels where kids' performance drops off - both in general for an age level, and even more precisely on a player by player basis. I've been amazed at how accurate it is sometimes. Sure pitchcount is not a substitute for watching a kid for signs of fatigue. But if you're not tracking, it's almost like ignoring batting average to set your lineup. There's a reason the pros have been using pitchcounts for years - obviously with multi-million dollar contracts (and meddling agents), safety is a concern. But at that level, above all else, the driver is wins.

Here's the thing I'd suggest to anyone who isn't counting pitches. Have somebody do it for you. And after a game, put down what you think the kids threw & then check with what they actually threw. I'd guess you'll be shocked. I've been amazed at how often in the heat of the game, I'm thinking, "just one more inning," "one more batter..." etc and without even realizing it, a couple of pitches becomes 10 or 15. I am a big believer in putting kids in a position to be challenged - to give them an opportunity to battle through a tough spot. Great growth & confidence can come from those opportunities. But letting them hang out there too long - when they're beyond the point where they're likely to be successful does just the opposite. Pitch counts help me gauge that.

For the record, so we are on the same page here, I have 11's this year, and this is my first year coaching competitively. I would never push these young kids (age 11) to throw over 40 pitches in any start. That's ridiculous in my opinion. But I also think that the high school cut lines are odd. But I wanted to let you know that I am not counting pitches yet because we haven't played yet. The most pitches we have let our kids throw in their once a week practice, at game speed, has been 20.
Proud And Loving Father Of An Angel Named Derek - 8/4/13

Twitter - @iamlongball
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banks93
Just so everyone is clear the article said 790 Tommy John surgeries from 2007-2011. 158/year.

I searched how many kids play baseball in high school and it looked like 455,414 kids play baseball.

Let's say 158/year have TJ surgery. This would mean 90 - 15-18 year olds out of 455,414 are playing too much baseball.

Doesn't sound like too much of an issue when you compare it to ACL injuries or concussions.

Kids are not ready to pitch in high school anymore because of how they are brought up throwing in LL. They get to High School and the coach wants to pitch the kid and he is only used to throwing 2-3 innings/game.

Here is an injury that is rampant.
There are between 250,000 and 300,000 ACL injuries per year, and they're almost exclusively happening to athletes. The chances of a nonathlete suffering an ACL injury are 1,000 to 1

over 1.2 million knee injuries in high school athletics during this time frame. 2005-2011

This number is a lot more of an issue but nobody worries about it.
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