Extracted from MLB recommendations found on their website: PITCHSMART

GUIDELINES FOR YOUTH AND ADOLESCENT PITCHERS

Each organization - whether it be a league, travel team, showcase or tournament - should establish rules to ensure that players must follow the guidelines while playing in that league. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the parent and the athlete to ensure that the player follows the guidelines for his age group over the course of a year - given that he will oftentimes play in multiple leagues with different affiliations covering different times of the year.

Select Player's Age for Recommendations below:

AGES 8 & UNDER

(Typically 46' Pitching Distance)

  • Focus on athleticism, physical fitness, and fun
  • Focus on learning baseball rules, general techniques, and teamwork
  • Do not exceed 60 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid throwing pitches other than fastballs and change-ups
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Avoid pitching in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers
AGE DAILY MAX (PITCHES) REQUIRED REST (PITCHES)
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
7-8 50 1-20 21-35 36-50 N/A N/A

AGES 9 TO 12

(Typically 46-50' Pitching Distance)

  • Focus on athleticism, physical fitness, and fun
  • Focus on learning baseball rules, general techniques, and teamwork
  • Do not exceed 80 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid throwing pitches other than fastballs and change-ups
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Avoid pitching in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers
AGE DAILY MAX (PITCHES) REQUIRED REST (PITCHES)
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
9-10 75 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
11-12 85 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+

AGES 13 TO 14

(Typically 60' Pitching Distance)

  • Players can begin using breaking pitches after developing consistent fastball and changeup
  • Do not exceed 100 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Avoid pitching in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • A pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position, can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game, but only once per game
AGE DAILY MAX (PITCHES) REQUIRED REST (PITCHES)
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
13-14 95 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+

AGES 15 TO 18

(Typically 60' Pitching Distance)

  • Players can begin using breaking pitches after developing consistent fastball and changeup
  • Do not exceed 100 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from competitive pitching every year, including at least 2-3 continuous months off from all overhead throwing
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Avoid pitching in multiple games on the same day
  • Make sure to follow guidelines across leagues, tournaments and showcases
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • A pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position, can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game, but only once per game
AGE DAILY MAX (PITCHES) REQUIRED REST (PITCHES)
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
17-18 105 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+

PITCH COUNT LIMITS AND REQUIRED REST RECOMMENDATIONS

It is important for each league to set workload limits for their pitchers to limit the likelihood of pitching with fatigue. Research has shown that pitch counts are the most accurate and effective means of doing so.

AGE DAILY MAX (PITCHES) REQUIRED REST (PITCHES)
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
7-8 50 1-20 21-35 36-50 N/A N/A
9-10 75 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
11-12 85 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
13-14 95 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
17-18 105 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+

ORGANIZATIONAL PITCH SMART COMPLIANCE

As the health and safety of athletes continues to be a priority within amateur baseball, the following Pitch Smart Compliance program has been developed to assist the public in identifying the organizations that have adopted Pitch Smart guidelines and principles. Compliance levels with definitions are as follows:

Fully Compliant Pitch Smart Organizations (as of April 1, 2015):

Full Compliance Defined:

  1. Follow Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across all competitions
  2. Recommend that players, parents and coaches adhere to all additional Pitch Smart guidelines
  3. General Pitch Smart information is hosted on or linked to from the organizational website
  4. Pitch Smart information is distributed to all coaches
  5. Formal coaches' meeting(s) will include a Pitch Smart informational segment
  6. Pitch Smart information encouraged in team orientation meetings with parents and players

Select Compliant Pitch Smart Organizations:

Select Compliance Defined:

  1. Follow Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across select competitions
  2. Recommend that players, parents and coaches adhere to all additional Pitch Smart guidelines
  3. General Pitch Smart information is hosted on or linked to from the organizational website
  4. Pitch Smart information is distributed to all coaches
  5. Has developed a plan and will continue to show progress towards the adoption of all standards of "Full Pitch Smart Compliance" in coming years

Educational Supporters:

Pitch Smart Educational Supporters:

  1. Agree with the philosophies of the Pitch Smart program
  2. Promote Pitch Smart awareness through web, social media and on-site awareness
  3. Will work towards "Select" and "Full" program compliance upon organizational review