Hey Blue: What is “pitch count” and why are there “days of rest”?

By Bob Downey, Hanover LL UIC 2014

To protect the health of pitchers, Little League has rules based on years of research, concerning the maximum number of pitches a child can pitch in a game and how many days of rest they should have before pitching again.

Parents you are strongly encouraged to monitor this especially if your child is playing for more than one team.  Children can suffer irreparable soft tissue damage from over use of developing muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.  Since coaches do not always know what is happening when a child plays on another team, the responsibility is yours!

Little League Regulations VI has the following wording concerning pitch count and days of rest.

…Any player on a regular season team may pitch. Exception: Any player, who has played the position of catcher in four (4) or more innings in a game, is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day. The manager must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age  group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position:

League Age

17-18               105 pitches per day

13 -16              95 pitches per day

11-12               85 pitches per day

9-10                 75 pitches per day

7-8                   50 pitches per day

Exception: If a pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI(c) for his/her league age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs:

1. That batter reaches base;

2. That batter is put out;

3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning.

NOTE: A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.

 

Pitchers league age 14 and under must adhere to the following rest requirements:

• If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 51 – 65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 36 – 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 21 – 35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.

EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs:

1. That batter reaches base;

2. That batter is retired;

3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed before delivering a pitch to another batter.

 

Pitchers league age 15-18 must adhere to the following rest requirements:

• If a player pitches 76 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 61 – 75 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 46 – 60 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 31 -45 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar days of rest must be observed.

• If a player pitches 1-30 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.

EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs:

1. That batter reaches base;

2. That batter is retired;

3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning. The pitcher will only be required to observethe calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed before delivering a pitch to another batter.