Guidelines for avoiding arm overuse
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, considered the foremost authority on pitching-related injuries and a director for the American Sports Medicine Institute, spearheaded several studies after noticing a significant rise in the number of young athletes requiring Tommy John surgery. In attempt to offset this epidemic, he proposed guidelines for coaches, players and parents to follow:
Pitch count limits
Age Max. pitches/game Max. pitches/week
8-10 50 75
11-12 75 100
13-14 75 125
15-16 90 Two games a week
17-18 105 Two games a week
Note: Actual number of pitches thrown determines number of rest days in between pitching outings.
Earliest age to learn pitches:
16 Slider, forkball, splitter
Note: Breaking pitches should not be thrown in competition until bones mature (indicated by puberty).
No year-round throwing: Pitchers should not compete in baseball for more than nine months per year. For at least three months, he/she should not participate in any throwing drills or any other stressful overhand arm activities.