Little League switches to pitch count rule
Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Local Little League administrators and coaches are mostly taking a wait-and-see approach to the new pitch count rule that will have a big impact on when and how long pitchers can throw.
The old rule limited pitchers to six innings a week regardless of the number of pitches thrown.
The new rule limits pitchers in the age 11-12 division to 85 pitches a day and pitchers in the age 9-10 division to 75 pitches a day.
Pitchers who throw 61 or more pitches must observe three days of rest before they are eligible to pitch again. Pitchers who throw between 46 and 60 pitches must have two days of rest. Pitchers who throw between 21 and 45 pitches a day must have one day of rest. Pitchers who throw between one and 20 pitches will be eligible to throw the following day.
Brewton Little League president Tony Smith said the main purpose behind the change is to protect the arms of young pitchers.
Brewton Tigers coach David Maddox, whose team competes in the age 11-12 division, said pitchers may actually throw more innings now.
for efficient pitchers to throw more innings now, but I think overall pitchers will throw fewer pitches. If that protects a kid from hurting his arm, it will be good.”
East Brewton Mets coach Howard Joyner, whose teams competes in the age 11-12 division, thinks the change may not be as dramatic as some people suspect it will be.
Maddox thinks coaches could actually have to develop fewer pitchers, at least in the age 11-12 group.
The pitch count rule also applies to the all-star season with one slight difference. Pitchers may throw up to 46 pitches instead of 41 before they are required to observe two days of rest before they are eligible to pitch again. An even bigger rule though is pitchers cannot throw in more than one game a day.
Both East Brewton and Brewton will use pitch counter officials that will notify managers when a pitcher reaches various limits.