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VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Children who pitch should be followed closely with a pitch count to avoid overuse injuries, regardless of how many innings they have pitched, Dr. Tracy Ray said at the annual meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.
Many baseball coaches and organizations, including Little League, limit the number of innings a young pitcher can spend on the mound. But an abundance of research and opinion now suggests that it is the number of pitches a child throws during an outing that matters, said Dr. Ray, a family physician who practices sports medicine in Birmingham, Ala.
As importantly, children need to rest between pitching stints, and they should take at least a couple of months off from throwing a year.
In general, an 8- to 10-year-old child should not throw more than 50 pitches per outing; a child 11-12 years old should not throw more than 75, Dr. Ray said. Moreover, children in either age group probably should not exceed 75-100 pitches a week, and if …