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Thread: Pitch Counts in IHSA

  1. #1

    Default Pitch Counts in IHSA

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...524-story.html

    What are thoughts on this? What's the highest pitch count total you've seen a kid thrown?

  2. #2
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    I've seen a number of high pitch counts over the years. Dusty Bilbruck of Gillespie threw 180 pitches in a 14-inning complete game and bounced right back a few days later to throw 140 pitches in a 12-inning marathon. This would have been in the mid 2000's I believe. He also set the County Record in the Pole Vault between those two outings jumping 13'0".

    Last year, Joeb Easterday of Carlinville threw close to 160 pitches in the Regional semifinals. He refused to come out of the game. He played club ball at SIU-Carbondale this year and as far as know, has had no problems.

    I honestly cringe when the pitch count gets over 120. But then I think back to a few years ago when no one even kept a pitch count or cared. Pitches just threw until their arm felt "tired".

    I worry more about those games in late March and early April when it's in the 30's, 40's or 50's and pitchers are throwing 90-100 pitches in just their first or second outing of the season.


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    My son is a freshman who was 7-0 in varsity baseball this year and threw about 40 innings. Practice started at the end of February, so it is a 3 month season. Now travel coaches want to play another 50 games in June and July, and now it's a five month season. Kids who pitch at small schools like ours don't get to rest their arm between games because they are playing another position in the other games during the week. Same thing happens in the summer if you are a good player, especially in the big weekend tourneys where you play 5 or 6 games in a weekend. This is where I think the problem lies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiu bb 31 View Post
    My son is a freshman who was 7-0 in varsity baseball this year and threw about 40 innings. Practice started at the end of February, so it is a 3 month season. Now travel coaches want to play another 50 games in June and July, and now it's a five month season. Kids who pitch at small schools like ours don't get to rest their arm between games because they are playing another position in the other games during the week. Same thing happens in the summer if you are a good player, especially in the big weekend tourneys where you play 5 or 6 games in a weekend. This is where I think the problem lies.
    I guess the solution to that is to not let your kid play as much.
    You come at the King, you best not miss.---Omar Little

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    I've seen at least three 140+ pitch outings this season--there were probably two more that were at least 120 where the count was incomplete.
    You come at the King, you best not miss.---Omar Little

    My name is Sip Rogers.
    I go to Abraham Lincoln High School.
    I play the two-spot.
    We're the Railspllitters, and nobody's ****in' with us.

    I'm rollin' like a Big Shot.

  6. #6

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    Count me in the SUFFICIENT REST TIME CATEGORY.

    I believe in reasonable pitch counts as well, but I believe it is more detrimental to keep bringing kids back on super short rest. Many high school teams do this. Ace throws a 7 inning shutout on 96 pitches, and coach asks him to stop the bleeding in a game 2 days later. This is why we try to develop a great amount of depth in pitching, so that we do not feel pressured to resort to that.

    I had 9 pitchers pitch for me this year in 24 total games. #1 had 44 innings, #2 had 43 innings, #3 had 33 innings, #4 had 17 innings, and #5 had 15 innings. 9 innings spread out between 4 other guys. No sore arms during season. We focused on conditioning, shoulder strength, and recovery between outings. My guys also long tossed almost every day because they loved it. Their arm responded well.

    100+ pitches is not the main culprit I don't think. It is bringing that kid back in 3 days or less to throw in relief or even start again that is hurting these kids.

    I also believe late fall and winter velocity showcases are not for the best interest of the pitchers. They're not in game shape, and they go show off for the radar gun.

    WEIGHTED BALL AND VELOCITY PROGRAMS are not for everyone, but they are sold to everyone.... Build up LEGS, CORE, and ROTATOR CUFF strength before trying to go get "guaranteed 5-11 MPH in 8-12 weeks". First, that gained velocity vanishes when you can't keep up that program in season. Second, young ligaments and tendons aren't ready for that stress. Finally, body strength must support arm strength. If mechanics get out of whack because of poor body strength and control, the arm suffers.

    Sorry for the rant on more than you asked. I'm just a baseball enthusiast and pitching coach that is frustrated.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by orphs View Post
    I guess the solution to that is to not let your kid play as much.
    Yep. Just say no. Simple solution.

  8. #8

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    I was in Clifton last night and saw Central coach already has them out there practicing hitting foul balls, great idea...

  9. #9

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    When my kid was a 6th grader, he played mattoon in travel ball and they let a kid pitch in the mid 140's. For our travel team, no kid will pitch more than 80 pitches in a game, as well as have very sufficient rest between outings.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CC Baseball View Post
    Count me in the SUFFICIENT REST TIME CATEGORY.

    I believe in reasonable pitch counts as well, but I believe it is more detrimental to keep bringing kids back on super short rest. Many high school teams do this. Ace throws a 7 inning shutout on 96 pitches, and coach asks him to stop the bleeding in a game 2 days later. This is why we try to develop a great amount of depth in pitching, so that we do not feel pressured to resort to that.

    I had 9 pitchers pitch for me this year in 24 total games. #1 had 44 innings, #2 had 43 innings, #3 had 33 innings, #4 had 17 innings, and #5 had 15 innings. 9 innings spread out between 4 other guys. No sore arms during season. We focused on conditioning, shoulder strength, and recovery between outings. My guys also long tossed almost every day because they loved it. Their arm responded well.

    100+ pitches is not the main culprit I don't think. It is bringing that kid back in 3 days or less to throw in relief or even start again that is hurting these kids.

    I also believe late fall and winter velocity showcases are not for the best interest of the pitchers. They're not in game shape, and they go show off for the radar gun.

    WEIGHTED BALL AND VELOCITY PROGRAMS are not for everyone, but they are sold to everyone.... Build up LEGS, CORE, and ROTATOR CUFF strength before trying to go get "guaranteed 5-11 MPH in 8-12 weeks". First, that gained velocity vanishes when you can't keep up that program in season. Second, young ligaments and tendons aren't ready for that stress. Finally, body strength must support arm strength. If mechanics get out of whack because of poor body strength and control, the arm suffers.

    Sorry for the rant on more than you asked. I'm just a baseball enthusiast and pitching coach that is frustrated.
    I think this is pretty spot on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silent bob View Post
    Yep. Just say no. Simple solution.
    It really is---we're fortunate that my son plays for a cool summer coach who has the best interests of the kids at heart. Both his HS and summer pitching staffs are deep and talented so he's never overworked but he did have some elbow trouble a year ago during the HS season and into summer. His doctor is the team physician for Illinois baseball, their trainer happened to live next door to us and the head of athletic training at Carle in Champaingn is a teammates father and friend so there were plenty of eyes on him to make sure he was doing the right things. He played 1B at times with instructions not to throw overhand which was his MDs idea and hit and ran with no troubles. Eventually he moved to 2B and resumed a throwing/pitching program at Christmas. With overuse or improper rehab he would've possibly needed Tommy John--which would've effectively ended his baseball career.
    That being said--his mom and I were both fine with him not playing in the summer. He may play after HS; he may not. Baseball isn't the vehicle he has to use to go to college but if he wants to pursue it that's fine with me. Parents are far too often sold a bill of goods in regards to recruiting and pressure their kids to keep playing through injury to get a shot at a scholarship.
    You come at the King, you best not miss.---Omar Little

    My name is Sip Rogers.
    I go to Abraham Lincoln High School.
    I play the two-spot.
    We're the Railspllitters, and nobody's ****in' with us.

    I'm rollin' like a Big Shot.

  12. #12

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    1993 - Regional game @ SJO vs Oakwood. Day one lasted 15 innings and was called for darkness. Oamwood's starter threw all 15 innings and totaled 231 pitches.

    Day two he did not pitch, and the game ended in the 16th inning (1st of the day) and took about 10 minutes. I still can't believe he was allowed to stay in the game the entire 15 innings.

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    "But high school pitch counts are starting to catch on. Alabama recently created a rule that pairs a 120-pitch ceiling with serious enforcement.

    Starting next year, a school and its opponent must record every throw, while a neutral official will keep track as well. The pitch counts will be reported electronically to the Alabama High School Athletic Association."

    -----

    I hate to take the cynical route, but I have to think a system such as this one will soon see fundamental problems. First, who would be the "neutral official" and who would pay for them to be at the game? And how would the neutrality of said official be guaranteed? I assume the idea is that this person would be an umpire that isn't working that day/evening. But it is tough enough to find quality umpires as it is.

    Even if the IHSA figures out who these magical people would be AND how to pay for their attendance, what happens if an unusual situation takes place? Let's just say for example that one of these men or women gets a call on their cell phone in the middle of a game with news that their father has gone to the hospital after a heart attack. What happens then? Would you just go with the totals counted by the teams? Well, one team could have an incentive to under count and the other could have an incentive to over count.

    I just don't think the IHSA wants the headache of having to administrate all this for the entire season. I could see them maybe setting some kind of pitch limit/inning limit at the Super-Sectional and State Finals levels of the post-season... There are a limited number of those games and someone from the IHSA office is usually in attendance at every Super and, of course, there are plenty of IHSA people at every State Final game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McAdoo View Post
    "But high school pitch counts are starting to catch on. Alabama recently created a rule that pairs a 120-pitch ceiling with serious enforcement.

    Starting next year, a school and its opponent must record every throw, while a neutral official will keep track as well. The pitch counts will be reported electronically to the Alabama High School Athletic Association."

    -----

    I hate to take the cynical route, but I have to think a system such as this one will soon see fundamental problems. First, who would be the "neutral official" and who would pay for them to be at the game? And how would the neutrality of said official be guaranteed? I assume the idea is that this person would be an umpire that isn't working that day/evening. But it is tough enough to find quality umpires as it is.

    Even if the IHSA figures out who these magical people would be AND how to pay for their attendance, what happens if an unusual situation takes place? Let's just say for example that one of these men or women gets a call on their cell phone in the middle of a game with news that their father has gone to the hospital after a heart attack. What happens then? Would you just go with the totals counted by the teams? Well, one team could have an incentive to under count and the other could have an incentive to over count.

    I just don't think the IHSA wants the headache of having to administrate all this for the entire season. I could see them maybe setting some kind of pitch limit/inning limit at the Super-Sectional and State Finals levels of the post-season... There are a limited number of those games and someone from the IHSA office is usually in attendance at every Super and, of course, there are plenty of IHSA people at every State Final game.

    McAdoo
    Debbie downer...lol.

    Something has to be done. I see this up close and personal every season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McAdoo View Post
    "But high school pitch counts are starting to catch on. Alabama recently created a rule that pairs a 120-pitch ceiling with serious enforcement.

    Starting next year, a school and its opponent must record every throw, while a neutral official will keep track as well. The pitch counts will be reported electronically to the Alabama High School Athletic Association."

    -----

    I hate to take the cynical route, but I have to think a system such as this one will soon see fundamental problems. First, who would be the "neutral official" and who would pay for them to be at the game? And how would the neutrality of said official be guaranteed? I assume the idea is that this person would be an umpire that isn't working that day/evening. But it is tough enough to find quality umpires as it is.

    Even if the IHSA figures out who these magical people would be AND how to pay for their attendance, what happens if an unusual situation takes place? Let's just say for example that one of these men or women gets a call on their cell phone in the middle of a game with news that their father has gone to the hospital after a heart attack. What happens then? Would you just go with the totals counted by the teams? Well, one team could have an incentive to under count and the other could have an incentive to over count.

    I just don't think the IHSA wants the headache of having to administrate all this for the entire season. I could see them maybe setting some kind of pitch limit/inning limit at the Super-Sectional and State Finals levels of the post-season... There are a limited number of those games and someone from the IHSA office is usually in attendance at every Super and, of course, there are plenty of IHSA people at every State Final game.

    McAdoo
    I don't think any sort of pitch count rule is a feasible option. Having a neutral party come to every single high school baseball game and record pitch count is absurd. Let's be honest, no one is paying for that in Illinois and who in the world would they get to do it? As a high school baseball coach, if they want to do it on the honor system, I'll abide. I'm not throwing any kids over 120 pitches in a game anyway. But, I am not sure all will have the same attitude.

    What I think is more feasible is having coaches log pitchers' innings into some sort of database, and having guidelines as to how many days rest in between a pitcher is required, based on innings. This is obviously a flawed system as you could have a kid throw 80 pitches in 7 innings and another kid throw 130 pitches in 7 innings. The kid that throws 130 obviously needs more time to recover than the kid that threw 80. However, if the IHSA decides they want to address the overuse of high school arms, I think they have to do something along those lines. Another option would be to limit the amount of innings a kid can throw in a week. Again, still flawed, but it would be easier to track. I am not saying I think this should happen, but it would be easier to manage than a pitch count limit.

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