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Pitch Smart Pitching Program

Cheektowaga Youth Baseball, Inc. is proud to adopt the philosophies and principles of the Major League Baseball / USA Baseball Pitch Smart Program.

The Pitch Smart Program was designed by experts to help young players reduce arm injuries by providing a comprehensive resource for safe pitching practices. This series of practical age-appropriate guidelines is intended to help parents, players and coaches make educated decisions about how to approach pitching.

Through decades of research, experts have gained insight into the behaviors that put amateurs at an increased risk of injury. Recent studies show that youth pitchers were still exhibiting many of these behaviors, all of which were associated with increased likelihood of pitching with arm tiredness and arm pain. Some of these risk factors are, pitching on consecutive days; playing for multiple teams; pitching while fatigued or with injuries to other body regions; excessive throwing; not following safe practices, proper strength and conditioning routines; throwing curveballs and sliders at a young age; and not taking enough time off from baseball during the course of a year.

Experts agree that the single most important factor is daily, weekly and annual overuse. Other factors include lack of rest, pitching while fatigued, poor mechanics, playing catcher when not pitching, playing on multiple teams at the same time, pitching multiple days in a row and throwing at maximum effort.

Pitch Count Limits and Required Rest Recommendations

Age Range Daily Max Pitches Recommended Rest Period
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
8U 50 1-20 21-35 36-50 N/A N/A N/A
9-10 75 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+ N/A
11-12 85 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+ N/A
13-14 95 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+ N/A
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+ N/A
17-18 105 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-80 81+ N/A
19-22 120 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-80 81-105 106+

It is important for each league to set workload limits for their pitchers to limit the likelihood of pitching with fatigue. Research has shown that pitch counts are the most accurate and effective means of doing so. See required rest recommendations below.

Age Range Daily Max Pitches Recommended Rest Period
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
8U 50 1-20 21-35 36-50 N/A N/A N/A

    46' Pitching Distance

  • Focus on athleticism, physical fitness, and fun
  • Focus on learning baseball rules, general techniques, and teamwork
  • Do not exceed 60 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid throwing pitches other than fastballs and change-ups
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Players should not pitch in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers
  • No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch counts
Age Range Daily Max Pitches Recommended Rest Period
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
9-10 75 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+ N/A

    46' Pitching Distance

  • Focus on athleticism, physical fitness, and fun
  • Focus on learning baseball rules, general techniques, and teamwork
  • Do not exceed 60 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid throwing pitches other than fastballs and change-ups
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Players should not pitch in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers
  • No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch counts
Age Range Daily Max Pitches Recommended Rest Period
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
11-12 85 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+ N/A

50' Pitching Distance

  • Focus on athleticism, physical fitness, and fun
  • Focus on learning baseball rules, general techniques, and teamwork
  • Do not exceed 60 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid throwing pitches other than fastballs and change-ups
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Players should not pitch in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers
  • No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch counts
Age Range Daily Max Pitches Recommended Rest Period
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
13-14 95 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+ N/A
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+ N/A

60' 6" Pitching Distance

  • Players can begin using breaking pitches after developing consistent fastball and changeup
  • Do not exceed 100 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Players should not pitch in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • A pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position, can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game, but only once per game
  • No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch counts
Age Range Daily Max Pitches Recommended Rest Period
0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+ N/A
17-18 105 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-80 81+ N/A

60' 6" Pitching Distance

  • Players can begin using breaking pitches after developing consistent fastball and changeup
  • Do not exceed 100 combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Players should not pitch in multiple games on the same day
  • Make sure to follow guidelines across leagues, tournaments and showcases
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • A pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position, can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game, but only once per game
  • No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch counts

Contact Us

Cheektowaga Youth Baseball

121 Starlite Ave 
Cheektowaga, New York 14227

Phone: 716-249-1292
Email: [email protected]

Cheektowaga Youth Baseball

121 Starlite Ave 
Cheektowaga, New York 14227

Phone: 716-249-1292
Email: [email protected]
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