Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:43 PM
Injuries in baseball are certainly not a new occurrence, though the focus on arm injuries due to overuse has grown in recent decades. Our recently unveiled public service announcement offers a fair synopsis of this trend – “Sometimes, the game they love doesn’t love them back.”
Previous study data noted a four-fold increase in the number of elbow surgeries performed on collegiate pitchers and a six-fold increase for high school throwers between 2000 and 2004 compared to 1994 to 1999. With growing attention on statistics like these, nearly all major youth baseball organizations have developed rules and regulations to guide teams and players in quantity of pitches as well as days of rest between outings.
Are pitch count recommendations such as these helping? A study published in the current issue of Sports Health set out to at least try and answer these questions.
The study involved a questionnaire aimed at coaches of players between 9 and 15 years old from a specific community youth baseball league in the Midwest. Of the 95 coaches who responded, a total of 73% reported following the pitching rules, while only 53% felt like other coaches in the league were following the rules.
The coaches answered questions on pitch count and rest guidelines correctly at an average of 43%. As the study notes, can coaches truly follow these guidelines when they are not even familiar with them?
While this represents only one small sample, it does bring forth further questions over whether these injury issues are being given enough attention. To this end, continued education on injuries in baseball (and all youth sports) should be continued with players, parents and coaches.
Content derived from: “Knowledge of and Compliance with Pitch Count Recommendations: A Survey of Young Baseball Coaches” in the March - April 2012 Issue of Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach
Youth baseball pitching recommendations noted from USA Baseball Medical and Safety Advisory Committee