The Little League pitch count by age has specific rules about how many pitches a young player can throw before needing a break. For example, those under 14 must rest for four days after throwing 66 pitches. The coaches are responsible for tracking the number of pitches thrown.
Young athletes can play on back-to-back days if they limit themselves to 20 pitches. However, they are not allowed to pitch on three consecutive days without taking a break.
Little League International, founded in 1959, oversees youth baseball and softball games globally. It started as a US league and then expanded to other countries over the years.
This organization cares deeply about the well-being of its young athletes, particularly the pitchers. To keep them healthy and energetic, there are restrictions on how many pitches they can throw.
The pitch limits are based on the players’ ages, and coaches must strictly enforce these rules. This means that if a player throws more pitches than allowed, they must be taken out of the game, no exceptions. This policy helps prevent injuries.
Little League World Series Pitch Count Rules
The rules of the Little League World Series specify a maximum number of pitches that a player is allowed to make in a single game, which is determined by their age. For instance, children aged 11 to 12 are permitted to throw up to 85 pitches per day.
This cap on pitches not only impacts a player’s participation in the current game but also their eligibility for subsequent games.
Players who exceed the allowed pitch count must take a mandatory break for a specified number of days before they can resume their role as a pitcher.
However, reaching the daily pitch limit does not preclude a player from participating in the game altogether. After maxing out their pitching quota, a player can switch to other positions on the field for the remainder of the game.
Moreover, if a player has only thrown 20 to 30 pitches, depending on their age category, they may switch positions and later return to pitching within the same game.
The Little League has set restrictions on the number of pitches a player can throw, based on their age category listed down below:
|Age Group||Pitch Count Limit|
|13-16||95 pitches per day|
|11-12||85 pitches per day|
|9-10||75 pitches per day|
|7-8||50 pitches per day|
During the regular season and World Series games, managers meticulously oversee the daily pitch count limits.
The League assigns umpires to monitor teams that break the rules during the Little League World Series (LLWS).
In the Minor League player pitching division, a young player between 7 and 8 years old is restricted to 50 pitches a day.
Similarly, players aged 9 to 10 can throw up to 75 pitches in a day while participating in the Major League Division of Little League.
Players in the Little League World Series, who belong to the age group of 11 to 12, are limited to 85 pitches each day.
Once a player has reached their daily pitch limit, they must take a 4-day break before pitching again, although they can play in other positions if they are fit.
Lastly, a 10-year-old player participating in the LLWS must adhere to the 75-pitch limit.
Little League World Series Rest Days
The Little League World Series (LLWS) has specific rules regarding the rest days required for players based on the number of pitches they throw.
Players need to rest for four days if they throw more than 66 pitches and three days if they throw between 51 and 65 pitches. This rule can vary depending on the total pitches thrown.
The purpose of these rules is to ensure that the players can perform at their best during every game. Adequate rest after a strenuous game enables them to maintain their top performance in subsequent games.
However, there are certain situations where players are allowed to continue pitching even after reaching their pitch limit.
For instance, if a player has reached their pitch limit but the batter they faced in the last inning either retires or reaches a base, the player is allowed to pitch in the next inning.
Similarly, if a pitcher strikes out a batter, completing the half inning with their third strikeout, they are not required to leave the mound.
The Little League World Series participants need to take a specific number of days off for rest as shown below:
|Pitch Count||Rest Days Required|
|1-20 Pitches||0 Days (No Rest Required)|
|21-35 Pitches||1 Day Rest|
|36-50 Pitches||2 Day Rest|
|51-65 Pitches||3 Days Rest|
|65-85 Pitches||4 Days Rest|
Similarly, players who make between 21 and 35 pitches need a day off. If they pitch between 36 and 50 times, a two-day break is mandatory before they can resume pitching on the field.
Typically, starting players pitch more in an attempt to achieve a no-hit or a perfect game. A three-day break is required for those who make more than 50, but less than 66 pitches.
However, a four-day break is mandatory for those exceeding 66 pitches in a day.
During their rest days, players can take up other positions on the team, but are not allowed to pitch.
Little League World Series Pitch Count Rules 2023
The 2023 World Series’ Little League pitch count rules state that a pitcher who has thrown 85 pitches in a day must be taken out of the game, although there are certain exceptions depending on the game situation.
The count for the rest requirement begins with the first pitch a batter receives that day. If a pitcher reaches the limit while facing a batter, they can finish the inning until the batter gets to base, is out, or becomes the third out before the inning ends.
Also, a pitcher can return to pitch if they are taken out by the manager before the batter finishes their at-bat.
The pitch count rules in the Little League World Series are quite similar to the rules during the regular season.
The 2023 Little League World Series has specific regulations for pitch counts:
- A player can pitch in a game unless they have already played as a catcher for four innings on the same day.
- Once a pitcher is taken off the mound, they cannot pitch again in that game.
- A player who has been a catcher for three or fewer innings can become a pitcher. If they throw 21 pitches, they cannot return to catching that day. However, if they throw 20 or fewer pitches, they can continue pitching or return to catching. Exceptions exist if the batter reaches base, retires, or is the third strikeout of the inning.
- Managers must move pitchers off the mound once they reach their daily pitch limit, based on their age. Players can be moved to other positions.
- If a pitcher throws 40 pitches to a batter, they can continue pitching and are eligible to be a catcher until the batter reaches base, retires, or is the third out of the half-inning.
- Pitchers can switch to catching if they are moved, removed, or the game ends before they pitch to another batter. However, if they have thrown 41 pitches and no exceptions apply, they cannot catch for the rest of the day.
- Players must follow rest requirements based on their pitch count.
- Managers must know their pitchers’ eligibility during a game and when they need to be removed.
- In suspended games that resume on another day, players’ pitch counts reset if they have had the required rest.