Guidelines for Youth and Adolescent Pitchers

Each organization — whether it be a league, travel team, showcase or tournament — should establish rules to ensure that players must follow the guidelines while playing in that league. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the parent and the athlete to ensure that the player follows the guidelines for his age group over the course of a year — given that he will oftentimes play in multiple leagues with different affiliations covering different times of the year.

Select Player's Age for Recommendations

Pitch Count Limits and Required Rest Recommendations

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.

Age Daily Max (Pitches in Game) Required Rest (Pitches)
    0 Days 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
7-8 50 1-20 21-35 36-50 N/A N/A
9-10 75 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
11-12 85 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
13-14 95 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
17-18 105 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
19-22 120 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+

Organizational Pitch Smart Compliance

As the health and safety of athletes continues to be a priority within amateur baseball, the following Pitch Smart Compliance program has been developed to assist the public in identifying the organizations that have adopted Pitch Smart guidelines and principles. If your organization would like to become Pitch Smart Compliant, please complete the application and submit it to pitchsmart@usabaseball.com.

Pitch Smart Compliance Application

Compliance levels with definitions are as follows:

Fully Compliant Pitch Smart Organizations (as of April 1, 2015):

Full Compliance Defined:

  1. Follow Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across all competitions
  2. Recommend that players, parents and coaches adhere to all additional Pitch Smart guidelines
  3. General Pitch Smart information is hosted on or linked to from the organizational website
  4. Pitch Smart information is distributed to all coaches
  5. Formal coaches’ meeting(s) will include a Pitch Smart informational segment
  6. Pitch Smart information encouraged in team orientation meetings with parents and players

Select Compliant Pitch Smart Organizations:

Select Compliance Defined:

  1. Follow Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods across select competitions
  2. Recommend that players, parents and coaches adhere to all additional Pitch Smart guidelines
  3. General Pitch Smart information is hosted on or linked to from the organizational website
  4. Pitch Smart information is distributed to all coaches
  5. Has developed a plan and will continue to show progress towards the adoption of all standards of "Full Pitch Smart Compliance" in coming years

Educational Supporters:

Pitch Smart Educational Supporters:

  1. Agree with the philosophies of the Pitch Smart program
  2. Promote Pitch Smart awareness through web, social media and on-site awareness
  3. Will work towards "Select" and "Full" program compliance upon organizational review

Download the full list of compliant organizations here

The Pitch Smart Compliance Program has been created to provide the general public with a broad overview of organizations within which the public can reasonably expect the Pitch Smart guidelines to be instituted.  Major League Baseball and USA Baseball do not guarantee that these organizations operate within the Pitch Smart guidelines in all cases, and organizations self-identify their compliance with the Pitch Smart guidelines.  We encourage coaches, parents and players to seek out the specific pitching rules within their league or competition and to manage their own player’s usage within the spirit of the Pitch Smart program.