Got a kid who likes to
play baseball or softball? Then it’s time to play hardball about how often he can pitch, according a new study discussed in U.S. News & World Report.
Severe throwing-related medical problems in children are skyrocketing in America, medical researchers say. Kids these days may be up
to 16 times more likely than in the 1980s to have a throwing injury so extreme
it requires surgery.
The findings were based
on a nationwide study of more than 750 pitchers, all ranging in age from 9 to 18
Researchers not only identified the alarming trend in pitching-linked injuries, they also teased
out several factors that are fueling it. “It became very clear that dangerous
pitching behavior is occurring among pitchers as young as Little League all the
way through their high school years,” says Dr. Joseph Guettler, an orthopedic
and sports medicine specialist with the Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak,
Mich. Guettler was also the study’s leader.
Some of the guidelines
being ignored by our little pitchers? About 13 percent of them play competitively more than 8
months each year, and 40 percent are in leagues that lack pitch counts or
limits. Almost 57 percent pitch on consecutive days, and 19 percent even
pitched more than one game per day.
urges us moms to remember the so-called “Rule of Ones”: one game a day, one day of pitching followed
by rest, and kids should play only one position at a time
during a pitched game. They should also play for only one team at a time, and
only one pitch before high school, and at least one season of a different
organized sport. Most importantly, complaints of pain or soreness should be
taken seriously. Any kid who says he has a sore or tired arm needs to take a