Pitchers are perhaps the most active players on the field, as they are constantly engaged with the game while on the mound. For youth baseball pitchers to avoid injuries, learn the fundamentals correctly, and look out for their long-term health, counting pitches and limiting them for each pitcher is crucial.

Counting pitches so parents and coaches can keep track of when to pull a player off the mound is not only a good idea but should be standard practice. The many benefits of paying close attention to pitch counts will help everyone involved. Let’s go over why pitch counts matter and why it is not only the coach’s responsibility but the parent’s as well to look out for the long-term health of their pitchers.

Whose Responsibility is it to Keep Track of Pitch Counts?

Many people automatically assume it’s solely the coach’s responsibility to keep track of pitch counts. It’s also incorrectly assumed that tournament directors and league directors are responsible for enforcing pitch counts as well, which is simply logistically impossible.

While it’s true that coaches should always keep a pitch count, each team as a collective unit holds the responsibility to be aware of their pitcher’s time on the mound. This includes coaches, parents, and teammates working together to look out for their pitcher’s well-being.

Parents should count pitches along with coaches so they can ensure an accurate accounting of the number of pitches that have been thrown by a player. This also holds coaches accountable, preventing a pitcher from being overused in the first place.

When teams are aware of pitch counts, pitchers will have plenty of people advocating for their arm health, which results in the appropriate number of pitches for players and allows them to get proper recovery time.

Now that we’ve discussed who’s responsible for keeping track of pitch counts, let’s review exactly why it’s so important.

Injury Prevention

Young pitchers’ bodies are still developing, and their arms are particularly vulnerable to overuse injuries. Pitching puts a significant amount of stress on the shoulder and elbow joints, and excessive pitching can lead to elbow and shoulder injuries, which can be incredibly painful and require excessive physical training to treat. Monitoring pitch counts is the easiest way to help prevent overuse and reduce the risk of injuries in the first place.

Development of Proper Mechanics

Pitching requires proper technique and mechanics to minimize stress on the arm. When young pitchers become fatigued due to excessive pitches, their fundamental mechanics can break down, leading to poor form and an increased risk of injury. By enforcing pitch limits, coaches can ensure that pitchers maintain good mechanics throughout the game, promoting long-term development and reducing the risk of injury. This not only reduces injuries but also creates better pitchers in the long term.

Long-Term Arm Health

Managing pitch counts in youth baseball helps promote long-term arm health. By avoiding excessive pitches at a young age, pitchers have a better chance of maintaining healthy arms as they progress through higher levels of play. This approach prioritizes the well-being of young players and reduces the likelihood of long-term arm issues. When coaches and parents realize the importance of advocating for the health of their pitchers for the long haul and not just the short term, young pitchers can grow and improve to their utmost potential for years to come.

Skill Development

Pitch counts allow coaches to intentionally plan and optimize the use of their pitchers. By limiting pitch counts, coaches can distribute playing time among multiple pitchers, allowing more players the opportunity to develop their skills on the mound. This approach promotes overall team development and allows players to explore different positions and roles, which is what youth baseball is all about.


When coaches and parents fail to pay attention to pitch counts it puts young pitchers at tremendous risk of injury and even hinders their ability to improve due to fatigue. The health and safety of youth baseball players should always be at the forefront of everybody’s minds for the reasons we explained above, and the more people that become aware of pitch counts, the better.

This information is provided by Kings Sports, a company focused on youth baseball for the past 20 years. We manage tournaments and local leagues in the greater Cincinnati area, along with individual player opportunities to participate in events in Georgia, Florida, and many other locations. To learn more, visit playksports.com