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Palos Verdes Little League Official Pitching Regulations

Palos Verdes Little League takes player safety extremely seriously.  One of the biggest ways we protect our players is strict adherence to the pitch count rules. In 2018, Palos Verdes Little League added a precaution of modifying the Little League Pitch Count rules to make them even more conservative. PVLL did this to further take into consideration the wear and tear on young players’ arms while acknowledging the stress placed on year-round baseball. Additionally, the modified rules provide greater opportunity for more players which directly aligns to both Little League’s and PVLL’s focus on greater participation and player/positional development.

This set of regulations identifies the latest rules, helps explain how to utilize them, and provides specific examples of proper interpretation of these rules.

As a community, we feel that we must all be aligned on our goal with respect to pitch counts, which is to prevent injury or undue risk to our children. PVLL's policy is designed to prevent a violation from happening – and each member of our league (manager, scorekeeper, parent, official) has a responsibility to uphold this policy and do whatever he or she can to prevent a violation from occurring.

It is important to note that violating these rules puts the kids at risk of injury.  Therefore, we take infractions very seriously.  Not understanding the rules is not a defense for infractions.  Violations may result in game forfeiture and manager suspension.

Palos Verdes Little League Pitch Count Table

PVLL follows the Pitch Count limits seen here:

AGE

MAXIMUM PITCHES PER DAY

 

Before 3/31/2019

After 3/31/2019

11 – 12

65 75

9 – 10

55 65

7 – 8

35 40

 

Additionally, there are mandated rest days based on the number of pitches thrown, by age.  The rest requirements are found here:

PITCHES

DAYS REST REQUIRED

 

Before 3/31/2019

After 3/31/2019

1 – 20

1 Day

0 Days

21 – 35

1 Day

1 Day

36 – 50

2 Days

2 Days

51 – 65

3 Days

3 Days

66 – 75

4 Days

4 Days

 

Days Rest are defined by full calendar days without pitching.  For example, there are 0 rest days between Friday and Saturday.  There is 1 rest day between games on Saturday and Monday.  There are 2 rest days between games on Saturday and Tuesday.  There are 3 rest days between games on Tuesday and Saturday.

No matter the number of pitches, no pitcher can pitch in more than one game per day.

Pitcher/Catcher Limits

In order to be eligible to play catcher after pitching, the pitch count must be below 41.  If 41 pitches are thrown, that pitcher is ineligible to play catcher (even if the 41st pitch was done to "finish the batter").  This is a hard stop limit.

In order to be eligible to pitch after playing catcher, the player may not exceed three innings at catcher, consecutive or non-consecutive.  If the player starts a fourth inning, that player is immediately ineligible to pitch in that game.

48 Hour Practice Clause

If a pitcher throws 51 or more pitches, regardless of the “finished batter” addendum, the player may not throw at practice for 48 hours.  If the player feels capable, the player is encouraged to follow the warmup and strengthening routine.  However, absolutely no throwing drills, long toss, or bullpens.  The player may participate in non-throwing fielding drills and all batting drills.

Call-ups

Call-ups are not immune to the limits.  If a player is being called up to your team, you are responsible for understanding what has happened earlier in the day, what could happen later in the day, and manage accordingly.

If your player was called up in a game before yours, you are also responsible for what happened previously.

How to Use the Pitch Counts

Managing pitch counts is extremely important, but often not completely understood.  This section will help explain the common method of thinking about, and managing to, the pitch count limits.

Days Rest

Here is the situation.  It is Wednesday.  Game day.  But, you also have a game on Saturday.  If you want to have your pitcher eligible to pitch both games, you must calculate the rest days in between games and limit your pitcher to those limits in the first game so that he or she is eligible for the second game.

In this example, with a Wednesday/Saturday slate, there are 2 rest days between games (Thursday and Friday).  That means, looking at the table, that the pitcher - in order to be eligible to pitch in Saturday's game - can only pitch 50 pitches.  If the pitcher faces a new batter while having pitched 50 or more pitches, he or she is now ineligible to pitch on Saturday.  This is often called "burning" a pitcher, because you have burned their pitching eligibility for the next game.

Finishing the Batter

Also often misunderstood is the rule regarding “finishing a batter.”  In Little League, all pitch limits allow the pitcher to complete a batter and maintain their eligibility based on when the batter was started.  For example, in the scenario above with managing to a 2 day rest period, the pitcher finishes a batter and has pitched 49 pitches.  It is legal, in order to maintain eligibility, to start the next batter at 50 and complete that batter (batter retired, batter on-base) and still be considered to have only pitched at the 50 pitch threshold. (on the pitch log, the proper method of identifying this is to track all pitches and circle the starting pitch of the last batter).

It is important to know that all pitch limits follow this rule (Maximum number of pitches and Days Rest thresholds) except the one that keeps a player eligible to play catcher.  If, for any reason, a player pitches 41 pitches or more, he or she is ineligible to play catcher during that game.  This is a hard stop at 40 to maintain eligibility.


Enforcement in Action

PVLL's enforcement policy is designed to prevent violations from happening.  It is not designed to create a loophole for teams to win because of mistakes.

During a Game

The process during a game is based on Little League's well-defined policies.

  • Each team must designate a scorekeeper or official to track pitch counts - therefore, there are two people tracking pitches at all games.
  • The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or any umpire, and notify the umpire-in-chief when a pitcher has reached the maximum pitch limit, who will, in turn, notify the pitcher's manager that the pitcher must be removed.
  • Failure of the pitch count recorder to notify the umpire-in-chief, and/or the failure of the umpire-in-chief to notify the manager does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove the pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible to pitch.
  • After each inning, the two pitch count trackers must collaborate and ultimately agree upon the proper number of pitches to be recorded.  Pitch counts are to be shared – we are trying to keep kids healthy.

A Violation Has Occurred!

If a player eligibility violation occurs, the opposing manager must file a protest with the umpire and notify the division player agent.  If there is no umpire available (after a game), notifying the player agent within 24 hours can be sufficient.  The player agent will investigate the matter and report to the Board for penalty determination.  Based on the severity of the violation, penalties can include game forfeiture, manager suspension, or both.  Repeated offenses will have greater penalties.

Again, our goal is not to catch someone after the mistake has been made, but before the player puts himself or herself at risk.  Therefore, we expect a partnership attitude between the two managers to prevent a violation.  However, as noted before, ultimately it is the responsibility of the offending manager to prevent violations on his or her team.