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Little League pitchers must leave the game if they throw too many pitches.
Rob Carr/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
It's well established that pitching puts a strain on a hurler's arm. Even at the Major League level, managers and coaches track the number of pitches that each hurler delivers and place limits on how much the hurlers can throw. As of 2013, the Little League organization -- which once limited the number of innings pitchers could throw -- now regulates each hurler's exact pitch count, to help protect young pitchers' throwing arms.
Pitches Per Game
In the Little League's Big League division, which covers 17- and 18-year-olds in the regular season, pitchers may throw a maximum of 105 pitches in a day. In the Senior League division, for 13- to 16-year-olds, the daily pitch limit is 95. The limit drops to 85 for 11- and 12-year-olds, 75 for 9- and 10-year-old pitchers and 50 for hurlers aged 7 or 8. In tournament play, some 15- and 16-year-olds may participate at the Big League level, in which case they are subject to the older league's 105-pitch limit.
In the regular season, pitchers aged 14 or younger who throw at least 66 pitches in a game must have a least four full calendar days of rest before pitching again. For example, if a hurler throws 66 pitches on Monday, he may not pitch again until Saturday. Pitchers 14 and under who throw between 51 and 65 pitches must have three days of rest. Two days of rest are required after throwing between 36 and 50 pitches, or one calendar day of rest after throwing 21 to 35 pitches.
Senior and Big League hurlers must receive four calendar days of rest after throwing 76 or more pitches in a game; three days of rest after throwing 61 to 75 pitches; two rest days after throwing 46 to 60 pitches; and one rest day after throwing 31 to 45 pitches. Pitchers aged 13 and 14 who play in Senior or Big League tournaments are subject to Senior and Big League rules regarding rest days.
Two Games in One Day
Most Little Leaguers may only pitch in one game per day. Big League pitchers, however, may pitch in two games on the same day, subject to the single-day pitch count. For example, an 18-year-old hurler who throws 75 pitches in the day's first game may only throw 30 in the second.
If a Little League hurler reaches his pitch count while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue throwing until he gets the batter out, the batter gets a hit, or his team records the third out of the inning -- whichever occurs soonest. If a game is suspended and continues from the same point the next day, a Big League or Senior Leaguer who's thrown 30 or fewer pitches, or a younger hurler who's thrown 20 or fewer pitches, may continue throwing, with a fresh pitch count. If the pitcher exceeds those pitch limits during a suspended game, his pitch count carries over when the game resumes.