Pitch Smart

UpdatedWednesday January 11, 2017 byKyle Potter.

Cal Ripken Baseball allows local leagues the option to use a pitch count during league games.  Kingston Cal Ripken has adopted the recommendations from the Pitch Smart guidelines.  Pitch Smart offers a series of practical, age-appropriate guidelines to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse injuries and foster long, healthy careers for youth pitchers.


Pitch Smart Recommendations

    Required Rest (Pitches)
Age Daily Max 0 Days 1 Day 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+

* Kingston's Cal Ripken Rookies (7/8) division is coach pitch.  These pitch counts apply to 7-8 yr olds playing up or those ready to pitch towards the end of the Rookies season.

** Kingston Cal Ripken Baseball Majors (11/12) - A maximum of 6 innings per week or 85 pitches, whichever comes first.  Same rest days noted above still apply.


Pitch Smart General Guidelines

  • Focus on athleticism, physical fitness, and fun
  • Focus on learning baseball rules, general techniques, and teamwork
  • Do not exceed 60 (ages 7-8) or 80 (ages 9-12) combined innings pitched in any 12 month period
  • Take at least 4 months off from throwing every year, with at least 2-3 of those months being continuous
  • Make sure to properly warm up before pitching
  • Set and follow pitch-count limits and required rest periods
  • Avoid throwing pitches other than fastballs and change-ups
  • Avoid playing for multiple teams at the same time
  • Avoid playing catcher while not pitching
  • Avoid pitching in multiple games on the same day
  • Play other sports during the course of the year
  • Monitor for other signs of fatigue
  • Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers

Ages 7-8 (Typically 46' Pitching Distance)
Ages 9-12 (Typically 46-50' Pitching Distance)

USA Baseball and MLB team up to help young players reduce arm injuries by providing a comprehensive resource for safe pitching practices. Baseball is a safe game to play at all ages, but research has shown that pitching too much — particularly at a young age — can increase a pitcher's risk of injury.  For more information, explore Pitch Smart.


Kingston Cal Ripken Interleague Play

For Baseball Minor and Major divisons, a pitcher may only pitch 2 innings per game.