Little League Pitch Count Questions and Answers – Revised for 2008
These commonly asked questions apply only to the regular season baseball pitching regulation (pitch count). The new pitch
count regulation (Reg. VI) will be printed in the 2008 Rules and Regulations for baseball, and is available at the Little League
web site http://www.LittleLeague.org/rules/index.asp.
1. Why has Little League changed the pitching regulation for all baseball divisions?
Recently, researchers and medical professionals in the field of sports medicine have determined that the actual number
of pitches thrown (i.e., pitch count) is a safer way to regulate pitching in youth baseball. Little League has a rich
history of pioneering baseball safety innovations. As the world’s largest organized youth sports program, Little League
is again taking a leadership position in youth sports safety.
2. How will a league determine who is responsible for counting the pitches?
Selecting the person responsible for counting pitches will be a decision of each local league. That person’s pitch count
will be the offi cially recognized pitch count for the game.
In most leagues, this responsibility will rest with the game’s offi cial scorekeeper. In that case, since a scorekeeper
already keeps track of the balls and strikes on each batter, so he or she will additionally need to keep track of the
number of foul batted balls that are hit with two strikes. Each pitcher’s pitch count is computed by adding the number
of balls and strikes, the number of foul balls hit with two strikes, and the number of fair batted balls.
Other leagues might assign a separate person who simply keeps track of every pitch on a piece of paper. Little League
International will provide local leagues with a suggested form for this in the coming months. Leagues also can use any
of the various digital or mechanical pitch counting tools that are available commercially.
Still other leagues might assign the task to one or both of the managers, or to one of the base umpires.
3. What is the penalty for violating the pitch count regulation?
Violating the regular season pitch count regulation can be protested in accordance with Rule 4.19. And, as with
all regular season games, the local league (by action of the local league Board of Directors through the Protest
Committee) resolves all protests. The local league Protest Committee could decree a forfeit, or not, as it sees fi t.
The Board of Directors also could suspend or remove managers who willfully and persistently violate any rule or
4. What is the procedure for Interleague Play games?
As with any procedure of this nature, the Interleague Play Committee (formed from among personnel in the leagues
involved before the start of the season) should decide this. The procedure for counting pitches should be agreed upon
between all leagues involved in an interleague arrangement before the fi rst game is played.
5. What is meant by “calendar days” in the regulation?
The principle of “calendar days” remains the same. A calendar day is one full day as it is seen on a calendar. A
calendar day begins at midnight and ends at midnight the following evening.
Example: If a pitcher in the Little League Major Division throws 70 pitches in a game on Saturday morning, that
pitcher cannot pitch again until Wednesday, when he/she has had three calendar days of rest (Sunday, Monday, and
Tuesday). It makes no difference what time of day the pitcher pitched on Saturday, as the rest period does not begin
until midnight that night.
6. Can the same pitcher throw in consecutive games?
Depending on the number of pitches thrown and the days of rest, the same pitcher could pitch in consecutive games.
However, pitchers who deliver a certain number of pitches beyond the threshold stated in the regulation/rule must also
have a game of rest. The “game of rest” refers only to pitching. A pitcher completing his/her “game of rest” may play
in any other position. (See also question 17.)
7. Can the same pitcher pitch in both games of a doubleheader played on the same day?
No. A player may not pitch in more than one game in a day. (Exception: In the Big League Division, a player may be
used as a pitcher in up to two games in a day.)
8. If a pitcher is pitching a perfect game or no hitter and reaches his or her maximum pitch count, does he or she have to be
removed as a pitcher, or can he/she continue until the perfect game or no hitter is lost?
Any pitcher, without regard to his/her effectiveness, must be removed when he or she reaches the limit prescribed in
the regulation. Remember, no game is more important than protecting pitchers’ arms.
9. Is the pitch count regulation mandatory in all divisions of baseball? What about softball?
The regulation applies to all baseball divisions of Little League. It does not apply to and cannot be used in softball.
10. Is there a limit to the number of 12 year olds that can pitch in a week?
No. A manager may use as many 12-year-old pitchers in a week as he/she chooses.
11. Can 12 year olds pitch in the minors?
No. The regulation prohibits 12 year olds from pitching in the Minor Division. The Minor Division must be
considered an instructional division for players who, because of age or ability, are not placed in the Major Division.
It should be the goal of every league to place all 12 year olds in the Major Division who are capable of playing at that
Note: A local Little League is limited to only one Major Division, but may have multiple levels of Minor Division
play (player pitch, coach pitch, machine pitch, etc.).
12. Are warm up pitches calculated in the pitch count for a pitcher?
No. As always, however, umpires should be mindful that the rules permit a returning pitcher to have eight preparatory
pitches, or one minute, whichever comes fi rst. (See Rule 8.04.)
13. If a Major Division pitcher has completed six innings in a game, and the game is tied, will that pitcher be permitted to pitch
in the seventh inning?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of innings a pitcher can pitch in a day. A limit is placed on the number of pitches
14. Is the Tournament Pitching Rule the same as the regular season regulation?
The Tournament Pitching Rule is similar to the regular season rule, but there are some modifi cations.
15. Will local leagues have the ability to continue to provide feedback to Little League International regarding the new pitch
Absolutely. As with any rule or regulation of Little League, local leagues and districts are encouraged to provide
feedback through the regional offi ce. This feedback is valuable in determining what, if any, changes need to be made.
16. What about breaking pitches (curve balls, sliders, etc.)?
As of now, there is no solid medical evidence that these pitches are detrimental. However, Little League and many
experts recommend they not be thrown until age 14. We are currently conducting an epidiological study on this issue
to see if these pitches are harmful.
17. Why is there a regulations prohibiting a player from moving from pitcher to catcher in the same day?
Medical authorities and experts say that a player who warms up to pitch, and then pitches, should not play catcher for
the remainder of the day. Doing so does not provide enough “cool down” time for such a player. The same is not true
for catchers who may become pitchers.