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Learn About Arm Safety Through Little League® and the Pitch Smart Program

Little League® has always placed safety as a top priority, and is continually striving to provide children with healthy and safe baseball and softball opportunities. For nearly a decade, the Little League program has been at the forefront of promoting arm safety for youth pitchers. As we continue to work to make baseball a safe, fun sport for all children, Little League is proudly supporting the efforts of Major League Baseball and USA Baseball through the Pitch Smart campaign.

After several years of research, Little League launched its pitch count program in 2006. With limits set for different amounts of pitches for different age groups, Little League has been diligent in protecting young arms since establishing strict pitching rules. With many baseball players participating in Little League and other youth baseball programs, it is important for parents and coaches to use the Pitch Smart campaign and the Little League pitch count program to ensure young pitching arms stay safe.

Little League strongly encourages all Little League volunteers, parents, and officials to review PitchSmart.org and share it with others.

Little League International has been identified as one of the only youth baseball organizations in full compliance of Major League Baseball and USA Baseball’s Pitch Smart compliance program. Read More about Full Compliance.

Little League has achieved its Full Compliance designation by:

  1. Following Pitch Smart guidelines pertaining to pitch counts and rest periods, which align with Little League regulations, across all competitions
  2. Recommending that players, parents and coaches adhere to all additional Pitch Smart guidelines
  3. Sharing general Pitch Smart information on our website
  4. Distributing Pitch Smart information all coaches through our ASAP and Coach's Box newsletters
  5. Including a Pitch Smart informational segment with details about pitch counts and rest periods, in formal coach's meetings, which typically occur as part of ASAP or local league operations
  6. Encouraging local leagues to share Pitch Smart information during team orientation meetings with parents and players

Additional information on Little League’s efforts to improve arm safety is available at the below links:

The Number-one Risk of Arm Injuries Continues to be Year-round Play

 Regular Season Pitching Rules - Baseball

Dr. James Andrews Identifies Five Main Risk Factors that Contribute to Arm Injuries

Youth Baseball Pitching Study Shows Overuse is Primary Cause of Arm Injuries

CNN.com Article Touts Merits of Little League Pitch Count

Safety Spotlight: Protecting Your Children’s Arms

Paul Seiler
Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball

“Historically, Little League Baseball has been at the forefront of safety initiatives related to youth baseball. Their official endorsement of the Pitch Smart program continues that trend, and points to a standard for all to consider as we strive to protect the safety and health of baseball players at all levels.”
Chris Marinak
Senior Vice President, League Economics and Strategy

“Major League Baseball is proud to stand alongside Little League Baseball on the Pitch Smart initiative for pitching safety. As one of the early adopters of pitch count limits and a variety of educational programs, Little League has been a leader in the baseball community on pitching safety. We look forward to continuing to work with Little League to foster long, healthy careers for amateur and professional pitchers.”

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Baucom/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Additional Video Resources courtesy of Pitch Smart

Intro to Pitch Smart

Pitch Counts

Warning Signs

Risk Factors


Biomechanics Lab

MLB Now: Glenn Fleisig

Brian Cashman

Tommy John FAQ