Southeast Portland Little League

Pitch Count Limits & Mandatory Rest Rules

 

In an effort to stem the alarming increase in elbow and shoulder injuries among young baseball pitchers, Little League Baseball adopted important rules to limit the number of pitches a pitcher can throw in a game and how much rest he or she must take between pitching appearances. The limits vary based on a player's League Age. To determine a player's League Age, click here: League Age Calculator

Pitch Count Limits

League AgePitches Allowed Per Day
7 - 850
9 - 10
75
11-1285
13 - 16
95
17 - 18 
105

Enforcement  

To ensure that pitching rules are strictly followed, Little League imposes a number of other requirements:

  • Each league must designate a scorekeeper or official to track pitch counts as the official pitch-count recorder.
  • 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 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 relief the manager of his/her responsibility to remove the pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible to pitch.
  • Violation of the rule can result in a protest of the game in which it occurs.

Rest periods

In general, the rules add extra days for pitchers regardless of age and lower the threshold for pitches triggering extra days off between taking the mound.

Number of pitches in a day

Number of Calendar Days of Rest before Pitching Again

0 - 20

None

21- 35

1

36 - 50

2

51- 65

3

66 or more

4

 

Pitcher may complete pitching to a batter: If a pitcher reaches the pitch-count limit for their age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until one of the following occurs: (1) the batter reaches base; (2) the batter is retired; (3) or the third out is made to complete the half-inning.

Examples:

  • Pitcher throws 20 pitches on Monday. Player may pitch again on Tuesday.
  • Pitcher throws 21 pitches on Monday. Player may pitch again on Wednesday.
  • Pitcher throws 50 pitches on Monday. Player may pitch again on Thursday.
  • Pitcher throws 51 pitches on Monday. Player may pitch again on Friday.
  • Pitcher throws 66 pitches on Monday. Player may pitch again on Saturday.
  • On Monday, having thrown 19 pitches, a new batter comes to the plate. The pitcher throws 17 pitches before the batter hits a single and advances to first base. The manager then removes the pitcher from the mound. The pitcher is charged with 20 pitches for the purposes of this rule and may pitch again on Tuesday.
  • On Monday, having thrown 34 pitches, a new batter comes to the plate. The pitcher throws 5 pitches before the batter hits a fly ball to right field for the second out of the inning. The manager then removes the pitcher from the mount. The pitcher is charged with 35 pitches for the purposes of this rule and may pitch again on Wednesday.
  • On Monday, having thrown 64 pitches, a new batter comes to the plate with a runner on first base. After the fourth pitch to the batter, the catcher throws out the runner attempting to steal second base for the first out of the inning. The manager then removes the pitcher from the mound. The pitcher is charged with 65 pitches for the purposes of this rule and may pitch again on Friday.
  • On Monday, having thrown 64 pitches, a new batter comes to the plate with a runner on first base. After the fourth pitch to the batter, the catcher throws out the runner attempting to steal second base for the first out of the inning. The pitcher then throws one more pitch to the batter, who lines out to second base for the second out of the inning. The manager then removes the pitcher from the mount. The pitcher is charged with 69 pitches for the purposes of this rule and may pitch again on Saturday.

Note: Even if a game does not complete the first inning, pitchers who participated during the first inning must adhere to the appropriate rest requirements.

Other important rules:

  • Pitcher to catcher ban: Any pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game may not go behind the plate to play catcher for the remainder of the day. (NOTE: The rule allowing a pitcher to complete pitching to a batter does not apply to the pitcher to catcher ban.)
  • Catcher to pitcher ban: Any player who has played the position of catcher in more than three innings (three innings plus one pitch in the fourth inning) in a game is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day.  
  • Pitcher removed: In the Major Division and below, once a pitcher is removed from the mound, he or she cannot return as a pitcher. In the Intermediate (50/70) divisions and above, if a pitcher is removed but remains in the game in a different position, he or she can return as a pitcher anytime in the game, but only once per game.
  • Minor Division: Players league age 12 may not pitch in Minor division games.
  • Multiple games: Players may not pitch in more than one game in a day.
  • Pitches in suspended/regulation tie games charged against pitcher's eligibility: If suspended games are resumed on another day, pitchers of record at time game was suspended will be allowed to pitch to the extent of their eligibility for that day if they have rested the proper amount of days.

Sources: Little League Baseball