Organizers of youth baseball leagues learned a simple truth over time – that if they let a pitcher throw without any limits, he was more likely to suffer a devastating tear to a ligament in his elbow.
The player would have to undergo a reconstructive operation known as Tommy John surgery, and in many cases, could no longer play competitive baseball. That toll led Little League Baseball Inc. to adopt a pitch limit based on a player’s age. A 10-year old is allowed to throw 75 pitches in a game; an 18-year old, as many as 105.
Now Chris Nowinski, co-director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, advocates a “hit count” for kids playing organized football that would significantly limit the number of blows to the head they can take in practice and games. He believes it should be modeled after the approach taken in Little League Baseball, where guidelines also establish the number of days of rest pitchers must get between games. Continue reading