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When Should Kids Start Pitching In Games?

When Should Kids Start Pitching In Games?

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"I'm a baseball, softball, and lacrosse coach in Weston, MA and have thoroughly enjoyed your sessions each season.

I'm just wondering if PCA has any resources or opinions it can share regarding when kids should start pitching in games. I did some searching online and couldn't find anything but individual opinions (and they ranged from 7 to 12 years old)."

PCA Response By David Jacobson, PCA Trainer & Senior Marketing Communications and Content Manager

I doubt you’ll find a universal standard for when kids should start pitching. Speaking as a past Little League Baseball and Softball coach, here are some observations and considerations.

Most important is arm health and safety, taking care that a child not pitch too much, even in practice, and not throwing curve balls, which puts unique stress on the arm, too early. Little League’s rules and guidelines have gained general acceptance.

Another safety consideration is the training of batters to avoid being hit by pitches, and how to minimize the impact and damage when they cannot get move out of the way of an errant pitch fast enough. And, another safety consideration is teaching pitchers the footwork and glovework necessary to defend themselves against balls hit back at them at high speed.

The next level of consideration is more subjective and depends on your league’s/community’s standards for baseball development...

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