Pitch Smart - MLB


Pitch Smart is a collaborative effort between USA Baseball, the national governing body for amateur baseball, and Major League Baseball. They have teamed up "to help young players reduce arm injuries by providing a comprehensive resource for safe pitching practices. Baseball is a safe game to play at all ages, but research has shown that pitching too much - particularly at a young age - can increase a pitcher's risk of injury."

Little League Baseball is a member of USA Baseball and was the first youth organization to suggest and implement pitching guidelines and rest based on Pitch Count. Little League introduced Pitch Count in 2006.

Due to the research of people like Dr. James Andrews, a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, and Dr. Glenn Fleisig, a member of USA Baseball and head of the USA Baseball Medical and Safety Advisory Committee, pitching guidelines have been instituted in many youth baseball organizations. In 2016, the National Federation of High Schools voted to institute pitching guidelines in all their member states.

Following are videos that can be found on the Pitch Smart website.

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

PitchSmart Resources

Pitching Guidelines 

PitchSmart has established guidelines for pitchers according to age for number of pitches and the corresponding rest to be observed. Note: These are the same guidelines set by Little League Baseball.

View the PitchSmart Guidelines and the Fully Compliant Pitch Smart Organizations as of January 1, 2017.

2021 Covid

Many players were limited in how much baseball they could play over the last year due to COVID-19.  As players return in 2021, they should make sure to do so safely by following all applicable COVID-19 guidelines and return-to-sport recommendations.   View Recommendations

PitchSmart Resources

Risk Factors 

View the explanations of the following Risk Factors:

  1. Pitching While Fatigued
  2. Throwing Too Many Innings over the Course of the Year
  3. Not Taking Enough Time off from Baseball Every Year
  4. Throwing Too Many Pitches and Not Getting Enough Rest
  5. Pitching on Consecutive Days
  6. Excessive Throwing When Not Pitching
  7. Playing for Multiple Teams at the Same Time
  8. Pitching With Injuries to Other Body Regions
  9. Not Following Proper Strength and Conditioning Routines
  10. Not Following Safe Practices While at Showcases
  11. Throwing Curveballs and Sliders at a Young Age
  12. Radar Gun Use

Take the Survey to Find Out if You are at Risk

PitchSmart Resources

Tommy John Surgery FAQs 

View the explanations for the following Tommy John Surgery questions:

  1. What is Tommy John surgery?
  2. Does and athlete require an actual elbow inury to undergo the surgery?
  3. How many pitchers undergo Tommy John surgery per year?
  4. Are the pitchers having the surgery at a younger age?
  5. What factors influence the likelihood of an arm injury?
  6. How often are pitchers able to return to play baseball after Tommy John surgery?
  7. How long does it take to return to competitive throwing following surgery?
  8. Does Tommy John surgery improve performance?
  9. Does Tommy John surgery improve pitching speed?
  10. How often do pitchers suffer another arm injury after having Tommy John surgery?
  11. Can someone have Tommy John surgery twice?
  12. Would lowering or eliminating the mound reduce the stress on the elbow and reduces the number of UCL injuries?
  13. Are players who throw harder more susceptible to UCL injuries?
  14. Does long-toss reduce the number of arm injuries?

Local Sponsors

Georgia Little League

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