New baseball guidelines are being promoted to protect youth?
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends tougher safety limits
More than 8 million children playing organized baseball, pediatricians also should be aware of repetitive injuries and parents, coaches and leagues should take steps to make sure young players are protected, states a report, which was published in the March 2012 issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Although most school and recreational programs probably already follow the guidelines, it's important for pediatricians---who are the first line of defense--- have a strong understanding of new baseball guidelines for our youth.
Nothing however is as important as world leading authorities coming forth to promote and ensure SAFE initiatives are promoted and followed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics on a National acclaimed basis along with local entities such as our World Class Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center of Birmingham, Alabama are front and center on this grassroots level promotion.
The Academy in part will emphasize such things as Equipment guidelines with special emphasis upon the pitching problems.
Much of the report centers on the problems that significantly impact the future for young pitchers, whose developing musculoskeletal systems are vulnerable to over use.
Throwing too many pitches, pitching too many games without rest and pitching improperly can all cause permanent damage to a young player the report states.
There are even terms for it: "Little League shoulder," and inflamation of the growth plates in the upper arm, and "Little League elbow," which also affects fielders who throw a lot.
The journal Pediatrics reports three main recommendations:
First: It suggests that all leagues abide by the Little League's 2010 pitching rules, which set limits for the number of pitches per game for different ages and the amount of time pitchers should rest between games.
pitchers shouldn't pitch on multiple teams with overlapping seasons and shouldn't also be catchers, another position that requires repeated throwing.
Second: Young pitchers need to learn the best and safest way to pitch and to get preseason conditioning that strengthens core muscles, the rotator cuff and the muscles that stabilize the shoulder.
Third: -- Which might be a little controversial-- the report reinforces a current recommendations that players not throw curve balls, which stress the arm, until they're 14 or far enough into puberty that they have to shave; sliders should be delayed until 16.
The American Academy of Pediatricians acknowledges that recent research calls into question the danger of properly thrown breaking balls.
This bit of information only scratches the surface of the many things we are continuing to learn and generate good public information from the grassroots concerning the playing baseball of our young beginners.
There are many other interesting things about our game of baseball we invite you to enjoy as you leave the SAFE page.
Batter Up ---- Let's Play Ball ....