Pitch Counts in High School Baseball

July 1, 2011

This paper was written by Meagan Westendorf, ATC, Kim Stuckenschneider, and myself in the Fall 2010 semester for our Research Methods class. We conducted the research and carried out the study throughout the course of the semester. Here is a short excerpt of our research paper. More to follow..

Despite advances in diagnostic abilities, early treatment intervention, sport specific strength training including prehabilitation, and an increased ability in identifying players at risk, shoulder and elbow injuries continue to plague baseball pitchers of all ages.  The American Sports Institute, during two 5 year consecutive reporting periods between 1994-1999 and 2000-2004 reported a 4 fold increase in elbow surgeries in collegiate pitchers and a 6 fold increase in high school pitchers (Fleisig et al., 2006). The first prospective longitudinal study performed on youth baseball pitchers over two consecutive spring seasons found risk factors for both shoulder and elbow pain (Lyman, 2001).   Lyman et al. (2001) identified elbow pain increased with age, increased weight, weight training, pitching with arm fatigue, decreased satisfaction with one’s pitching, and number of pitches thrown per season.  Shoulder pain risk factors included several of the same factors including decreased satisfaction with one’s pitching, pitching arm fatigue, number of pitches thrown per season as well as number of pitches thrown per game and were confirmed by a subsequent study (Lyman et al., 2001).   More recent studies have looked at pitch type(Lyman, Fleisig, Andrews,& Osinski, 2002; Fleisig et al., 2006), pitch velocity (Bushnell, Anz, Noonan, Torry, & Hawkin, 2010; Olsen, Fleisig, Dun, Loftice, & Andrews, 2006), biomechanics (Davis  et al., 2009) and effects of fatigue on muscular structure and mechanics (Mair, Seaber, Glisson, &Garrett, 1996; Escamilla et al., 2007) in youth, adolescent, and collegiate baseball pitchers as risk factors for shoulder and elbow injuries.

Read the whole research paper here Pitch Counts in High School Baseball


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