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Santa Cruz Little League

Santa Cruz Little League

Pitch Counting

The job of the Pitch Counter is to record the number of pitches for each pitcher during a game.

Little League has pitch count rules to protect young arms from injury. Through multiple research studies, it's been shown that overuse is the largest cause of arm-related baseball injuries. Little League enforces a pitch count with varying thresholds and days rest based on the age of the pitcher to make sure young arms stay healthy.

The eligibility of a player to pitch in a game is governed by a pitch count that is tied to the number of pitches thrown in a game. The pitch count determines how many days of rest are required before a player may pitch again in a Little League game. 

SCLL has stricter limits than the official Little League pitch count limits.  SCLL pitch count limits and days of rest are: 


League Age Pitch Limit per day
Age 7-835 pitches
Age 9-10 50 pitches
Age 11-1285 pitches
Age 13+95 pitches


PitchesDays of rest
1-20 pitches0 days
21-35 pitches1 day
51-65 pitches3 days
66+ pitches4 days

No pitching is allowed on a day of rest. 

The FINAL pitch count for each pitcher is ALWAYS THE FIRST PITCH TO THEIR LAST BATTER.

A pitcher is allowed to exceed the official pitch limit as long as their first pitch to their last batter is under their pitch count limit.

For example, if a pitcher's limit is 50 pitches, they are allowed to start a batter on pitch number 49 and continue pitching to that batter until the batter's turn ends. Even if the pitcher ends up with 54 total pitches, the official pitch count would be 49, because that's the first pitch they threw to the last batter.  The pitcher could NOT start a new batter on pitch number 50 because they have reached their daily pitch limit. 


Pitch Count duties

What counts as a pitch? 

  • Do not count warm up pitches.
  • Only count "official pitches." If the umpire advises "no pitch" then that pitch does not count. 
  • If a batter is intentionally walked, then count that as 4 pitches for that pitcher.
  • Check with the scorekeeper throughout the game to ensure your pitch totals are matching.

Before the game

1.) Make sure you have a Pitch Count Log and a pencil. You can find these in the score booth above the Snack Shack. 

2.) Ask each team's Manager to give you their Pitch Count Data Sheet. The Pitch Count Data Sheet is each team's record of what date a player is eligible to pitch (based on their required days of rest).  

3.) Check the lineup card to see who the Manager plans to have pitch in the game, and look on the Pitch Count Data Sheets to ensure each pitcher is OK to pitch that day. 

During the game

1.) As each pitcher takes the mound, make sure their name, jersey number and league age are recorded on the Pitch Count Log. Be aware of the pitch limit for each pitcher based on their age. (If, during the game, you don't know who the pitcher is or what their age is, then have the plate umpire obtain the information you need from the Manager. If there is an issue, notify the plate umpire.)

2.) For each pitch, make a hash mark on the Pitch Count log. 

3.) Switch the direction of your hash marks for each batter. This is important so that you can calculate the final pitch count.  ////// \\\\\\ ////// \\\\\\

4.) Notify the umpire when a pitcher will exceed their pitch count on the next pitch.

5.) To calculate the final pitch count for each pitcher, ALWAYS USE THE FIRST PITCH TO THE LAST BATTER AS YOUR FINAL PITCH COUNT. Circle this number on the pitch count log. 

Yes, we really mean the first pitch to the last batter. A pitcher is allowed to exceed the official pitch count as long as their first pitch to their last batter is under their pitch count limit. For example, if a pitcher's limit is 50 pitches, they are allowed to start a batter on pitch number 49 and continue pitching to that batter until the batter's turn ends. Even if the pitcher ends up with 54 total pitches, the official pitch count would be 49, because that's the first pitch they threw to the last batter.  The pitcher could NOT start a new batter on pitch number 50 because they have reached their daily pitch limit.

After the game

1.) Double check your numbers with the scorekeeper.

2.) Use the final pitch count that you circled on your pitch count log to calculate the days rest needed and to determine the next eligible day to pitch. No pitching in a game is allowed on a "calendar day of rest." For example, when 3 calendar days of rest are required, the player may not pitch in a game until the fourth calendar day. That fourth day is the date you would record. 

3.) Record the final pitch count on the manager's Pitch Count Data Sheet. Initial the sheet, then meet with the Managers to have them initial the pitch count. Leave the data sheet form with the Manager. Note: If the Manager is not in agreement with the pitch count it is not up for argument. You can, however, review the number with the scorekeeper and double-check your Pitch Count Log.

4.) File your Pitch Count Log in the appropriate binder in the score booth above the Snack Shack. 


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