Going over pitch count threshold

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  • The rules as updated for 2013 include this: Regulation VI(d) - Pitch Count : For the 2013 season, wording was revised allowing a pitcher who reaches his/her imposed days of rest threshold while facing a batter to continue to pitch until the current batter has been retired or reaches base.

    Use the example of a pitcher 14 or under, where one of the pitching thresholds is 35, as in 21-35 pitches means one day of rest, 36-50 pitches means two days of rest.

    Say such a pitcher throws his 35th pitch during the at-bat of the player who grounds out on the 38th pitch to end the inning (or even end the game).

    The coach said nothing at the time. Specifically, he did not say at 35 pitches that "I am am going to let this pitcher finish the at-bat". Later in reviewing the scoresheet, he says to himself, "Oh, the pitcher who got to 38 is really a 35 because 35 happened during that pitcher's last batter. So one day of rest, not two"

    This seems to me like "retroactively" deciding to let the pitcher finish a batter over a certain threshold -- not allowing a pitcher to continue pitching. However, upon reflection this does not seem to me to be against the letter of the rule.

    I am concerned I am going to have issues about days of rest, particularly at Tournament time, when I just know one coach will complain about another coach saying that "he never said this would be the last batter". Or worse, in regular season, some coach will look at a score sheet and say "39 pitches? Number 35 must've happened during the last batter, so one day of rest." -- without having any proof.

    Is it appropriate for me to ask coaches to announce that "this pitcher is going to finish the batter and leave the mounds if he hits the threshold", and if he fails to do so, go with the higher days of rest?

    Jim Dean


    Ontario District 2

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  • Did this rule change happen? I saw talk that it was proposed, but the list of rule 2013 rule changes I can find don't list it.

  • The answer to your question Jim is that there is nothing to declare. If the pitcher starts a batter below the threshold, he is only responsible for the days rest of the lower threshold provided he is removed when:

    1. That batter reaches base.

    2. That batter is retired.

    3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning

  • Roger, if you go to the LL Website and look at the 2013 rule changes you will find this:

    Regulation VI (d) has been amended to read, in part:

    Applies to: Baseball & Challenger Rule Books

    EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs: 1. That batter reaches base; 2. That batter is retired; 3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed before delivering a pitch to another batter.

    Summary and Implementation: For the 2013 season, wording was revised allowing a pitcher who reaches his/her imposed days of rest threshold while facing a batter to continue to pitch until the current batter has been retired or reaches base.

    The above change IS in the 2013 rulebook.


    Jim, rumor has it that the Pitch Count Log/Sheet on the back of the Tournament Affidavit is being revised to include a column for Pitch Threshold so this shouldn't be an issue.

    As for having the manager "announce/declare" anything, I agree with John, it's not required.

    Does the manager announce/declare when a pitcher is going to exceed the maximum number of pitches allowed in a day - NO, the pitcher just continues pitching to that batter.

    I have previously posted the link below to the Pitch Count Log we use in our District, you might want to use something similar.


  • Louis - thanks for posting that. I assume I can use it locally as well.

  • Jim... I don't disagree in the "regular" Little League world, you are are going to have confusion. Tournament time, it should (hopefully) be much cleaner. Louis' chart will hopefully be the model for it.

  • Thanks Lou. I looked at the the LL site Rule Changes & Clarifications, and it didn't have it.

    I did find it at llumpires.com. Thanks for your help. You chart looks good also.

    My first reaction was that it was helpful. (It was a pain to have to warm up a pitcher to throw one or two pitches at the end of a game, when it seemed not a big deal to throw 50 or 52 pitches.) But reading the other thread, I do see legitimate concerns. Especially with coaches keeping track. (Had one last fall that seldom kept track. Tried to pitch a kid against us on back to back days, saying "I'm sure he pitched no more than 20 pitches." I had him down as pitching 67 pitches.

  • Jeffrey, we have a lot of forms/documents on our District Website that I post links herre from time to time.

    Anyone that wants to use them is free to do so, or you can take them and revise them to fit your needs.

    If/when I change the forms the "old links" dont work.

    That said, you can always log on to www.eteamz.com/llbfld15 and look at the handouts to see what we currently have.

    Mike, I have sent "proposed revisions" to LL for the Pitching Log and Pitching Eligibility Form that are on the LL Website Forms & Publications page. I also sent them an "update" to the Pitching FAQ (the one posted is from 2008 and is no longer accurate for all the questions/answers).

    I've also sent in a proposed change to the Tournament Pitch Count Sheet which includes information to help with the new Threshold Exemption.

    LL has always been open to considering whatever I have sent them. Makes me wonder why it seems so many are "cautious" about sending them anything.

  • Remember, it's whoever the Official Pitch Counter is that makes the final decision.

    I like Lou's chart. But whatever you use, it's up to the counter to make a mark at the end of every AB. So at the end of every pitcher's evening, you just need to draw a circle from the last pitch back to that last mark. If one of those "milestones" are circled, you can calculate the rest from there.

    A procedure for tracking it isn't that hard. Doing it will be the tough part.

  • Kyle is correct, if you simply put an X or any other symbol for the last pitch to each batter then it is simple to determine what the pitch count was when the pitcher started pitching to the last batter and whether or not the pitcher reached/crossed a pitching threshold while pitching to the last batter.

    At that point it's pretty easy to determine the number of days of rest required.

  • I intend to train my scorekeepers to just put a vertical line at the end of each batter on the pitch log chart. That's for those that use them. For me, I don't use the pitch log because I count pitches through the counts of my batters, so at any point in time I can trace back to how many pitches the pitcher had thrown at each batter.

  • Thank you, everyone, for the great answers. They are very useful, and I have reported back to my League Presidents. It seems we will have to tackle this by educating our coaches and pitch counters.

  • When we mark our final pitch count, it's a fraction...ie 33/38, meaning he started the last batter with 33 and finished the last batter with 38. This is espcecially important in Juniors and up in case apitcher returns to the mound.

  • Jim - Be proactive. That's my plan as the ADA of D20 in NJ.

    We have to wait for the 2013 affidavit to come out and see if there is, as proposed by some here and other places, an extra column is added to the pitching affidavit.

    It would make sense to me to add an extra column between the two columns titled; "# of pitches thrown" and "# days rest needed". This column could titled "# of pitches end of next-to-last batter" or something like that. I would change the heading "# of pitches thrown" to "total # of pitches thrown" just to help clarify the two columns.

    So - in 2012, using your example, it would look something like this -

    38 / 2 (38 # of pitches thrown / 2 # of days rest days rest)

    In 2013, using my idea, again using your example, it would look something like this -

    38 / 34 / 1 (38 total # of pitches / 34 # of pitches end of next-to-last batter / 1 # of days rest)

    I think that may work.

  • If for some reason the affidavit doesn't change, then I will require my TDs to add this column in. Obviously the form won't have the column so instead they will have to add 2 numbers for the column "# of pitches thrown".

    I try to be proactive rather than reactive. I'd rather waste time trying to come up with alternatives in advance rather than trying to play catch up later.

  • By the way, as I stated above, from time to time I update/change the forms on our District Website.

    Recently we had a "District Scorekeeper Clinic" and based on feedback from the clinic I have updated our Pitch Count Sheet to provide some more "details" at the bottom of the form on how to determine the Pitching Threshold that applies.

    Here is the link to our "current" form:


  • Nancy wrote, "For me, I don't use the pitch log because I count pitches through the counts of my batters, so at any point in time I can trace back to how many pitches the pitcher had thrown at each batter."

    Good luck keeping track of those eight fouled-off pitches after two strikes, Nancy! :o)

  • If it works for Nancy fine.

    There are all sorts of ways people track pitches, who's to say which is better!

    The thing I "chucked at" in Nancy's post (which I'm sure was not intentional) was "I can trace back to how many pitches the pitcher had THROWN AT each batter"!

    I'm sure she meant THROWN TO. ;o)

  • @Lou: Yes, I meant thrown TO and not thrown AT - didn't even realize I'd said that. :P

    Manny, I do keep track of every foul ball. I actually am personally pretty picky about my scorebooks and order them online because that's the only place I can find what I want anymore. They have lots of room above the count and around the diamond but I have definitely come close to running out before when I've had to record 7 or 8 foul balls after 2 strikes. But I do. Its just something I've always done, that I learned when I was keeping score many (cough), many years ago (I've been keeping score since I was thirteen and kept it for my local little league then) and its just stuck with me and I still do it.

  • Nancy, one problem, as you well know, is that many scorebooks, because of their size, have limited space to keep track of things.

    Our District has developed an "over-sized size" scorebook that we have printed by a local printer and a number of our leagues purchase these scorebooks from us.

    The scorebooks have everything scorekeepers need/want and plenty of space for recording everything.

    We've updated them a few times over the past few years based on feedback from our scorekeepers and we've also added things to them as LL Rules/Regulations have changed.

    In our District, we do whatever we can to help out our local leagues.

  • @Lou - I agree. That's why I don't use the ones that our league buys. I get Stat-Master, I think it what its called. Its what I used and was taught on by my dad way back when and I buy them online. There is not a separate place to record each pitch like some have, but there is plenty of room around the count. There isn't a "laundry list" of options for the play - just a rectangular box where I can write BB, 2B, etc. It has a box to tick off RBIs, which my coach likes to track, etc. But, for someone who is just learning, there are probably better books to keep score on. Another local league uses a brand I've never seen before that has lots of diamonds and squares in each block to mark things, and a grid on the side to mark every pitch, etc. Definitely different.

    Are your score pages posted anywhere online like some of your other documents - I'd love to see what you guys have come up with? I have to teach scorekeeping again this spring and definitely want to determine the best way to teach "finishing the batter" for the scorekeepers so they don't have to count on a separate pitch counter

  • Nancy: Below is a link to our scoring pages with the pitch count and threshold exception information.

    It's an Excel File. There is a worksheet for a 9 player batting order and one for 14 players (minor/CBO).

    The 9 player one prints out fairly nice on 11x17 paper, the 14 player one is (in my opinion) a little small.

    Our District Scorebooks are "oversized" and include a bunch of information/examples on the inside of the cover (to help the scorekeepers).

    If you have any suggestions on things we might add or just suggestions on format/layout let me know.

    We're always making changes!


  • Dave: "LLB&S - The current tracking form needs to be updated. Can we expect that any time soon? Thanks in advance."

    Well, like just about everything else, on our District Website we have a 2013 "Pitcher Eligibility Tracking Form" that I just updated today. It has information on the Pitching Threshold on it. A copy was sent Williamspot as a "proposed" Form Revision.

    Here is ours: http://www.eteamz.com/LLBFLD15/files/PitcherEligibiltyTrackingForm-Mar42013.doc

  • Jim - as of today - not only can you ask - you can demand that your manager's make such a declaration. It is required that they make a declaration.

  • Dave - what is the source of this statement? "Region said so" doesn't mean squat as only the tournament committee can answer this and it needs to be in writing in the tournament resources.

  • Rich - all I have is Region's word. Mike - in another thread - mentioned that there was a rumor that a memo went out to all DAs. I'm not sure if there really was a memo or if the rumored memo was just the rule clarification sent out around 6/23.

  • Why are we bothering to keep a pitch count if pitches can be added on as a threshold...this makes no sense!

  • Rose... the reason the rule was put into place was to limit the number of mid-batter pitching changes and hopefully speed things up a little. The thought was 3-5 pitches over the thresholds doesn't have a negative impact on the pitcher... particularly if we already let a kid surpass the max number to finish a batter.

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