Injuries are on the rise and are associated with elbow and shoulder pain. Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injuries are becoming the most common injury among softball players. The susceptibility of injury increases with an increase in exposure. Here are some general guidelines to prevent these types of injuries.
- Warm-up throwing gradually
- Rotate positions
- Use proper mechanics
- Seek a professional if you experience pain
- Play with pain
- Pitch consecutive days
- Play year-round
- Use a radar gun
- Use improper mechanics
Max Pitch Counts
In order to prevent injuries, maximum pitch counts per day and over a three-day period should be followed. Below are our recommendations for various age groups.
|Age||Pitch Day 1||Pitch Day 1+2||Pitch Day 3|
Two days of rest is essential to prevent injuries. Most injuries can be prevented by increasing your level of awareness. One out of 10 injuries results in medical disqualification. Here is what we recommend:
- Girls 12 years old and younger – only 2 days of consecutive pitching
- Girls 13 years old and older – only 3 days of consecutive pitching
Visit the Andrews Institute Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine website for more information about diagnoses and treatment.
Sauers EL, Dykstra DL, Ray RC, Bliven KH, Snyder AR. Upper extremity injury history, current pain rating, and health-related quality of life in female softball pitchers. J Sport Rehabil. 2011 Feb;20:100-14.
For questions or more information, contact:
- Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D., ATC, Director of the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab at Auburn University.
- Wendi Weimar, Ph.D., Director of the Sport Biomechanics Lab at Auburn University.
The Sports Medicine and Movement Lab is an affiliated Professional Health Organization collaborator with STOP Sports Injuries. The STOP Sports Injuries campaign emphasizes the expertise of our coalition of experts, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and SAFE Kids USA.