Chicago, IL, January 10, 2018
On December 19th of last year the Chicago Scouts Association received the official word from USA Baseball and an early Christmas gift, CSA was approved as in Full Compliance with Pitch Smart. They join a long and growing list of baseball organizations that prescribe to Pitch Smart’s guidelines and recommendations.
When asked to explain the importance of implementing Pitch Smart, Emma Lingan, Assistant Director, Educational Resources from USA Baseball said this, “We are the National Governing body of USA Baseball and as such are a member of the US Olympic Committee. The Sports Development side of USA Baseball is where Pitch Smart originated from and is actually only a couple of years old (2014). We focus on developing the game not only for players but the game itself. We start down at the grassroots level where health and safety play a big part.
Emma continued, “One of our first health & safety initiatives along with MLB was arm safety. Our research showed an alarming number of “Tommy John” surgeries occurring at very young ages. We identified it as a major problem”.
CSA was Pitch Smart before there was Pitch Smart. They have long been a serious innovator in youth baseball and the question of how many pitches young arms should be allowed to throw. CSA paved the way for this intelligent way of assessing pitching and how to make it work on the diamond.
John Sarna, CSA, had this to say, “When you look at the big picture, who are you working for? You have to put these things in perspective and the child’s safety is number one. Whether you win or lose a ballgame because of which pitchers are available is nonsense. Do coaches look at the number of pitches a kid is throwing or their own record?”
Sarna added, “With applications like “GameChanger”, we could chart the number of pitches kids were throwing and it was alarming. CSA likes to showcase our talent but our kids can only throw 15 pitches maximum per inning and 2 innings maximum per game. We have done this for years. Other coaches and teams would look at us like we were aliens. No, we just wanted the kids to grow, stay healthy and reach their potential”.
CSA joins such influential baseball organizations as American Legion, Little League Baseball, Cal Ripken, Cape Cod Baseball, Perfect Game and many more. Everyone knows that the well-being of young players is tantamount to any goals that may put them in danger. Tommy John was a great pitcher but we need to see fewer of his procedures as we move forward in 2018 and beyond.