Revised pitch count limits, longer mandatory rest periods, and other rule changes implemented by Little League Baseball in 2010 to reduce shoulder and elbow overuse injuries to youth baseball pitchers remain in effect for 2013.
In 2007, Little League Baseball dropped its decades-old pitching rules - which limited pitchers age 12 and under to six innings per week and six innings per game, with the number of innings increasing for older age groups in favor of rules based on pitch count, with the number of allowable pitches based on the pitcher's age and with specific rest periods between pitching appearances when a pitcher reaches higher thresholds of pitches delivered in a day. Revised rules go into effect for the spring 2010 baseball season.
Of the nearly 500,000 youth baseball injuries treated in hospitals, doctors' offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms each year, many are preventable or could be reduced in severity if simple steps are taken.
Since 2007, Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball® have mandated the use by all leagues of bases that disengage their anchor (e.g. "safety-release bases"). If your child is playing for another baseball or softball national organization you may want to check with them, as this rule pertains only to Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball®.
Regardless of the youth baseball program in which your child participates, make sure it uses breakaway bases. If they don't, do your best to encourage their use, since a large percentage of baseball injuries occur during sliding and can be prevented by use of safety-release bases.
Each player should have his or her own glove and should take the time to find one that is comfortable and fits well. Players, especially younger ones, should choose a smaller rather than larger glove, because a larger glove is more difficult to open and close quickly.
Bats must be made completely from either wood or aluminum. Older, more competitive teams/leagues may not permit the use of aluminum but, until recently, this was fairly rare until the players reached the collegiate level.