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Japan's baseball practice culture sacrificing children's arms: surgeon

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Japan is just now figuring this out? Seriously?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

On Thursday, with much less fanfare, Japan's national elementary school baseball tournament decided on a 70-pitch limit.

Great. They do know that every one of those 70 pitches has at least 100+ practice pitches behind it, right?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Brought to you by the same idiots who make kids run endless laps under midsummer sun.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

It seems obvious on first reading that something should be done. It sounds as if the fathers need to be educated first, perhaps by a tour of the hospital. Maybe the kids should be taught like Ohtani to be ambidextrous, 50 throws with the right arm and 50 with the left, effectively spreading the load.

You don't want to end up like a crab with one massive pincer, or do you?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Are there pitch limits in other countries? I tried pitching once but hit the batter more than the catcher...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Club Sports in Schools in Japan, from my limited experiences, is often boring, regimented, repetitive and essentially lacking in any understanding of what sports for kids should be.

A lot of kids / parents don't complain simply because they don't know anything else - this is the way it's always been - and of course who will complain and face the risk of ostracism.

The simple fact that there is No Off Season and practice just keeps rolling on and on and on, together with the Not Allowed to play other sports dictate, then you have a recipe for injury, mediocrity and a turning off.

Schools and their PTAs have a lot to answer for.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A few years ago, I saw Fujinami pitch for 11 innings at Koshien. ELEVEN innings!

All I could think of at the time is that the Tigers' manager was an idiot for possibly damaging that pitcher's arm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is no surprise, and it's also no surprise that if and when people get to the majors they spend 9/10s of their time on the DL. Japanese leagues need to change their pitchers, in the lower leagues and especially kids, when they get tired.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Club Sports in Schools in Japan, from my limited experiences, is often boring, regimented, repetitive and essentially lacking in any understanding of what sports for kids should be.

Depends on the school and the sport. High pressure schools with pushy parents don't put much effort into sport in the first place and kids who are facing tough entrance exams almost always drop club activities in their third year of high school or middle school to focus on exams. Where you get the extreme pressure is in low ranking private high and public high schools.

My older boy did track and field in middle school. Not much pressure there. Before that he did baseball in a public league that had teams with girls as well as boys. Again, not much pressure.

My younger boy does soccer. Again, not much pressure.

There are certainly schools where the training and practice is excessive, but it is easy avoid getting involved if you are so inclined.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan's national elementary school baseball tournament decided on a 70-pitch limit.

But that is only in matches. What about practice sessions? If they do not put limits on practice sessions, the limits for matches won't matter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And water is wet

But sometimes, common sense is not so common

The worldwide Little League World Series (up to 13 years old) has pitch limits as well as required rest days

"In America, they play different sports in different seasons. I wish Japan would adopt a little of that."

Cross-country in autumn, basketball in winter, baseball in spring, etc.

Anyways, this topic already came out in this JT article:

"Before MLB career, Tsutsugo aims to improve baseball at home"

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https%3A%2F%2Fjapantoday.com%2Fcategory%2Fsports%2Fbefore-mlb-career-tsutsugo-aims-to-improve-baseball-at-home

It should start with the grown-ups in the room

Winning is important, but it should not be more important than a kid's future opportunity to reach the highest levels of the sport, see how bright they can shine, and possibly earn a good living as well

Too often, grown-ups would sacrifice a kid's future opportunity in order to win a present trophy for themselves. That's selfish - grown-ups should act like grown-ups and be the big man/woman and make the big decisions

When faced with a situation that their team needs to win, but to win, they may seriously damage a kid's future opportunity, the grown-ups should make the big decision that the kid's future opportunity is more important than winning at all costs at present. They should put the kid's future above their own present. Even if the kid doesn't like it at the moment, that's their job to be the grown-ups in the room

And I'm not just talking about the coaches - it's also the parents, the school officials, the tournament officials, the media, the fans. If you're a grown-up, act like one and make the big boy decisions - put the kid's future above your own present

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bullfighter - you are correct - it depends on the school, as to how the experience of club sports was / is.

But that goes for anything. I'm glad that your kids had a relativel pressure-free time. Many don't.

And it's not just about being "beaten about the body" thru pressured strenuous training.

It 's the myriad of other little things I've noticed over 25 years with my own kids, friends, and students, such as

join a sport club and change to another sport, while possible, is rare. Why. Coz you'd be letting the team down and you chose to come here didn't you!!!!

join a sport club and be prepared to practice between 4 - 7 days a week. Less is very rare.

join a sport club and be prepared to be subservient to your seniors and do all the menial tasks. Otherwise is rare.

join a sport club and unless you're in the top players you may never actually play a "real" game in your whole 2 - 3 years. eg a soccer club with say 30+ members will rarely call up the bottom 10 members. They're there to just help, clean up and you know cheer. We are all One you know.

join a sport club and try to tell the team managers / teachers that you can't compete in the summer tournaments because you're going OS with your family. How selfish & thoughtless.

join a sport club and as I mentioned before, try to explain that you'd like to play tennis in summer, basketball in Spring and Soccer in Winter. You know - give some muscles a rest, develop others and increase agility, skills, abilities and of course break the monotony and meet new friends. How selfish & thoughtless.

join a sports club and declare I'm quitting for no particular reason, then be preapred for the social fallout.

I could go on, but it's enough. When my daughter was injured in highschool first year handball, she really felt it. The team had only barely enough members, and while no-one incl teachers suggested she should play injured, there was this "thing" about injured layers letting the side down - so don't get injured and "Faito"! My daughter is sensitive and she felt compelled to recover quickly and get back out there. That did it for me.

I've yet to read a school sports club's goals and purpose document, with ample support from modern sports education philosophies, methods or training techniques.

For all the sports played in schools in Japan, Japan should be world class in many more sports than it is, esp with such a high population.

But it isn't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here is the solution:

1) mumbusho to write to every prefecture telling them about the dangers of excessive pitch practice tell them to inform all schools that it should be capped.

2) all prefectural boards of education to pass the message on the schools.

So that could be done in a week.

Chances of it happening? just about zero.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Loki520Feb. 19  08:14 am JST

On Thursday, with much less fanfare, Japan's national elementary school baseball tournament decided on a 70-pitch limit.

Great. They do know that every one of those 70 pitches has at least 100+ practice pitches behind it, right?

Not necessarily, but the 70 pitch limit is still too high for anyone younger than middle school age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RecklessFeb. 19  11:42 am JST

Are there pitch limits in other countries? I tried pitching once but hit the batter more than the catcher...

https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/pitch-count/

http://www.wiaa.com/conDocs/Con1660/17-final%20WA%20BA%20Pitch%20Count%20Rule%20FAQ.pdf

1 ( +1 / -0 )

baseball clubs in japan are insane in the amount of training they do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How come I'm not remotely surprised by this? It's just typical of the Japanese idea that pain makes perfect and that nothing should be easy. Form over substance. Just watch a Japanese baseball game and see players dive for balls that are way out of reach. I've seen videos of the players just practicing diving for hours on end. Just to show that they did their best. This is a truly sad story, and even sadder that there is such an amount of resistance to the medical evidence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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