Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

My son is very involved in sports, especially baseball. As a pitcher he's out there every day practicing and never misses a game. He wants to participate in a showcase game but the coach is discouraging it because he's only 14 years old. What's the big concern here? With all the competition out there isn't this his chance to be discovered?

Showcase games are important opportunities for athletes to show off their talent. Pitchers get a chance to see how fast their pitching times are using a radar gun. Runners are timed around the bases. Batters' statistics are posted. Everyone gets to perform in front of scouts from schools or professional groups.

Young, talented pitchers are actually discouraged from throwing breaking pitches in competition until they reach puberty. They are also advised to avoid pitching in showcases. The intent is to prevent serious injury.

Safety recommendations are based on results of research conducted so far. Whether or not following these guidelines makes a difference is still up for debate.

Samuel J. Olsen II, MD, et al. Risk Factors for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. June 2006. Vol. 24. No. 6. Pp. 905-912.

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