Curveballs aren't the problem after all. For years it's been believed that throwing the bender would lead to an increased risk of arm injuries in youth baseball players. But a study conducted by the University of North Carolina says there's no evidence that's the case. The main cause of injury is in fact overuse.
USA Today has details on the five-year study produced by Little League Baseball that attempted to find causes for arm injuries in kids that in the past were mostly seen in adults.
According to the research, there is no clear evidence that throwing curves at an early age was an injury risk factor. The analysis examined more than 1,300 pitchers in Little League, high school and college.
Another study done by Dr. James Andrews, sports surgeon to the stars, found that curveballs can be harmful, but statistics don't suggest they actually lead to injury.
In 2008, Little League baseball added rules that for the first time limit a pitcher based on pitch count instead of innings. In addition to pitch restrictions based on age, the amount of pitches thrown in a given game determines the number of days a pitcher must rest before throwing again.
Active.com reports less than one percent of all Major Leaguers actually played Little League.