ROOKIE & EMERGING SOX PITCHING & CATCHING PROGRAMMES
The Rookie Sox and Emerging Sox Catching programme was implemented in 2014. Although the programs haven’t exactly flourished there has been considerable uptake in the Northern Regions with 9 delivers and 317 pitcher and catchers receiving instruction during the 2015/16 season.
The position of pitcher is not only the key position on a team but often the difference in a team taking the diamond and able to compete. It is imperative development pitching and catching programmes are implemented across the regions if our game is to be sustainable on the domestic front and for NZ to continue to enjoy success on the international stage.
Click for more information on the Rookie & Emerging Sox Pitching & Catching Programmes.
U15 SHARE THE LOAD RULE
The U15 ‘Share the load’ Rule is a Softball NZ National Tournament rule applying to any player who is pitching and/or catching under 15 years of age. The rule was first introduced at the 2008 U15 National Tournaments. In 2010 the rule was also introduced at the U17 & U19 National Tournaments to cover players U15 who were pitching and/or catching.
This rule is designed to protect current players from over-use and under-use and to help educate the softball community on the need to develop the game by providing more opportunities for more players to pitch and catch.
Other throwing sports have similar rules limiting the amount of workload on young players; Baseball have a pitch count rule which applies up to U18's and cricket have a limit on overs for fast pace bowlers applying up to U17's. In softball our focus is the development age of U15.
The feedback given on this rule has pointed to the need for a similar limit to be applied to club games at the U13 and U15 level across Associations.
Download the rule here
THE PROGRESSION OF THE PITCHING LEAPING RULE
In January 2010 the new pitching rule came into effect allowing pitchers to leap. New rule was interpreted as pitchers hands must separate as the pitcher pushes from the plate.
March 2011: Pitching Rule amended. As a result of feedback from players, coaches and umpires, the change to the earlier interpretation of the pitching rule has been adopted to better reflect the intention of the rule and the mechanics of utilising the leaping style of pitching. The revised interpretation is that the hands do not have to separate at the time of the push off from the pitchers plate however the hands must be separate with the pitching arm in continuous motion at the time the pivot foot lands. A replant is not allowed.”
So the leaping pitcher can have their hands together when they are airborne but must have separated their hands by the time their back foot has contacted with the ground. This is what most pitchers naturally do.
The Leaping Style
The ‘leaping’ style has emerged onto the world scene in recent times, a style that been debated throughout the softball community. Some of the best pitchers in the world have adopted leaping and had significant success.
In an attempt to understand if the leaping style should be taught through the SNZ coach education pathway an advisory group with vast experience and knowledge was formed. As a result the following points emerged.
Although no research has been undertaken on the long term effects on the pitchers body the general consensus is that this style places undue stress on the body and in theory shortens the longevity of the pitchers career. The leaping style is one that should not be integrated with the core fundamentals of pitching. A long, smooth, controlled action is a catalyst for balance, rhythm and success.
As a result of the groups conclusions SNZ will not promote the style of Leaping through its development programs. It is definitely not a style that should be taught to our developing pitchers.
Airborne with hands together is legal