Make sure you know the pitching rules
The progression of the Pitching Leaping Rule
The Pitching Rules are the same as last season…but… be aware that the pitching rule was amended by the International Softball Federation in March 2011.
January 2010: New Pitching Rule came into effect which allowed leaping. 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 utilizing 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.
Airborne with hands together is legal
“Make sure all your young pitchers are leaping. It’s a massive advantage and a lot of fun”.
Softball NZ is introducing a New Pitching Module this season called Essential Skills Pitching Mechanics & Rules. Contact your Regional Game Development Officer to find out when the National Director of Pitching will be in your region. Make sure Debbie is booked in to take this 2 hour coaching module.
What's your pitcher doing this winter?
If they are pitching…what are they working on?
There a 3 seasons to the game:
Off season is the time to really work on increasing pitching speed and improvement in movement. No need to work on control in the off season because you are not in games and not facing batters...more
Off-Season (April – July) Velocity & Movement
Pre-season (August/September) Control, Movement, Mental Approach
In-Season (October-March) Control, Movement & Mental Approach
“The blues giving me nothing…”
How often do we hear this from a pitcher and see the frustration in their body language?
I saw this at the NFC and again at the Bev Chote Classic and there were some situations which came about which were not good for the game.
When a pitchers skill is so compromised that one of our top pitchers realises that they may as well just slow everything down and pitch the pitch across the plate, then our game is really in trouble. Why bother to practice hitting the corners if all the batter has to do is never swing and simply pick up a walk.
How about with loaded bases, 2 batters in a row get walked in by an U19 pitcher. Is there satisfaction in umpiring like this? Is this the hitting game that rule changes have envisioned?
Come on blue – give the pitcher some corners –show some appreciation for the skill of the pitcher and call what’s good for the game.
It’s so easy to totally blame the umpire, but how about the players – they need to be better prepared for this situation.
It is up the catcher to keep the umpire honest with his/her calling and it’s up to the pitcher to be able to pitch called strikes when needed. It is better if the 1st baseman pleads for the corner pitch, rather than the pitcher appearing to be begging.
Catchers need to be aware of what the umpire is calling as a strike – is it the inside or the outside of the plate? Make it a goal to establish this point in the 1st innings. You now have a reference point to talk about with the blue. Building up the relationship with the umpire becomes so important especially when you find yourself with loaded bases and behind the count.
Pitchers need to realise, that when you are so far behind the count you need to expand the zone and make your target area bigger. Make the corner bigger. Pitch to the whole zone not the corner.
The umpire also needs to have an appreciation for good plays. If you feel the ump is in the wrong position to see the play on the bases, then you can ask that particular umpire to ask the other umpire their opinion. They don’t have to, it is up to them, but umpires like to work as a team.
We all appreciate it’s a tough job umpiring softball - there are so many close plays – so I ask on close plays & game changing situations umpires consider what’s good for the game.
Hi, my name is Debbie Mygind and I have been employed by Softball New Zealand as the National Director of Pitching since September 2005. My role is to oversee the development of pitchers and catchers, known as "the battery", in New Zealand.
As the National Director of Pitching my focus is nationally driven with an international direction; I am conscious of a player’s long term development and there are specific needs at the different levels in order for our game to be better equipped at the high performance level.
The Pitcher /Catcher Development Pathways were released in August 2006 and offer a common philosophy on pitching and catching and how to develop the battery from beginner to adult.
My focus has always been to encourage more players into ‘having a go’ at pitching and catching and at junior level making the game very inclusive. In New Zealand we need more players pitching and catching at the U13 and U15 level.
Influencing coaches is a real key for me and my ultimate goal is to never hear a coach say ‘I don’t know anything about pitching’.
Check out the Pitching Resource page below to learn more about the programmes that are in place for coaches, pitching & catching tips, rules, guidelines, and much more.
FASTpitch softball = FUN, ACTION, SKILLS, and TACTICS