Pitching Centre


17 Dec 2019

The Rookie and Developing Sox Pitching and Catching programmes were developed to encourage coaches to deliver set programmes to targeted age groups. These programmes were initially released in 2014 under the Rookie and Emerging Sox brand.

The realignment of our player and coach development pathway provided an opportunity to refresh the branding and it’s delivery, allowing greater access to the 6x week programme.

As a result, Softball NZ is now offering the programmes as a free download.

Coaches and instructors capable of delivering a quality experience to developing pitchers and catchers are welcome to download the programmes here Rookie & Developing Sox Pitching & Catching Programmes.

Please note, it would be advantageous for deliverers to complete the following Softball NZ Coach accreditation modules before delivering one of the 6x weeks pitching and catching programmes.

  • Pitching Movement
  • Pitching Mechanics & Rules
  • Catching


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