What is it?
What is Girl’s Fastpitch Softball?
By “Girl’s” we mean a team playing 18 years of age and under. This is generally divided into 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, 16 and under and 18 and under.
By “Fastpitch Softball” we mean a softball sport defined by the type of pitching motion and not by the speed of the pitch. The pitch typically starts with the pitcher having both feet touching the pitching plate, with her hands separated and with the ball either in the glove or in the pitcher’s hand. The pitcher then brings her hands together for no more than 10 seconds before beginning her pitch (some rules require the hands to be together for at least 1 second). Once the pitcher begins her motion, she cannot stop or reverse that motion without delivering the pitch and she cannot again bring her hands together before delivering the pitch. She has to pitch the ball past the vertical line of her body underhanded, below the hip and no further from her body than her elbow.
She can only take one step toward home plate during the delivery which must be simultaneous with the delivery of the pitch and must keep the back foot in contact with the ground until the lead foot comes back in contact with the ground. She can only have one revolution of her arm during a windmill pitch.
There are basically two types of pitch in Fastpitch Softball: The windmill pitch and the slingshot pitch. During the windmill pitch, the pitcher performs one revolution of her arm basically starting at her hip and releasing the ball after an over and under revolution of the arm of at least 360 degrees.
During the slingshot pitch, the pitcher separates her hands and pulls the ball underhand behind the vertical line of her body and then slings the ball forward past the vertical line of her body.
Girl’s fastpitch softball is played generally with 60 feet between bases, a pitching distance of 35 feet to 43 feet depending upon age, and an outfield fence distance of 200 feet. The runner can steal after the ball leaves the hand of the pitcher and the batter can bunt or slap hit.
To learn more about the rules of pitching under the various national softball organizations, please CLICK HERE.