Pitching Motion

by Assistant Coach

In fast pitch softball, is the pitcher required to start their pitch with both feet on the pitching rubber and not allowed to step back towards second with one foot at the beginning of the pitch?

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Pitching Motion Rules
by: Coach Dan

Assistant Coach,

Thank you for your question. The rules for males and females are actually a little different. Rule 6 - Pitching Regulation (Fast Pitch) lays out the guidelines. Here are the rules verbatium:

Section 1: Preliminaries
Before starting the delivery (pitch), the pitcher shall comply with the following:
A. Both feet must be on the ground within the 24-inch length of the pitcher's plate. The shoulders shall be in line with first and third base.
1. (Male Only)He shall take a position with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate and his non-pivot foot on or behind the pitcher's plate.
2. (Female Only) She shall take a position with both feet in contact with the pitcher's plate.

Note: Sections B through E speak to holding the ball while taking the signals, etc. Section 2 speaks to starting the pitch.

Section 3: Legal Delivery
A through F speaks to arm motion.
G. In the act of delivering the ball, the pitcher must take one step with the non-pivot foot simultaneous with the release of the ball. The step must be forward and towards the batter within the 24-inch length of the pitcher's plate.
NOTE: It is not a step if the pitcher slides the pivot foot across the pitcher's plate, provided contact is maintained with the plate. Raising the foot off the plate and returning it to the plate creates a rocking motion and is an illegal act.
H. Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other than the pitcher's plate is illegal. This includes a "crow hop" as defined in Rule 1.
I. (All Female and Jr Olympic Boys Only) The pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from the pitching plate prior to the front foot touching the ground, as long as the pivot foot remains in contact with the ground.
J. (Adult Male Only) Both feet can be in the air at the same time. The leap is legal as long as the pivot foot does not replant and push off from a spot other than the pitching plate.

Points K- M speak to other parts of the pitch.
Hope this helps.

Both feet on pitching plate
by: Anonymous

Going to depend on rule set, most rule sets do require both feet on the pitching plate. NFHS (high school) does not require both feet to be in contact with the pitching plate and does allow a step back.

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