by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching
We often receive questions
regarding where a pitcher must place her feet prior to the start of
the pitch, and during the pitching motion.
Unfortunately, the rule for girl
pitchers can vary from one league to another, and even between the
national sanctioning organizations such as the ASA, USSSA, NCAA,
NSA, Little League, etc.
Here is an e-mail we received from
"Okay, I have looked EVERYWHERE and have even
asked several coaches and all of them give me different answers to
this questions. Where do my feet need to be on the rubber
mound? Can I step back or start off with my foot of the mound?
Or do I need to stay on the mound the whole time and never go back?
When I am pitching some of the umpires tell me that I can't pitch
with my foot back but most of never said anything about the way I
pitch. Can you PLEASE tell me the correct way for my feet to
be? THANKS SO MUCH!"
And here is a portion of
Two of the major national softball sanctioning groups,
the ASA (Amateur
Softball Association) and
the USSSA (U.S.
Specialty Sports Association) have
conflicting rules on both the starting position of the rear foot,
and the legality of taking a backwards
to ASA rules for
rules are more liberal), the
rear foot must be on, or touching against, the rubber, and
NO backwards step is permitted. College
pitchers play under a similar rule of the NCAA.
In the ASA
Section 1, C.2 states this applicable rule for female
"Both feet must remain in contact
with the pitching plate at all times prior to the forward
(2) However, the
also sanctions tournaments and leagues, allows for the pitcher to
either take a backwards step, or have her stride foot behind
the pitching rubber when she starts...it does NOT have to be
touching the rubber:
"Prior to the pitch, the pitcher shall take a
position with: (1) the pivot foot on or partially on the surface of
the pitcher's plate; (2) the non pivot foot in contact with, or behind the
So if you play in a USSSA tournament, you CAN
have your rear foot behind the rubber, and also step
backwards. But in ASA games and tournaments and
in college softball games, you have to have your rear foot in
contact with the rubber, and CAN'T take a backward
step. My suggestion is to have your coach check the
rulebook for the league or association (your
state's high school athletic association, local league, ASA, USSSA,
NSA, etc.) that
you play in.
Like you, most other experienced pitchers
are allowed to do it) like to
start with their rear foot a little bit behind the pitching
rubber...it helps them make a better weight transfer to the front
"push off" (or
"pivot") foot ,
and therefore have a faster pitch.
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E-mail us, or call Pitching Instructor Gerald Warner in
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