Fast Pitch Pitching Rule
All Female and Male Categories up to Bantam
There are six basic features to the pitching rule they are:
1. CONTACT WITH THE PITCHING PLATE
The pitcher must start with two feet in contact with the pitching plate.
The feet do not have to be on top of the pitching plate.
The pitcher may heel and toe but the heel and toe must make contact with the pitching plate.
The contact must be within the twenty-four (24) inch width of the pitching plate.
The feet in contact with the sides of the pitching plate is not legal.
- The signal must be taken from the pitcher’s plate while in position described in item1 above.
- A signal may be taken from the catcher or the dugout.
- Looking at the catcher is the same as taking the signal.
- The hands must be separated while taking the signal.
- The ball may be held in either the bare hand or in the glove.
- The ball may be in front or behind the body.
3. PRELIMINARY TO DELIVERY
- After the signal the pitcher must bring the glove hand and bare hand together in front of the body. The ball may be in the glove or bare hand.
- In front of the body means not behind the back. Bringing the glove up to the pitcher’s side and pausing is legal.
- The body must come to a complete stop and the pause must be held for a minimum of one (1) second and not longer than 10 seconds.
- Movement caused by the pitcher gripping the ball in the glove during the pause, is not a violation.
- During the entire preliminary process, the feet must remain in contact with the pitching plate.
4. START OF THE PITCH
- The pitch starts when the hands separate or there is any motion that is part of the windup.
- Once the hands have separated, the pitcher cannot stop or step back off the pitching plate.
- The pitcher may move off the pitching plate by stepping back prior to the separation or start of the windup, however both feet must be off the pitching plate prior to the separation or the start of the windup.
- No rocking movement that causes the pivot foot to leave the pitching plate is allowed.
- Lifting the front of the pivot foot (toes) and rocking on the heel is legal as long as some portion of the foot remains in contact with the pitching plate.
- Alternately, the pitcher could lift the heel, and use the front of the foot (toes) to start her momentum, as long as some portion of the foot remains in contact with the pitching plate.
- The pivot foot may turn or slide across the pitching plate during the push off.
- The pitcher may drop her hands to the side and then to the rear prior to starting the windmill. The hands going to the rear does not count as passing the hip.
- The pitcher’s hand may pass the hip twice but there cannot be two (2) complete revolutions.
- The wrist may not be any farther from the hip than the elbow.
- During the delivery, there cannot be a stop or a reversal of the forward motion. On the preliminary windup the pitcher whose arms go backward is not in violation. That is part of the windup.
6. STEP AND RELEASE
- A step must be taken and it must be forward toward the batter within the twenty-four (24) inch width of the pitching plate.
- It is the non-pivot foot, which must land within the twenty-four (24) inch width of the pitching plate.
- The pivot foot may be outside the twenty-four (24) inch width of the pitching plate due to momentum created during the drag.
- The pivot foot must push off from the pitching plate.
- After the push-off with the pivot foot, the pitcher may drag away from the pitching plate.
- If the pitcher’s pivot foot has created a hole, the drag must be no higher than the plane of the ground.
- The release of the ball must be simultaneous with the step.
- The pitcher may not step forward, slide the pivot foot forward off the pitching plate or jump forward with the pivot foot prior to starting the pitch. This is a crow hop and is an illegal act.
- If the pitcher has separated her hands after the pause and the pivot foot is off and in front of the pitching plate it is a crow hop.
- The pivot foot must stay in contact with the ground prior to the release of the ball.
- If the pivot foot is airborne and the pitcher still has the ball it is a leap.
- The pitcher may not leap or jump.