PITCHERS! Let’s get right to this. This is new and you need to time to start making changes! There are BIG changes coming your way in 2020 in regard to rules!
There has always been a ton of scrutiny on pitchers. Is she pitching legally, are both her feet in contact with the rubber? Are her hands moving correctly? It seems that especially opposing coaches are always very concerned about the legality of the pitching machine displayed by the pitcher they are facing. (Poor Kelly Barnhill)
Umpires, coaches, parents, and pitchers who either DO NOT know the rules by organization, or do not understand the rules, definitely make it harder.
Well for 2020 rules are changing for several organizations of play, and we expect more to follow suit.
In 2020, NCAA, high school, PGF & ASA/USA rules will all allow you to be off the rubber with your back foot!!! (USSSA will be voting on rule changes in the near future, so stay tuned)
What does this mean? It means it will be legal to use that back foot/leg to give you more momentum thrusting forward, which will likely increase your pitch velocity. BUT….pitchers who have been rule followers and sticklers for form who have practiced for years how to maintain that back foot contact will have to RE-LEARN how to utilize this new tool in their box.
So now is the off season, and we urge pitchers, coaches, pitching instructors, and parents to familiarize themselves with the new rules, and start working on the changes. We also URGE you to be familiar with the organization you are playing and what their rules are.
Since this is not a uniformed rule throughout – pitchers will be expected to design their approach in the circle appropriately regardless of what fastpitch organziation rule body they are playing with.
If you are confused, need some help navigating the new rules, would like some videos on what this actually looks like – we suggest that you hit up Toni Paisley at Paisleys Pitching Academy. Here is a link to her website! She will be able to help you navigate these changes.
We have also attached some further rule changes for USA (previously ASA) softball for the 2020 year!
Rule 3, Section 5E: Helmets shall have a non-glare (not mirror-like) surface. Comment: Specifies that helmets cannot have a surface that has a mirror-like finish.
Rule 6A, Section 1C: 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 bases. The pitcher shall take a position with their pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and their non-pivot foot in contact with or behind the pitcher’s plate. Comment: Allows female pitchers to start with one or two feet on the pitcher’s plate. This aligns the male and female pitching rule as it relates to foot placement.
Rule 6A, Section 1E: The pitcher shall bring their hands together for not less than one second and not more than 10 seconds before releasing the ball. A backward step may be taken before, simultaneous with or after the hands are brought together. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitcher’s plate at all times prior to the forward step.
Comment: Allows female pitchers to take a backward step from the pitcher’s plate, before, during or after the hands are brought together. This aligns the male and female pitching rule as it relates to stepping back from the pitcher’s plate.
Rule 6A, Section 11B&C, Rule 7, Section 5D: (Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Only) Eliminates the penalty of advancing a runner one base without liability to be put out from the effect of committing an illegal pitch. Comment: In Junior Olympic Fast Pitch ONLY, when an illegal pitch is declared, the penalty is only a ball on the batter. We no longer advance runners in Junior Olympic Fast Pitch as part of the penalty.
Rule 7, Section 6C: Add Effect: 5. All other runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. Comment: Aligns the penalty for Altered and Non-Approved bats with the penalty for an Illegal bat. Better defines where runners who are not out should be placed.