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Softball/Softball pitching


Hey Tom,

I have a question about high school pitching. My daughter is 16 and has been pitching since she was 8. At our first game, the other coaches complained that she was pitching illegally and the umpire stopped the game and sited her for hesitating. I don't know what that means. Before she brings her hands together in front, she uses her right hand to wipe the ball on her shirt, then drops right arm down as if lining the ball up. (This is a mental prep she does sometimes. She then brings her hands together and starts her pitch. Her pitch is fluid. The other coaches were having trouble with the arm dropping down before her hands come together to pitch. She does get her pitch before the 20 seconds, by the way.
During that game however, there was a pitcher that never brought her hands together at all. She started with her hands straight down, brings them straight up over her head and goes into her wind up without touching once. Her pitches were never called illegal. There was another pitcher who brought her hands together, removed her right hand, wiped in on her shirt and then put her hands back together again. That was also not flagged as illegal. Are those two pitches illegal and what did the umpire mean when he called my daughter's pitch illegal because of hesitation? I have never heard of that before. Thanks for your help.


I am as perplexed as you.  

There is nothing wrong with your daughters pitch as you describe.

The next two pitches you describe are illegal.  The first due to a double touch, the second due not bringing the hands together.

At the appropriate time your daughters coach should ask the umpire that called the illegal pitch to show the coach in the rule in the rule book that caused your daughter to be called for an illegal pitch.



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Tom Mielke


Rule and scoring questions for girls/womens Fastpitch Softball. Primarily High School (NFHS) and ASA


Rec, Varsity and Travel Ball Coach and High School Umpire

Michigan High School Athletic Association registered official: Softball, Basketball

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