8.00 The Pitcher Softball

8.01 – THE PITCHER 

(a)  A legal pitching delivery shall be a ball that is delivered to the batter in an underhand motion.

(b)  When the pitcher takes her/his position on the pitcher’s plate, both feet must be on the ground within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate.

(c)   The shoulders shall be in line with first and third bases.

(d)  The pitcher shall take a position with his/her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate. This contact must be on or partially on the top surface of the pitcher’s plate.  The non-pivot foot must be on or behind the pitcher’s plate.

“The Right Call” Casebook -- Note: Not just two (2) feet on the pitcher’s plate, but one or two (2), the pitcher has the choice.

(e)  While on the pitching plate, the pitcher shall take the signal or appear to be taking a signal with the hands separated. The ball must remain in either the glove or pitching hand.

(f)    The pitcher shall hold the ball in one or both hands in front of the body for not less than one second and not more than 10 seconds before starting the delivery.

(g)  A backward step may be taken before or simultaneous with the hands being brought together. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching plate at all times prior to the forward step.

“The Right Call” Casebook -- Comment: (1) Prior to bringing the hands together, or simultaneous with bringing the hands together, a pitcher may take one step back with the non-pivot foot before delivering the pitch to the batter.  However, if the pitcher starts his/her delivery with only one hand on the ball, he/she may also take a step back with the non-pivot foot. (2) There are two (2) approved deliveries (a) windmill - the “windmill” pitch occurs when the pitcher makes a full and complete revolution with the pitching arm.  (b) slingshot - the “slingshot” pitch occurs when the pitcher turns her body toward first or third base and bends her elbow during the back swing, then whips (slingshots around to the plate.)

(h)  In the act of delivering the ball, the pitcher may take one step with the non-pivot foot simultaneous with the release of the ball.  The step must be forward and toward 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 toward the batter, or if the pivot foot turns or slides in order to push off the pitcher’s plate, provided contact is maintained with the plate. Raising the foot off the pitching plate and returning it to the plate creates a rocking motion and is an illegal act.