Some of the most common illegal pitches include the riseball, drop, and screwball. These pitches are illegal because they give the pitcher an unfair advantage over the batter.
This article will discuss the different types of illegal pitches in softball, the penalties for committing them, and tips for avoiding them.
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What is an Illegal Pitch in Softball?
An illegal pitch in softball is a pitch that does not comply with the rules and regulations set forth by the governing body of the sport. These rules vary depending on the level of play. Still, an illegal pitch is generally thrown with an illegal motion, released from an illegal position, or thrown with an illegal grip.
Types of Illegal Pitches in Softball:
- Illegal Motion: An illegal motion, such as a quick pitch, makes the thrown pitch illegal.
- Illegal Position: Releasing the pitch from an illegal position, such as outside the pitcher’s plate, makes the pitch illegal.
- Illegal Grip: Using a foreign substance on the ball makes the grip illegal and any resulting pitch illegal.
Penalties for Illegal Pitches:
The penalties for committing an illegal pitch vary depending on the level of play. The umpire has called the pitch a ball in youth leagues, and play will continue. In professional play, the umpire has called the pitch a ball, and the runner(s) will be awarded one base.
Tips for Avoiding Illegal Pitches:
- Understand the rules: Make sure you understand the rules and regulations of the game, including those regarding illegal pitches.
- Practice proper mechanics: Ensure you practice proper pitching mechanics to avoid committing an illegal pitch.
- As a pitcher, always be aware of the batter’s position and give them enough time to set themselves in the batter’s box before throwing a pitch.
- Do not use foreign substances on the ball, as it constitutes an illegal grip.
Illegal pitches can disrupt the game flow and lead to penalties. Players and coaches need to understand the game’s rules, including those regarding illegal pitches. By practicing proper mechanics, paying attention to the batter, and avoiding the use of foreign substances, players can ensure they are throwing legal pitches and avoiding penalties.