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Should Softball Pitchers Be Allowed to Crow Hop?

Should Softball Pitchers Be Allowed to Crow Hop


A debate has been swirling around the diamond for years regarding softball pitching. It’s the question of whether softball pitchers should be allowed to crow-hop. While this might sound like an obscure term to those outside the softball world, it’s a hot topic within the sport. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the controversy surrounding crow hopping, examining the arguments for and against it, the rules governing this technique, and its potential impact on the game.

What is Crow Hopping?

Before we delve into the debate, let’s clarify what crow hopping is. In softball, crow hopping refers to a technique used by pitchers during their wind-up and delivery. It involves taking a small hop or jump off the pitcher’s plate just before releasing the ball. This extra momentum burst can give pitchers additional speed and power behind their pitches.

The Arguments For Allowing Crow Hops

Proponents of allowing crow hops in softball pitching argue that it adds an exciting dimension to the game. They contend that it allows pitchers to throw more challenging pitches faster, making the game more competitive and entertaining for players and spectators. Moreover, they claim that crow hopping is a skill that should be rewarded. Similar to other athletic techniques like a sprinter’s explosive start.

Furthermore, it argues that inconsistent rules regarding crow hopping create confusion over when and how the technique is used. Making it a strong case for allowing crow hops to simplify the game.

The Arguments Against Allowing Crow Hops

Conversely, opponents of crow hopping in softball pitching raise valid concerns. They argue that allowing crow hops gives pitchers an unfair advantage, as it essentially allows them to take a step forward before releasing the ball. This added momentum can make it extremely challenging for batters to react quickly, potentially jeopardizing their safety.

Another concern is the potential for injuries, both to pitchers and batters. The force generated by crow hopping can strain a pitcher’s arm and may increase the risk of injury. Furthermore, batters facing crow hoppers might have less time to react, increasing the chances of being hit by a pitched ball.

The Rules Surrounding Crow Hopping

Softball rules regarding crow hopping vary depending on the league and organization. Some leagues allow it, some limit the extent of the hop, while others strictly prohibit it. This lack of uniformity contributes to the ongoing debate, as players and coaches must adapt to different rulesets.

The Impact on the Game

Whether softball pitchers should be allowed to crow or hop ultimately comes down to the impact on the game. Allowing crow hops can lead to higher-speed pitches and more exciting gameplay, but it may also create safety concerns and unfair advantages.

As the debate continues, it’s essential for softball organizations to consider the rules they enforce carefully. Striking a balance between promoting skill and ensuring player safety is crucial in maintaining the integrity of the sport.

Here are some outbound links to reputable sources that provide further insights into the debate surrounding crow hopping in softball pitching:

  1. USA Softball Rules – The official website of USA Softball, the governing body for the sport in the United States, where you can find detailed information on their rules and regulations regarding crow hopping.
  2. Softball Pitching Techniques – This article on Active Kids offers tips and techniques for young softball players, including discussing the pros and cons of crow hopping.
  3. Safety Concerns in Softball – Learn more about the safety concerns related to softball, including the potential risks associated with faster pitches resulting from crow hopping.

By exploring these sources, you can better understand the crow hopping debate and its impact on softball.


In conclusion, the issue of whether to allow softball pitchers to crow hop remains unsettled. Players, coaches, and fans continue to engage in heated discussions about it. Ultimately, the decision may be determined by finding a compromise that enhances the game’s excitement while safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved in this beloved sport.

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