Middle School softball question - PITCHING

cal

New member
My daughter pitches at 43' for her summer team and from what I understood it is universal for all 13 & 14U players. I was about to send a note to the diocese, as she plays for her school team, to get it moved from 40' - 43' throughout their rec ball league. In doing my research for this and learning USSSA and USA Softball all have their 14U pitchers at 43' I was shocked to learn that OHSAA public middle school ball is also at 40'. Any idea why this is? It seems like it's asking a lot of a girl who pitches all summer at 43' to have to change to 40' in the spring only to immediately go back to 43'. Yes, it is a first world problem. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts on this. thanks,
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
From my understanding, 12U is the last year of 40' for travel ball.

Maybe because the mound was moved back to 43' a few years ago, a few rec leagues may not have adopted it yet. Surprised about the OHSAA though. Middle school should be 43.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
When my daughter was in middle school, the school team was considered a club team, so the coach set the mound up at 43 feet for our home games. We did play several school sanctioned teams on the road and the the mound was at 40 feet. I agree it doesn't make a lot of sense as the majority of girls playing in junior high would be 14u players, but I guess the decision was made for those who are still 12u and use to pitching from that distance.
 

cal

New member
Thanks for the replies. I thought I could hopefully sway the diocese to change the rule to 43' but I know how things work down there and they will never change it if the OHSAA has it at 40'. OHSAA seems like a much bigger hurdle. Plus, it's not like my girl is that awesome....I just wanted to remove an unnecessary hurdle for her. Thanks again!
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Personally, I don't think there is much difference between 40' and 43', especially in middle school. I know there are 12U players that regularly play up to 14U and pitch both distances. Seems the one time it really comes into play is when the pitchers are overwhelmingly fast. Probably not much of an issue at any Middle Schools in the OHSAA.

Also, I think NewOldBlood might have it right, there are still a decent number of 12U girls in 7th grade. This keeps it consistent for them.
 

HSFB Fan

Well-known member
My daughter pitches at 43' for her summer team and from what I understood it is universal for all 13 & 14U players. I was about to send a note to the diocese, as she plays for her school team, to get it moved from 40' - 43' throughout their rec ball league. In doing my research for this and learning USSSA and USA Softball all have their 14U pitchers at 43' I was shocked to learn that OHSAA public middle school ball is also at 40'. Any idea why this is? It seems like it's asking a lot of a girl who pitches all summer at 43' to have to change to 40' in the spring only to immediately go back to 43'. Yes, it is a first world problem. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts on this. thanks,
Middle school and High school ball are much different than summer travel ball. The recreational teams are the feeders for middle/HS teams for the most part so they are trying to develop ladies that can pitch. If you watch a lot of middle school ball the ladies struggle getting the ball over the plate at 40' moving back would make these game walk fest.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Any idea how many middle schools field a softball team? I imagine it's not many as I've never seen one but there may be some pockets of the state where it is popular.
 

BigK72

Member
The team I coach for is a Club Team for the school. For our home games, we have the girls pitch from 43' and let the visiting team know that ahead of time. Some of the umps had an issue with it claiming that we were sanctioned school teams, so the mound had to be at 40'.

Once we got into rec season, the mound was 40' based off the league rules. I still set the mound at 43' for the home games. I found that my pitchers struggled some from 40'; usually hitting high in the zone because they were used to the 43' mound. They got it figured out and were fine. Overall, it was just the overall inconsistency that stunk. The girls knew it would be 43' at home, but we never knew officially what the mound would be at on the road until we got to the diamond.

The rec league I run had 12U at 40' as well as 14U(like I stated). I just found it odd that 12 and 14 pitched from the same distance.
 

Poisonut

Member
Middle school and High school ball are much different than summer travel ball. The recreational teams are the feeders for middle/HS teams for the most part so they are trying to develop ladies that can pitch. If you watch a lot of middle school ball the ladies struggle getting the ball over the plate at 40' moving back would make these game walk fest.
Totally agree not to mention the additional reaction time it gives to hitters. A dominant middle school pitcher is going to dominate, whether 40' or 43', but that 3 feet can be a big difference for novice and developing pitchers. For programs that don't have a good feeder system most times middle school is the first opportunity to develop pitchers. Fastpitch pitching is not instinctually a natural motion it takes a lot of time and hard work to develop a pitcher let alone more than one pitcher which is necessary (a competitive hs program should have at least 4 pitchers or 1 per grade imo). Development can be very discouraging for young pitchers so I like the 40' distance as I think it gives the pitcher a little bit of an advantage while not totally favoring the pitcher over the hitter. Also pitchers not being able to throw strikes does nothing to develop hitters either so it all works hand and hand.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
Fastpitch pitching is not instinctually a natural motion it takes a lot of time and hard work to develop a pitcher let alone more than one pitcher which is necessary (a competitive hs program should have at least 4 pitchers or 1 per grade imo).
I understand what you're getting at and you are dead on about the level of work it takes to be dominant, but 99% of HS programs are lucky to have 1 really good pitcher, let alone 4. Maybe in some of the most competitive DI schools you see this, but most competitive programs will ride the back of one good pitcher for 4 years and HOPE that another one is coming along soon. Great pitchers are typically not developed through school ball programs. They are developed in the summer and fall during travel ball and with pitching instructors.
 

Poisonut

Member
I understand what you're getting at and you are dead on about the level of work it takes to be dominant, but 99% of HS programs are lucky to have 1 really good pitcher, let alone 4. Maybe in some of the most competitive DI schools you see this, but most competitive programs will ride the back of one good pitcher for 4 years and HOPE that another one is coming along soon. Great pitchers are typically not developed through school ball programs. They are developed in the summer and fall during travel ball and with pitching instructors.
For sure. I didn’t communicate what I was saying well. I’m not saying you’re going to develop 4 dominant pitchers. The hope would be 4 pitchers 2 of which who are solid to strong and at least 2 who can throw strikes and eat innings if necessary. Even more ideally 2 upper classmen that would play varsity and 2 to make up a JV squad.
 

ringer2

Active member
Middle school and High school ball are much different than summer travel ball. The recreational teams are the feeders for middle/HS teams for the most part so they are trying to develop ladies that can pitch. If you watch a lot of middle school ball the ladies struggle getting the ball over the plate at 40' moving back would make these game walk fest.
Exactly this.
 
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