My my My my


Different Styles of Modified Pitching Both Good and Bad

for Sudbury Men's Softball


SMS League conforms to 10 Man Modified Pitching rules.  Below are some examples of 10 Man Modified pitching styles.  They are presented to give a flavor of what is acceptable within SMS.  Although there are many elements to a legal pitch, we look primarily at two elements here. 


  • The first is the relationship between the hip, shoulder and the ball.  The angle of the pitcher's back may change but the angle created by the hip-shoulder-ball should generally not break 90 degrees.  Breaking 90 degrees by itself does not necessarily make an illegal pitch (see shoulder abduction), but it is a strong indicator.



  • More important is the second element.  The palm holding the ball should not be turned out (pointing away from the body) putting the ball outside the wrist on the back swing.  Putting the ball outside the wrist on the back swing is an illegal pitch. 

                          For a Right Handed Pitcher


Below are some videos which explain and clarify these elements.


Good - Classic style.  Straight back, straight forward. Classic or Traditional style that has been around since the 1960's.  The ball is brought straight back but not too high to break the right angle (90 degrees) created by the hip-shoulder-ball.  The ball is kept inside the wrist.


Good - High noon style.  In this style the pitcher bends over at the waist (torso is almost parallel to ground). This allows the back swing to go towards High Noon. However, they do not break a right angle created by the hip-shoulder-ball keeping the ball inside the wrist.


GOOD - Figure 8 style.  Notice the twisting at the torso AND bending at the waist that allows the pitcher to get the core more involved.


GOOD - Shoulder Abduction.  Here the pitcher brings the arm out to the side laterally (abduction). But they turn their body toward second base at the same time. This allows the pitching arm to be raised to directly overhead (greater than 90 degrees) without the ball being outside the wrist.  Notice how the pitcher keeps his hand on top of the ball through out the back swing and delivery.


BORDER LINE - Angled arm.  Here the palm is not facing away from the body. However, the arm is angled away (~30 degrees from perpendicular). This is close but OK as long as the pitcher does not bring the ball above a right angle created by the hip-shoulder-ball or angle the arm out so far as to put the ball outside the wrist or break at the elbow (sidearm)


BAD - This Style is a Sling Shot and therefore ILLEGAL for SMS - As the pitcher swings back and then comes through on the pitch he turns his palm (and ball) to point away from his body.  This puts the ball OUTSIDE the wrist.  In addition it allows him on the back swing to break the right angle created by the hip-shoulder-ball.