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June 05, 2024

It's all about the pitching: The three types of softball


Fastball.  Slo pitch.  Orthodox.  Did you know that all three of these words can be used to describe the different types of softball played.  Although each type uses bats, balls, gloves and requires players to run the bases, the main difference between them lies in the pitching.


In fastball, most pitchers use a windmill motion (hands of the pitcher start in the front of their body and then throws the ball in a complete circular, 360 degree rotation prior to release) to get it straight across home plate.  Ball speeds in fastball can reach up to 80 miles per hour and the batter has very little time to react to the pitch when swinging. 

Slo Pitch

In slo pitch, the pitcher slowly releases the ball between their hip and knee and lobs it into the air - usually 6 -12 feet high - so that it will land on or close to home plate.  Because of these slower pitching speeds, the batter in slo pitch has much more time to set up, react to the pitcher's pitch and send the ball as far into the outfield as possible. 


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With orthodox softball, the pitching motion has been adapted or modified so that the pitcher throws the ball in an underhand motion and releases it much like how a bowling ball is released so that it moves straight across home plate.  Orthodox softball strikes a balance between the slower pitching speeds of slo pitch and the faster pitching speeds of fastball.

So keep this in mind the next time you are thinking of playing softball and you come across these words as you're doing your research.  A small but critical piece of information that can help you decide what type of softball league will work best for you. 

Source:  Softball Ontario



Learn more with SWSCD

Interested in learning more about other sports?  SeeWhatSheCanDo can help you do just that. We invite you to check out the links below.

Auto Racing: The ultimate women's guide to auto racing: Insights from champion racer Amanda Balson

Curling: Must-have tips and resources for beginners to high performance curlersCurling Fundamentals with Team BrandwoodFine tune your curling skills with Team Brandwood and Team Play. Team Fun. Give curling a go at York Curling Club

Cycling: Mountain bike racing: From the perspective of a newbieLindsey Levin: New to mountain biking and to Pulse Racing's Women's 4 Hour MTB Relay, and Ontario Women's Cycling Month: Celebrating IWD 2024 with Ontario Cycling

Dance: Beginner tips for aspiring adult dancers

Dodgeball: You’ve played the game. Meet the sport

Dragon Boat Racing: A great way to experience the spirit of teamwork

Fencing: En-garde: The three weapons of fencing

Fitness: The New Barre in Town: The workout that’s as fun as it is effective

Floor Hockey: Stouffville Ladies Floor Hockey: Delivering Local Floor Hockey Fun

Golf: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Golf

Ice Hockey: Give sledge hockey a try: A guide to a hockey player’s first time in the sled and Learn to play hockey: Its never too late

Ice Skating: Learn to skate – it’s never too late! 

Martial Arts: This is how we really ‘roll’: busting myths and learning the (fun!) truth about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Outdoor Adventure: How to get started with rock climbing

Ringette: Diary of a ringette first-timer. Why you should give it a try

Rugby: Rugby 101: A quick start guide – Part 1Rugby 101: A quick start guide – Part 2 and A few reasons why your daughter should give rugby a try

Synchronized Swimming: Synchronized Swimming: From Tryouts to Competition Day



Find Softball Ontario in our Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate and review programs, local community offerings and businesses that will help you do your thing.  

Post your upcoming softball or slo pitch tournament in our SWSCD Hub.  Find or start a softball or slo pitch group in our SWSCD Hub.

Look for advice, stories, news and more on our Softball and Slo Pitch activity pages.  

Have your own softball or slo pitch memory or moment you'd like to celebrate?  Share your highlights directly on our Discover blog or by using #seewhatshecando on social media and inspire others to get active. 


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