Hitters Feel Safe With the Pitcher Farther From Home

Safety concerns pushed the high school pitching distance from 40 feet to 43 feet during the 2011 softball season.

The NCAA distance has been 43 feet since 1987, leaving pitchers with extra reaction time and hitters a split second longer to interpret the pitch.

Sophomore pitcher Mia Wang believes the advantage now lies with the hitter. “They have a longer time to react to my pitch. But on the plus side, having the extra three feet makes my pitches move more and makes my changeup more effective,” Wang said.

Though the high school pitching distance moved back last year, most travel leagues already pitched from 43 feet. This change alleviates players having to adjust in college. 

“It took some time to adjust, but in the end, it makes the game more interesting for the fielders and the hitters,” Wang said. “The hitters don’t have to just guess if a pitch is a strike or not.”


 A version of this article appeared in print on 24 April 2012, on page 15 of The Shakerite.

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