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Prior to starting delivery Shall take a position with the pivot foot on or partially on the top of the pitcher’s plate and the non pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be on the ground within or partially within the 24 inch length of the pitcher’s plate Pitcher must take a position with shoulders in line with first and third base with the ball in the glove or pitching hand and with the hands SEPARATED The pitcher shall take or simulate taking a signal from the catcher. MUST be a PAUSE!

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Starting the delivery The pitcher shall bring her hands together in front of her body for not less than one second and no more than 10 seconds before releasing the ball. The hands may be motionless or moving. The Pitch STARTS when one hand is taken off the ball or the pitcher makes any motion that is part of her windup after the hands have been brought together. Once the hands are brought together and are in motion, the pitcher shall not take more than one step which must be forward, toward the batter and simultaneous with the delivery. The pitch must be delivered to the batter with an underhand motion.

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The role of the FEET The pivot foot may remain in contact with or my push off and drag away from the pitcher’s plate prior to the front foot touching the ground, as long as the pivot foot remains in contact with the ground and within the 24 inch length of the pitcher’s plate. At the release of the pitch, both feet need to be within or partially within the 24 inch pitchers plate. If a hole has been created in front of the pitcher’s plate, the pivot foot may be no higher than the level plane of the ground. Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other than the pitcher’s plate is illegal. (ie. crow hop, leap)

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The role of the Hands and Arms The release of the ball and the follow-through of the hand and wrist must be forward past the vertical line of the body. The hand shall be below the hip and the wrist not farther from the body than the elbow. The pitch shall be delivered on the throwing arm side of the body and not behind the back or between the legs. Cannot make more than 1 ½ revolutions of the arm in the windmill pitch. The ball does not have to be released the first time past the hip.

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Do’s and Dont’s 1 The pitcher can remove herself from the pitching position as follows: Before the hands come together, the pitcher may legally step back from the pitcher’s plate with both feet When the hands are together and no art of the windup motion has been made the pitcher may legally step back from the pitcher’s plate with both feet Either foot may be removed first. The pitcher shall not deliberately drop, roll, bounce the ball while in pitching position in order to prevent the batter from striking it. The pitcher has 20 seconds from the time she receives the ball to make the next pitch. Penalty – ball on batter

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Do’s and Dont’s 2 A pitcher may exchange a ball from the circle at the beginning of each inning, but never have both balls at the same time. The pitcher’s fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or elbow may be taped for injury, providing such tape is a neutral color. * Pitcher or any other player may not apply a foreign substance to the ball. Dirt is not considered a foreign substance. However!!!! Powdered resin or USSSA approved drying agent can be used by the pitcher and does not have to be wiped off. Pitcher may not wear any item on the pitching hand, wrist, arm or thighs which the UMPIRE judges to be distracting to the batter.

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Do’s and Dont’s 3 At the beginning of each half inning or when a pitcher relieves another, no more than one minute may be used to deliver no more than 5 balls to warm up. Exception is an injury to pitcher and new one is deployed. Penalty is ball to batter for every pitch over five. The pitcher shall not throw to a base while a foot is in contact with the pitcher’s plate after having taken the pitcher’s position. Dead ball illegal The pitcher shall not deliver a pitch until all defensive players are positioned in fair territory, except the catcher, who must be in the catcher’s box. The pitcher may not take the pitching position on the pitcher’s plate without possession of the ball, and the pitcher may not simulate pitching with or without the ball when near the pitcher’s plate

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NO Pitch The pitcher pitches during a suspension of play The pitcher attempts a quick return of the ball before the batter has taken position or is off balance as a result of the previous pitch The runner is called out for leaving the base too soon. The pitcher pitches before a base runner has retouched the base occupied after a foul ball has been declared and the ball is dead. A player, manager or coach calls “Time” or employs any other word or phrase or commits an act while the ball is live and in play for the purpose of trying to make the pitcher commit an illegal pitch.

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Illegal Pitch Can be a Dead Ball or a Delayed dead ball Penalties vary determined by infraction Delayed dead ball. The batter is awarded a ball and all runners advance one base without liability to be put out. If the batter hits the illegal pitch, the coach may have the option to take the result of the play or elect to take a ball on the batter and runners advance one base. If the batter hits the ball and reaches first base safely and all runners advance at least one base safely then the illegal pitch is nullified.

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Types of Illegal pitches Crow hop The act of breaking contact with the ground and replanting the pivot foot. Then the pitcher separates her hands to start her pitch. In essence, the pivot foot is planted twice, which moves the pitcher closer to the batter, giving the pitcher an unfair advantage. Leap The pitcher has both feet airborne prior to delivering the pitch

Summary: 2018 USSSA Fast Pitch Rule 6 Pitching