Fastpitch is a form of softball commonly played by women and men. The International Softball Federation (ISF) is the international governing body of softball. The ISF recognizes three pitching styles: fast pitch, modified fast pitch, and slow pitch. Fast pitch is considered the most competitive form of softball. It is the form that is played as part of the Olympics. Fast pitch is also the style used in college softball and international competition.
Fastpitch softball became a very popular sport in the US during the ’30s and ’40s. Commercial and semi-pro leagues sprang up all over the country in large cities and small towns alike. Both men and women’s leagues were popular and it was not unusual for both to be playing on the same night in a double-header. Because fastpitch games move quickly, they are very popular with spectators. Although men’s fast pitch softball is still played, the game is now primarily played by women.
Interest in fastpitch softball has grown dramatically in recent years, particularly since the sport was included in the Olympics in 1996. The number of Division 1 softball teams in the US has grown from 222 in 1997 to over 300 teams today. The number of youth teams also increased from around 70,000 in 1995 to approximately 90,000 today.
The ISF has worked to introduce the game in places where softball is not traditionally played. This surge has included offering equipment and coaching in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. In 2005, the World Cup of Softball was established as a premier event in the sport. This event allows the top countries in the world to compete on a yearly basis.
Fastpitch softball pitchers throw the ball with an underhand, or windmill, motion at speeds up to 80 miles per hour. In this style of pitching, the pitcher begins with her arm at the hip and brings the ball in a circular motion over the head, then completes the circle back at the hip and releases the ball with a hand snap. There are many different pitches, which can be thrown, including a two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, changeup, riseballs, dropballs, curveball, screwball, offspeed, knuckleball, and more. These pitches can be taught in many different styles, depending on the pitching coach’s method and the player’s abilities. Fastpitch is not an easy skill to learn and requires a great deal of practice. Softball pitchers at any level require a level of accuracy with their pitches. An accurate pitch is achieved through different techniques that help the pitcher to maintain a certain consistency of body weight and balance. The pitcher’s stance is also important when pitching. In different types of competitions, different rules concerning the stance apply.
LFP will market softball-coaching services to individuals in the metro Washington, DC area. The primary customer base includes middle and high school girls. The local market area includes over 130 elementary schools, 38 middle schools, and 25 high schools. Girl’s softball is very popular in these schools and gaining popularity as high-profile events increase the sport’s visibility.
These girls are interested in receiving additional training to increase skills in softball pitching and batting. Parents of interested girls search to find specialized training so the girls can excel in in junior varsity and varsity teams. This training can also improve the chances of earning a college scholarship or possibly participating on an Olympic team.