Different Styles of Modified Pitching Both Good and Bad
for Sudbury Men's Softball
SMS League conforms to 10 Man Modified Pitching rules, with the strictest interpretation effective in 2019: the pitcher's shoulders must remain parallel to a line drawn between first and third through the delivery (i.e., you cannot turn your shoulders). 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 three 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.
Also 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
Lastly, the shoulders cannot turn during the delivery. They must stay parallel to the imaginaary line drawn between first and third.
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.
BAD - Figure 8 style. The turning of the shoulders makes this illegal under the 2019 SMS rules. It is possible to use the swing of the arm from the opposite should, to the rear, and forward again to gain momentum, but you cannot turn the shoulders.
BAD- Shoulder Abduction. The turning of the shoulders makes this illegal under the 2019 SMS rules.
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 if 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.