softball pitching instructor,fastpitch,pitch softball,softball pitcher,softball pitching coach,power line, line of force, arm whip, wrist snap, peel drop, rollover drop, stride, Gerald Warner, pitching lessons, softball pitching instructor, rise ball, curve ball, screw ball, crow hop, leap, drag, pitching coach, circle change, flip change, Colorado, Highlands Ranch
  Foot Placement on the Pitching Rubber
PitchSoftball HomeBeginning Pitchers1st-2nd Yr. PitchersAdvanced PitchersCoaches & ParentsRecent Questions

by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching Instructor


pitch softball logo 2.png

 position on pitching rubber ah.jpg

We often receive questions regarding where a pitcher must place her feet prior to the start of the pitch, and during the pitching motion.

Unfortunately, the rule for girl pitchers can vary from one league to another, and even between the national sanctioning organizations such as the ASA, USSSA, NCAA, NSA, Little League, etc.


Here is an e-mail we received from CLH:
"Okay, I have looked EVERYWHERE and have even asked several coaches and all of them give me different answers to this questions. Where do my feet need to be on the rubber mound?  Can I step back or start off with my foot of the mound? Or do I need to stay on the mound the whole time and never go back? When I am pitching some of the umpires tell me that I can't pitch with my foot back but most of never said anything about the way I pitch. Can you PLEASE tell me the correct way for my feet to be?  THANKS SO MUCH!"

And here is a portion of our reply:
Two of the major national softball sanctioning groups, the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) and the USSSA (U.S. Specialty Sports Association) have conflicting rules on both the starting position of the rear foot, and the legality of taking a backwards step:

(1) According to ASA rules for girls (men's rules are more liberal), the rear foot must be on, or touching against, the rubber, and NO backwards step is permitted.   College pitchers play under a similar rule of the NCAA.

In the ASA
rulebook, Section 1, C.2 states this applicable rule for female pitchers:

"Both feet must remain in contact with the pitching plate at all times prior to the forward step."

(2) However, the USSSA which also sanctions tournaments and leagues, allows for the pitcher to either take a backwards step, or have her stride foot behind the pitching rubber when she does NOT have to be touching the rubber:

"Prior to the pitch, the pitcher shall take a position with: (1) the pivot foot on or partially on the surface of the pitcher's plate; (2) the non pivot foot in contact with, or behind the pitcher's plate."

So if you play in a USSSA tournament, you CAN have your rear foot behind the rubber, and also step backwards.   But in ASA games and tournaments and in college softball games, you have to have your rear foot in contact with the rubber, and CAN'T take a backward step.   My suggestion is to have your coach check the rulebook for the league or association (your state's high school athletic association, local league, ASA, USSSA, NSA, etc.) that you play in.

Like you, most other experienced pitchers (if they are allowed to do it) like to start with their rear foot a little bit behind the pitching helps them make a better weight transfer to the front "push off" (or "pivot") foot , and therefore have a faster pitch.



Do you want to reprint this article or use it on your website or in your newsletter?   
As long as it is not for profit, our only requirement is that you first notify us, then include the following:

Article by Gerald Warner of
and include a reference to this website: 

If you have questions or need more information
E-mail us,
  or call Pitching Instructor Gerald Warner in Colorado at (720) 200-4575


PitchSoftball Home Page | About Us | Beginning Pitchers | 1st & 2nd Year Pitchers | Advanced Pitchers | Coaches and Parents
Recent Questions and Recommendations | Site Map | Search by Keywords