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high school pitching distance - 40 or 43 feet?

In Nj, the pitchiing distance is 40 feet with one foot on and one foot off. Should the pitching distance be pushed back to 43 to avoid injury or, should the bat and ball be regulated? I am for the second choice. I feel a young 14 year old thrusted into pitching could hurt herself with the distance change. I am also not a dummy. Money is the reason for the distance change. The bat and ball companies make out in the deal... What do you think???:rolleyes::rolleyes:
May 27, 2008
I believe with ASA changing the distance for 18U A to 43' this year that the NFHS will follow suit and they will be at 43' next year.

Bat standards have changed. An additional test has been added. The " hot " bat will be a thing of the past. Bats will now be tested after they are broken in, not before.

Good thing for pitchers. :)
May 7, 2008
i wish they would make up there minds

Most 16u tourneys are at 40 feet. Several college showcases are at 43. some 18 u are at 40 for qualifying for nationals and then 43 for play at nationals.

From a pitchers perspective it means you are adjusting release points on the breaking pitches all the time. Or play at 40 feet all summer and then 43 for nationals. Not a great thing for developing consistency and muscle memory!
May 27, 2008
Pace, FL
I believe with ASA changing the distance for 18U A to 43' this year that the NFHS will follow suit and they will be at 43' next year.
In Florida, we've had our HS pitching distance at 43' for the last two years. It was an experiment authorized by NFHS. As an umpire, I say it's been a great success. College coaches love being able to see HS pitchers at 43'. I have not seen any problems -- even from the less skilled pitchers. Florida has recommended that NFHS adopt it as the HS distance. But the last time I talked to the FHSAA softball commissioner, she was not optimistic that it would happen.
Jul 17, 2008
in the dugout
interesting subject... we had an opportunity to play in a really nice 18u tournament this weekend that was played on a college field with the rubber left at 43'. my dd pitched the first game and she really struggled with it. none of her pitches were working very well because they all started moving about 3' too soon:D. her fastball also became very hittable against the very good hitting team we were playing against. against what you might think, she actually kept her fastball to high in the zone from this 43' distance.

we came back the next day and she pitched against a team that wasn't very good (okay, they were awful;)) and she came one walk away from pitching a perfect game. hard to say how well she was adjusting to the distance at this point because of the team we were playing against.

on the first round of tournament play on sunday she pitched a game against a really nice team and pitched a great game. at this point she was learning to use the distance in her favor with the drop ball. she did hit a righty with a screw ball, but she had good success with it on the lefties. she was also keeping her fastball down.

to be honest i really like the 43'. it's not as big of an adjustment as i thought it might be and there are a lot more balls put into play. the better defensive teams really rose above the rest and it kind of took things out of the pitchers hands somewhat.
Jun 10, 2008
At the NFCA Convention in November of last year the high school caucus meeting also discussed this and I if I remember correctly, supported the idea of the pitchers moving to 43' in high school.

Just like many of the comments being made there is too much inconsistency with the various governing bodies concerning the distance. Of course college coaches like 43 so they don't have to spend fall ball getting freshmen pitchers adjusted to the distance.

At our local rec league our minors team (11-14 year old??) are already pitching from 40 feet. Many do not have good mechanics as only a few are seeing a pitching coach and many of the coaches are parents who are not schooled in the proper mechanics.

All that being said, as a high school coach I believe I would be in favor of the change to 43. I have been at my current position for two years now and have tried very hard to get some of the softball coaches in the rec league to come to practices and be as open with them as I can so that the group of ladies that I get as freshman have the basics covered, unfortunately this has been a slow process for me, and coaches usually only get concerned the year that their daughters are going to become freshmen. The change in distance would change how aggressive I would be in trying to get at least the pitchers started on the right track.

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
I don't really care if it is 40ft. or 43, but I do think that the ball should be changed. The companies could be given 3 years (for example) to make the change.

Softball and baseball is the only sport that uses a rock hard object and VERY little pads.

If my kids had a rock the size of a softball and were throwing and hitting it at each other, I would tell them to put it down.

I pitch a lot of batting practice and I always use a tennis ball or Jugs Lite Flite. When I get hit, it doesn't hurt.

I admit to not knowing what could be done to the ball to get it to "not kill someone" and still be able to fly 200 feet. I wish that Jugs or someone would just produce a ball that local leagues could use, if they wish.
May 7, 2008

I would rather hold the bat companies accountable for the mess they have created with this new technology. I agree the ball is hard but its the bats that make the sport really dangerous to young kids with less than optimal reflexes to react to the ball.


Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
Good morning. But if a safe softball is developed it is also (I'm guessing) going to render all of the technology going into the bats as useless. It could be that a safe ball could be hit just as far with a Walmart bat as a RT.

When women's basketball was changed to give us a smaller ball, I am guessing that there wasn't much objection to it and not many companies to deal with.

In softball, there are some injuries that are occurring just from the thrown ball. A safer ball, might just give us more participants.

I'm not a girly girl and in fact, I have played a lot of football and roller derby, I just think that the ball could be changed a little to allow it some give.

Any clever people on here that can invent something? It would make a good master's thesis for someone.

I just ordered something for hitting practice called a smooshball, maybe that company could do it.

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