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How tall are softball players?

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
659
28
Most of the stronger college pitchers I've seen are bigger than average. OU's Paige Parker (71") is one example.

It's also fairly obvious that bigger stronger kids, as long as they have a decent swing, are typically going to hit the ball harder and further than a smaller one. However, unless HRs are coming with freakish regularity, speed and defense are more important, and the most successful teams are built for that.

One look a last year's National Champion (OU) shows that the average and median height was 5'7", with only four players taller than 5'8" and five players shorter than 5'6". While that's taller than the "average" female, it certainly isn't huge.
 
Jun 27, 2011
5,089
0
North Carolina
I was listed in my high school football program 2" taller and 20# heavier than I actually was. So I am not sure if I would put to much stock in listed heights.
I don't think college softball teams have the same incentive to exaggerate height as do high school football teams, who want to give their players the best chance to be recruited and who don't want opponents to be able to game-plan around a roster sheet that reveals the d-line that is really 175 pounds all the way across.

But, let's assume that every softball player in the SEC (2013) was really 2 inches shorter than listed.

Still ...

140 were taller than those whose heights were inflated to 5'6
27 were listed as 5'6 (but were really 5'4)
64 were shorter than those listed as 5'6 (but were really 5'4)

Taller-than-average girls would still be twice as likely to be on SEC rosters as shorter-than-average girls.

None of this necessarily means that coaches should look for taller players. IMO, it just means that once they've found the best players, chances are, they'll be taller on average. My conclusion is that above-average height can be an asset in softball, else we wouldn't be seeing these numbers.
 
Jun 27, 2011
5,089
0
North Carolina
However, unless HRs are coming with freakish regularity, speed and defense are more important, and the most successful teams are built for that.
Are you including pitching as part of defense? If not, I'm not sure I would agree that the most successful teams are built for speed and defense. Obviously those things are nice, but IMO the best teams in college softball are those that have the best pitchers and hitters, not the best base-runners and fielders.
 
Jun 3, 2015
92
0
Personally, I don't think height matters in pitching. My daughter pitches and is 5'3". She's a good little pitcher and has great command/control, but isn't the fastest pitcher on the block. Now, I think my daughter puts in a fair amount of work, but she doesn't work at it everyday. Could she put it more work to become faster? Absolutely!

She's a junior and has verbally committed to a pretty good D2 school. She had a couple of D1's looking at her, but those kind of fizzled out. It was tough for her to accept that she was going to play D2 at first because of her ego. Many of her friends were committing to D1's, but most were not pitchers. The whole time, we were telling her if she wanted to play D1, she would have to put in twice the amount of work to make up the difference in her height..She wouldn't, so she's playing at a D2.

There is another pitcher in Arizona who is the same height as my daughter and she is committed to UofA. She's probably one of the top pitchers in the state. Why? Because she works her ass off. She probably works out 2X more than my daughter, but that hard work has paid off.

No, I don't think height matters in pitching, but I do think the shorter pitchers have to work harder than their taller peers to make up the difference in height.
 

JAD

Feb 20, 2012
8,234
0
Georgia
I would be willing to bet that if you checked most college and professional teams their athletes, male and female, would be taller than average....with a couple of exceptions like horse jockeys.
 
Mar 8, 2016
126
28
DD is 14 years old. She is either 5'10 or 5'11" depending on who measures her. The high school volleyball and basketball rosters both list her as 5'11". She plays f3 and her infielders and coaches appreciate her wingspan. I am also convinced that her height gets her noticed at camps more than her skills alone would justify. At her last camp word got back to me that a coach was asking about the tall, fast, lefty. Our coach also insists that the girls wear their yellow jerseys to camps. They are everyone's least favorite jersey and my daughter always wants to wear a different color. Everywhere we have been to camps it is easy to stand out in yellow jerseys because no one else has that color. On the negative side it is a bigger challenge for her to get down on ground balls and her strike zone is huge. The odd thing about the strike zone is it is almost always low pitches that get called strikes on her and if anything she doesn't seem to get the borderline high pitch called a strike. Good ballplayers come in all sizes and every size has its own advantages and disadvantages that girls can learn to use to their benefit.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
659
28
Are you including pitching as part of defense? If not, I'm not sure I would agree that the most successful teams are built for speed and defense. Obviously those things are nice, but IMO the best teams in college softball are those that have the best pitchers and hitters, not the best base-runners and fielders.
I was speaking as much of individuals as a whole team, but pitching is most certainly part of the defense...not sure how else it could be classified. "Best hitters" is a squishy term. To some, it might mean power. To others, it might mean the flexibility to do what is necessary to get on base and / or move runners. From what I saw in last year's championship series, pitching, fielding, and speed (in that order) mattered far more than hitting power.
 
Last edited:
Dec 3, 2012
639
0
West Coast
Here is one graduating class. This can give you a perspective of the heights of a college softball player.
Great photo and a very impressive run that they had. The thing that stands out to me other than their success is that there are 7 Seniors! Sort of sad that so many University's turn their Seniors and only end up with 2 or 3 that stick with it.

Which ones are the pitchers?
 

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