Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Is Slapping going to be a thing of the past?

Mar 28, 2020
25
3
Interesting opinion that slapping is trendy and on its way out. DD tried to turn herself around at the plate... not because she has a high softball IQ, but because she saw several of her small, quick friends doing it and having success. And it was alright for her until she realized how much agility work would be required to get as fast as she needed to be. So she's just gone back to hitting bombs from the right side.

I don't think you can just fill a roster with one type of player and expect success... can you? Maybe if that "type" is the player who is coachable? What do I know... DD is 10U.

Let's hope slapping stays around but isn't the only valued skill. Keeps the game interesting.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,660
113
California
In another thread talking about possibility of pitching rules relaxing.
Allowing (think it was) leaping/crow hopping again.
If that happens and pitchers gain back dominance of the game.
May see even more small ball again in the future.

Another point
There will be college players who will become instructors/coaches keep teaching slapping/small ball.
 
Mar 4, 2015
179
43
New England
Slapping a thing of the past? That's absolutely silly. A hitter that can slap, or a slapper that can hit away, is the most potent offensive threat in softball. That was a direct quote from an SEC coach to me this past summer.

There is a reason why every SEC team makes the World Series Tournament. The SEC speed game has a proven track record of success.

Look at the trend in the Big 10 (which has been traditionally a non-speed conference) lately. Shonda Stanton is building a speed based program at Indiana, and they will be a force in the years to come. Coach Healey at Wisconsin was a slapper when she played, and the game they beat Oklahoma this past year was with small ball (and almost knocked them out of the tourney.) Minnesota brought on a slapping coach last season from Ole Miss to help them compete when the get to Edmond in the post season. People can say that slapping is as fad, but those that actually understand the game say otherwise.
I agree that slappers are valuable and will remain, but I can't take SEC coach's assessment literally. There's no slapper in history that I'd take ahead of Lauren Chamberlain as an offensive weapon. UCLA had a really good slapper on the 2019 team that won the title, but she batted 9th and Bubba Nickles (18 HR) batted first.

I agree w/ your general point, though. Slappers are valuable, and I don't see that changing.
 
Apr 9, 2020
43
18
as a parent and watching a lot of softball last 10 plus years the popularity of slapping is team or coach preference. it is a truly unique skill set. my daughter is not one lol. talking to some coaches as she was being recruited the term a lot of them used is they are looking for athletes.. one coach who emailed my daughter saying she loved everything about her game but she is looking for a lefty power hitter to bat 3/4 in line up.. what coach isn't lol. it was still nice to hear back from he coach. another coach at a mid major program says that at his level he is not a fan of slapping.. he equates them to running backs in football..they have s shorter shelf life meaning that the truly elite 2.7 speed does come to his level schools .. they go to power 5. he says the fields in his area take a lot of moisture and snow during the winters which makes the infield softer and not as hard as the southern fields where the balls bounce sky high allowing the elite speed to take advantage .. he says the slappers come into school and are used a lot to run and demonstrate in practice and games and always go all out as speed is their game causing them to be always bumped and nicked while sliding and diving etc. then when it becomes their turnt o start and play everyday they have gotten bigger and stronger from the daily workouts over the couple of years on campus which in most cases translates to slower speed so he again looks for athletes to contribute and be fundamentally sound . I don't think it will ever go truly away but I think as the game evolves and these girls all become bigger and stronger it will used more selectively as to just get the defense to shift ... bc at any level speed kills
 

Vertigo

Jersey Girl
May 27, 2013
804
93
The above post is why slappers need to work on more than one aspect of slapping. I live in the Northeast and let me just say, the fields are rock-solid during the early spring months and middle of the summer months when it hasn’t rained for days. When we do encounter soft fields, slappers can drag bunt, soft-slap, or hit from the left side depending on where the defense lines up. Slapping is more than just chop-slapping on hard dirt.
 
Feb 13, 2020
64
18
I sure hope not cause dd just began learning how to slap. I don’t think slapping will ever truly go away but I do think it has become less popular. At first coaches sorta taught slapping to everyone. Over the years coaches and players have realized that slapping really only works for the girls under 3.0 to first so they only teach it to those girls and since girls with that speed are rare slapping has also become rarer. In most colleges if a slapper isn’t at least a 2.9-3.0 to first then that slapper won’t get to slap. This makes teaching slapping to the girls in that 3.1-3.2 range pointless. Even though those girls are slightly faster than average they won’t be fast enough to get to slap in college so why teach them at all. However, slapping will always be around though as long as there are quick players willing to learn it.

(I think the average 18u softball player is about 3.3-3.4 seconds to first so that just shows how rare those girls under 3.0 are and it also shows why slapping is so rare)
 
Mar 4, 2015
179
43
New England
However, slapping will always be around though as long as there are quick players willing to learn it.
Probably, but I think it depends on factors that are hard to predict. Will pitchers become so strong/fast with movement that it's too difficult to hit while in motion to make it worth it? All sports become more athletic over time, so will that mean you'll attract more sub-3.0 players with great hand/eye, or will it mean that the fielding becomes so good that slappers can't thrive? Or will hotter bats, livelier balls and stronger players lead to everybody in the lineup at the highest levels capable of hitting 20 homers? If that's the case, a pure slapper with rare extra-base hits can't get on base enough to compete with sluggers like that. I hope they continue to be around. Variety of hitters spice up the game.
 
Dec 10, 2018
21
3
I sure hope slapping sticks around because I love to see them wreck havoc on the dirt. MY 14u DD converted to a slapper about a year ago and after a ton of work, she can slap and swing away from the left side with some pop so she keeps the defense honest. It helps that she's 2.7ish down the line.
 
Feb 13, 2020
64
18
Probably, but I think it depends on factors that are hard to predict. Will pitchers become so strong/fast with movement that it's too difficult to hit while in motion to make it worth it? All sports become more athletic over time, so will that mean you'll attract more sub-3.0 players with great hand/eye, or will it mean that the fielding becomes so good that slappers can't thrive? Or will hotter bats, livelier balls and stronger players lead to everybody in the lineup at the highest levels capable of hitting 20 homers? If that's the case, a pure slapper with rare extra-base hits can't get on base enough to compete with sluggers like that. I hope they continue to be around. Variety of hitters spice up the game.
I hope they stick around as well. There’s almost nothing more exciting in softball than watching a quick slapper beat out a throw.
 
Top