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Modified Pitch Softball Rules

By Denise Sullivan

Modified pitch softball uses a combination of fast-pitch and slow-pitch rules. This makes the game slightly more challenging than the average recreational softball game without requiring world-class skills from the players. The National Softball Association has issued rules to cover modified pitch softball leagues throughout the country.

Fielding a Team

Teams can play only nine players in the field in a modified pitch softball league, but up to 11 players may be in the batting lineup if the two optional extra players (EPs) are used. These EPs are optional and will bat in the order, but not play defense in the field. The teams may also choose to use a designated hitter (DH) to bat in the lineup instead of one of the fielders. A player who is replaced by a substitute is allowed to re-enter the game one time, so long as he or she remains in the same position in the batting order.


Aluminum or wooden bats may be used, but they must be on the NSA's list of approved bats. No bat can be longer than 34 inches or weigh more than 38 ounces. The umpire has the right to remove any bat from play if he determines that it is cracked or dented to the point of being dangerous. The bat must have a grip that is between 10 and 15 inches long. The pitcher must wear a glove that is one solid color, but not gray or white. No distracting white, gray, or optic yellow circles may be drawn on the glove.

Field Size

For men's and women's modified pitch leagues, the bases should be placed 60 feet apart. In men's leagues, the front edge of the pitching rubber is located 46 feet away from the rear edge of home plate. This distance should be only 43 feet in women's modified pitch softball leagues. For a men's league, the fence must be placed between 225 and 250 feet away from home plate when measured along the foul lines. The fence distance for a women's league must be between 200 and 225 feet.

Pitching Rules

The pitcher must start off with both feet on the ground up against the pitching rubber. The pitcher must bring her body to a complete stop for at least one full second before starting the windup. The pitcher may not rock forward or backward before beginning the windup and cannot use a windmill motion to generate speed on the pitch. Unlike slow-pitch softball, there is no limit on the speed of the pitch or requirement that the ball be thrown in an arc to the batter.

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