My daughters came from a Bobby Sox league where they had a division for 8
& 9 year-old players that played a modified fastpitch game.
They played with some modified rules. Here are some of the rules they
played by. It has been highly successful in developing players at an
PITCHING: The players pitch (windmill or slingshot). The pitching
distance was shortened from the older girls (you could use 33-35 feet).
There are NO walks. If the batter reaches a count of 4 balls, the
offensive coach steps in to pitch to his own girl. This is usually done
underhand as the coach is trying to pitch a "lollipop" that his batter can
hit. The batter keeps the same count which she accumulated with the team
pitcher--which also means that it's possible for her own coach to strike
her out. Her at bat is completed when she either strikes out or puts the
ball in play.
PLAYERS: There are 10 players (4 outfielders). This helps alleviate
having the little girls cover so much area when a ball is put in play to
STEALING: There is NO stealing of bases. Otherwise, you can imagine how
the ball would be thrown all around the field, most likely resulting in a
run for the offense.
STRIKE ZONE: The strike zone may be enlarged to shoulders and knees. Our
league actually tried this one year then went back to the regular strike
zone, so as to prepare the girls to have an eye for the correct strike
zone when they move up a division.
By allowing the girls to pitch, it helps develop pitchers earlier. It
also has been helpful in making the transition from the "mini" division to
the next level up where the girls were petrified facing such "fast"
pitchers. It helped eliminate some of the fear factor.
It is a really exciting division. And it's really fun watching the girls
play some "real" softball a that age.
Melinda, So. California