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The Fastpitch Bulletin, Volume 20, Number 7 -- 2/18/2020

02/18/2020, 2:45pm CST
By Bob Tomlinson

Viral Video of Slip Pitch shows an illegal delivery

Gaday Mates?
That's Kiwi for Good Day Mates.

This Bulletin actually started yesterday afternoon when I received an email from Sheila Schulfer at the WIAA office concerning a type of pitch that has shown up on social media Tic Toc -- a platform I do not use. Soon thereafter our AD forwarded me the same email. 

About a month ago or so my good friend Brian who is the longtime coach at Gilman called me asking if I'd seen the video that had apparently gone viral among softball people. It was about a pitch called a slip pitch. He said his two pitchers had been watching and were wondering about it. Brian wasn't sure it was legal so he called me and explained the pitch. Immediately I told him that it is illegal because a pitcher can not continue to make an arm circle past the shoulder once the ball has been released. It told him it's in Rule 6, Section 1.

After our conversation I grabbed my rules book and looked it up and sure enough it is Rule 6, Section 1, Article 4 with a note. It is on page 51 of the rules book. 

I assumed that all head coaches must have received the email from Shiela but just in case that is not what happened and considering that many head coaches do not teach at the school they coach at and some head coaches do not have an email address and furthermore many schools still do not have a head coach in place --- Here it is.

To:                         NFHS Softball State Association Administrators 
From:                    Sandy Searcy, Director of Sports 
Subject:                2020 Rules Interpretation 
Date:                     February 17, 2020 
The NFHS has received a rules interpretation request.  The area of concern is, a pitcher using two revolutions during her windup but releasing the ball after the first revolution.  A video of this particular pitch is being shared via social media, and verbiage professes this to be a legal pitch.  This pitch is illegal based on Rule 6-1-4e. 
ART. 4 . . . The pitcher may use any windup desired provided:  e. the pitcher does not continue to wind up after taking the forward step or after the ball is released.  NOTE: Continuation of the windup is considered any action that, after the ball is released, causes the arm to continue to rotate past the shoulder. 
The NFHS provides this information to keep members informed of errant information that is being circulated.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. 
Sheila Schulfer
Administrative Assistant to Stephanie Hauser
Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
5516 Vern Holmes Drive
Stevens Point, WI  54482
(715) 344-8580  Ext. 312

After having provided all that I thought it would be fun and interesting to take you back in time and give you a chance to see what the game looked like back in the 60s and 70s and into the 80s. There were some great female fastpitch players and teams back in those days. The annual ASA Women's Major National Tournament was a spectacle that drew hundreds even thousands of fans to watch teams like the Raybestos Brackettes, the California Commotion. The Pekin Lettes, The Bloomington Hearts and others. Names like Bertha Ragan Tickey, Joan Joyce, Donna Lopiano, Karen Gallagher and others might come to mind for those old enough to remember those days. In the video included in this Bulletin of the 1979 Women's Professional Championship series the shortstop is Karen Gallagher. If you have been around for a while and have followed the UW-Madison fastpitch program you would recognize the name of Karen Gallagher. Back in the mid-90s the UW was suddenly strapped with having to add a women's sport to the program in order to meet participation numbers to abide by Title IX legislation. There were some choices including lacrosse, bowling and softball. Which-ever program was going to be put in place would require a roster of more than 20 student/athletes. Lacrosse was a good possibility but in the end the administrators realized that at the time, most of the universities with lacrosse were located along the Atlantic seaboard. That meant lots of travel time and money -- Bowling teams did not carry enough participants so softball was added. Karen Gallagher was hired to start the program. Here first recruit was Amanda Berg from Chippewa Falls. The first season was 1996.

Your young players might enjoy watching bits of these videos from back in the day. - 1965 Women's World Championship played in Australia and won by the Australians   is the 1979 women's professional championship with Karen Gallagher playing shortstop -- this one is the 1979 Women's Professional Championship game. Gallagher was the first-ever Wisconsin Head Coach and not until 1996 -- NCAA started sponsoring fastpitch in 1982 and lacrosse instead of softball was nearly the sport the athletic department picked -- softball won out because there was not much lacrosse in the Midwest. The first teams were forced to play on what was the UW baseball field. That is the practice diamond that is beyond the leftfield fence at Goodman Diamond. I attended the first games played there. 

I have posted a pdf on the Poynette Fastpitch Organization website. You can get there by going to then click on the Documents page then click on the yellow file folder labeled WIAA Coaches Emails a drop down box will appear so then click on the 2020 Team Preview Form and it ought to get you there. Just follow the flow of the form and email your preview to me at and I will simply copy and paste onto this website .....OR

This might work to just click here as well

Last year I typed up all the previews that got sent back to me. That took a lot of time. There should be somebody within your programs that can type of the preview.

That's it for today.
Have a great one!
Keep it Rising!





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