Can You Pitch Underarm in Baseball?
Baseball is a sport that has been around for centuries, and it has evolved over time. One of the most iconic aspects of baseball is the pitching style. While many pitchers use the traditional overhand pitching style, some may wonder if an underarm pitch is allowed in baseball. The answer is yes, underarm pitches are allowed in baseball, but with some restrictions.
What is an Underarm Pitch?
An underarm pitch is a pitching style in which the pitcher throws the ball underarm, rather than overhand. This type of pitch is often used in slow pitch softball, but some baseball pitchers have also adopted this style. It is a slower pitch, and it allows the pitcher to have more control over the ball and its trajectory.
History of the Underarm Pitch
The underarm pitch has a long history in baseball. In the early days of the sport, the underarm pitch was the most commonly used method of pitching. However, over time, the overhand pitch became more popular, and eventually the underarm pitch was mostly phased out.
Advantages of the Underarm Pitch
The underarm pitch has several advantages over the traditional overhand pitch.
- Control: An underarm pitch gives the pitcher more control over the ball and its trajectory. This can be beneficial for pitchers who are trying to throw off hitters by changing the ball’s path.
- Accuracy: The slower speed of the pitch allows the pitcher to aim more precisely, making it easier to hit the desired target.
- Less Stress on the Arm: An underarm pitch requires less effort from the arm, which can reduce the stress and strain on the arm and shoulder.
Disadvantages of the Underarm Pitch
While the underarm pitch has several advantages, it also has some drawbacks.
- Speed: Since the pitch is slower, it is easier for hitters to time the pitch and hit it. This can make it difficult for the pitcher to get strikeouts.
- Power: The underarm pitch does not generate as much power as the overhand pitch, which can make it difficult for the pitcher to generate movement on the ball.
- Injury Risk: Since the underarm pitch requires the pitcher to use different muscles than the overhand pitch, there is a greater risk of injury from overuse.
Rules for the Underarm Pitch in Baseball
While the underarm pitch is allowed in baseball, there are some restrictions. The most important rule is that pitchers must pitch from a standing position. This means that pitchers cannot use a crouch or windup before throwing the pitch. Additionally, the pitch must start from at least five feet behind the pitcher’s mound. Lastly, the pitch must be thrown with an underhand motion.
How to Throw an Underarm Pitch in Baseball
Throwing an underarm pitch in baseball is actually quite simple. The most important thing to remember is that the pitch should be thrown with an underhand motion. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the ball with your fingers on the seams. Then, bring your arm back and up, and then release the ball as you push forward with your arm. Remember to follow through and finish the motion with your arm fully extended.
When to Use an Underarm Pitch in Baseball
The underarm pitch can be a useful tool for pitchers in certain situations. It is best used when the pitcher is trying to throw off hitters by changing the trajectory of the ball or when the pitcher is trying to throw a pitch with more accuracy. It is also a good pitch to use when the pitcher is trying to conserve energy and reduce strain on the arm and shoulder.
In conclusion, the underarm pitch is allowed in baseball, but with some restrictions. It is a slower pitch with more control and accuracy, but it also has less power and is easier for hitters to time. The underarm pitch can be a useful tool for pitchers in certain situations, but it should be used sparingly.