Kickball Pitch Types
In kickball, there are quite a few pitch types you should learn as a pitcher. Similar to baseball and softball, these pitches have various combinations of bounce, speed, and control. We will rate each pitch based on difficulty and show you the steps and strategies to throw each one. These are the most common pitch types in kickball:
A fastball is exactly what it sounds like - a fast pitch thrown with extreme precision. To throw a fastball you need to focus on the take back and how you generate power and torque. It is also important to time the release and follow through so that kickball travels directly down the plate with speed. Fastballs are great against weaker kickers who have slower reaction times. It is best to vary your pitch types by throwing off-speed pitches like changeups and curveballs in combination with fastballs.
A changeup is a slower paced pitch that is designed to confuse the kicker. On a changeup, the pitcher should use an identical pitching motion. To throw a changeup, you should limit the release of the ball and use more control over power and speed. Changeups are best used in combination with other forms of pitches. It is never smart to use the same pitch multiple times in a row. Kickers will begin to learn your patterns and be able to predict which pitch is coming if you are too predictable.
A curveball is a type of pitch that appears to move in one direction but curves into the strike zone on its flight path to home plate. To throw a curveball, you should utilize a sideways throwing motion and focus on the take back and where you release the kickball. Curveballs are the hardest pitch to perfect since they require an understanding of how to apply spin, speed, and control. When throwing a curveball, you can choose to vary the pitch by applying backspin or topspin. The spin is what allows the kickball to curve back inside the strike zone.
When evaluating the efficiency of a pitch type, you can use the following factors:
In most kickball leagues, pitchers are required to throw at least two bounces before the kickball reaches home plate. There may also be a limit on the number of bounces that can occur on a pitch. Pitching with an underhand or sideways motion will allow you to control the number of bounces with more accuracy than with an overhand motion.
Control in pitching describes how well the pitcher can utilize speed, bounces, and placement during his pitch. Pitchers with great control have an ability to throw many pitch types with in various combinations.
Placement of a pitch describes where the pitch ends up over home plate in or outside the strikes zone. It is solid strategy for a pitcher to vary his placement and purposely pitch inside, outside, and around the strike zone.
REMEMBER: You can still get a strike if the kicker chooses to kick a pitch well outside the strike zone.