How to Throw a Knuckleball in Softball
Although it's a wily sort of pitch, the knuckleball serves a direct purpose: to confuse the batter. This classic pitch, often compared to a butterfly, floats through the air with little spin. Although rarely used in softball, you can throw this game-changing pitch with a velocity suited to both slow-pitch and fast-pitch varieties of the game.
Squeeze the crown of the softball tightly, digging your fingertips into seams of the ball. Keep your palm as far away from the ball as you can. This grip style allows you to reduce the amount of spin put on the ball.
Step forward on your front leg, letting it take your body weight. The toes on your rear leg should point out at about 30 or 45 degrees. Keep your back straight and eye straight ahead as you bring your arm back over your head for an overhand pitch or back across the hip for an underhand pitch. The latter style tends to be easier for those just learning the softball knuckleball.
Release the ball overhand or underhand when your arm reaches its full extension. For an overhanded release, make sure your arm passes over your head, keeping your weight on your driving leg. For either style, release the ball at the hip, squeezing your fingers together as you snap the ball out of your fingertips. To keep ball spin at a minimum, your fingers should come off the ball simultaneously.
Hide your knuckleball grip in your glove until the last possible moment to keep the batter guessing.
- The Art and Science of Coaching: Softball Pitching Fundamentals and Techniques; Carrie Dever-Boaz, Sally Tippett Rains
- MLB.com: Hofstra's Galati Shows Off Her Knuckleball
- SoftBallPerformance.com: Softball Pitching Tips
- iSport: How to Throw a Knuckleball in Slowpitch Softball
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.