page contents
Connect with us

Galway Fastpitch Softball

In the Spring/Summer of 2024 we will be looking to start up a Women’s Fastpitch team as part of Galway Softball, becoming the first club in Ireland with Slowpitch and Fastpitch Softball.

Register your Interest in Galway Fastpitch Softball here.

The club and the Island of Ireland is predominately a Slowpitch Softball nation but we are an ambitious bunch looking to expand into Fastpitch Softball in the West of Ireland.

What is Fastpitch Softball?
Fastpitch Softball is a similar game to baseball and GAA Rounders but played on a smaller pitch (also know as a field or diamond) and with a bigger ball. The pitches are thrown underarm rather than overarm in baseball.

What’s the difference between Fastpitch and Slowpitch?
Slowpitch is more a recreational version but does have competitive competitions while Fastpitch is a more competitive or an elite version, having Olympic status until recent year but is back at the LA 2028 Summer Olympics along with Baseball.

The softballs in Fastpitch are 12″ and harder than Slowpitch softballs. The Fastpitch bats are lighter due to the high speed of the underarm pitch which carries the momentum of a batter ball. Slowpitch softballs are 11″ and bats are heavier as the ball is tossed slowly in an arc where the weight of the bat creates the momentum.

Fastpitch bases are 60 ft (18.29m) apart which creates a fast action game. The Pitcher’s plate is 43 ft (13.11m) Outfield fences are 220 ft (67.06m) away. Bunts and stealing are allowed in Fastpitch, similar to Baseball the game remains live until time is called by an umpire or the pitcher receives the ball in the pitcher’s circle.

Fastpitch Softball

  • Harder Softballs, 12″ in size. Have a raised seam for spin control while pitching.
  • Lighter bats, 15oz to 26oz and vary in length from 27″ up to 34″. Fastpitch bats usually have a Balanced weight but a few have a Slightly End-Loaded weight for power hitters.
  • Bases are 60 ft (18.29m) apart, bunts and stealing bases are allowed. This creates a fast paced game with a lot of strategy.
  • Pitches underarm at speed from 43 ft (13.11m).
  • Unless time is called by an umpire or the ball is returned to the Pitcher in the Pitcher’s Circle, the play remains live.
  • Outfield fences are minimum 220 ft (67.06m). Fastpitch is predominately a single sex sport due to the different pitching and outfield fence distances.
  • Fastpitch is 9 a-side like Baseball and GAA Rounders.

Slowpitch Softball

  • Slowpitch Softballs are 11″ for women, (Under ASA/USA Softball/WBSC regulations) they are still hard but have more of a trampoline effect when batted, meaning they travel farther.
  • Heavier bats, this allows the batter to create momentum from the weight of the bat as the ball is pitched slowly. Slowpitch bats are usually 24oz to 30 oz in weight and 32″ to 34″ in length. Slowpitch bats are usually end-loaded to get more weight behind batting the ball for Power hitters. Balanced bats are for good contact hitters.
  • Bases are 65 ft (19.81m) apart, no bunting or stealing bases allowed.
  • Pitches are throw slowly underarm from 50 ft (15.24m) in an arc that must reach 6 ft in height and no higher than 12 ft.
  • Time is called by the Umpire after each play is completed or there is no advancement of the runners. The next play becomes live when the ball is next batted into play.
  • Slowpitch is played either single sex or co-ed, Women’s and Co-ed Outfield fences are minimum 275 ft (83.82m).
  • Slowpitch is played 10 a-side with an extra outfielder due to the larger outfield. Co-ed softball is played with a 5&5 gender balance. 2 or each gender in the infield and outfield, pitcher and catcher must be of the opposite sex.

Interested parties will be contacted in the Spring regarding training and Fastpitch matches when we have enough interested to start.