Coed fastpitch, welcome to the softball family

Written by Bob on October 30th, 2013

YUCAIPA, CALIF – I started playing fastpitch softball in 1964. It was a time of wooden bats, a time of the look-back rule, a time of white softballs, and a time of the two-feet-on-the rubber and no crow-hopping rules.

The men’s fastpitch game was the only softball game in town.

But my how softball has changed over the past five decades. From the recreational to the professional athlete, the softball choices are many for both sexes. There’s fastpitch, slowpitch, modified pitch, over the line, senior slowpitch, softball for the challenged, and coed slowpitch.

To the benefit of all in our society who enjoy recreational activities, softball has evolved into an all-inclusive sport. There is a place in softball for everyone.

At one time, I was adamantly against slowpitch. I bellyached that it was the “ruination of men’s fastpitch,” that only those with no talent played lob ball.

I was sure proven wrong on that one. Slowpitch is popular and its athletes are talented. And they love their side of softball as much as we fastpitch enthusiasts love our side.

Which brings us to the latest debate: Is there room in the softball family for coed fastpitch. There are several on the pioneering front who say yes.

In fact, on the Soboba Indian Reservation near San Jacinto and Hemet, Calif., coed fastpitch is already being played.

“We had a coed league here on the Soboba Indian reservation two years ago and it was just as fun as it was popular,” said Isaiah Vivanco by email. “My men’s team the Southern Calif. Tribes is hosting a coed fundraiser tournament this weekend (Nov. 2-3) in Soboba and we have six teams entered.”

And Josh Cline of Michigan, a fastpitch pitcher who threw a perfect game in the 2010 NAFA World Series, is trying to start a coed fastpitch league. And he believes that coed could help expand men’s fastpitch.

“I am in the starting stages of getting a local coed fastpitch league,” said Josh. “A lot of local young ladies and curious men are interested. I am hoping there are at least six teams in the league to start.

“Coed also allows the men to get a good base and then move on to men’s leagues where they can evolve…I think its a great concept and hope to find it happening more.”

I asked myself (an old codger who was once a strict traditionalist) if given the opportunity, would I pitch and play coed fastpitch?

You bet. Looks like a lot of fun to me.

So I say, “coed fastpitch, welcome to our softball family.”

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