Throwing a Drop Ball in Softball

Table of Contents

Softball is a sport that requires precision, speed, and power in order to succeed. Whether you’re a pitcher, catcher, or infielder, having the right technique is key. In this article, we’re going to focus on one specific type of pitch in softball: the drop ball.


A drop ball is a slow, low-arcing pitch that often confuses the batter and can be a real weapon in the right hands. Throwing a drop ball correctly requires a combination of arm strength, wrist action, and proper grip. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to throw the perfect drop ball.


Understanding the Drop Ball

Before we get into the mechanics of throwing a drop ball, it’s important to understand what it is and why it’s useful. The drop ball is a slow-pitch that drops down quickly as it approaches the plate. This creates an illusion for the batter, who is expecting a higher-arcing pitch.


This deception often results in a swung-and-miss or an easy pop-up, making the drop ball an effective weapon for pitchers. Additionally, the drop ball is a great pitch for younger players who may not have the arm strength to throw a fast ball or a rise ball.


The Grip

The grip is one of the most important aspects of throwing a drop ball. There are a few different grip options that you can choose from, but the most common is the “circle change” grip. To use this grip, place your index and middle fingers on the seams of the ball, with your thumb resting underneath.


Your fingers should form a circular shape around the ball, with your thumb acting as a pivot point. This grip will help you control the speed and spin of the ball, as well as allowing you to put extra “bite” on the pitch.


The Wind-Up

The wind-up is another critical part of the drop ball delivery. It’s important to be consistent with your wind-up, as this will help you generate power and accuracy. To wind-up, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your waist.


Next, lift your front leg and step forward, keeping your weight balanced between your legs. Bring your hands up to your chest and then back down to your waist. Finally, lift your front leg again and step forward, this time releasing the ball as you step.


The Release

The release of the drop ball is where the magic happens. As you step forward with your front leg, you’ll want to snap your wrist forward and down. This will cause the ball to spin and drop quickly, creating the illusion that the pitch is falling out of the sky.


It’s important to keep your arm straight as you release the ball, as this will give you the most control over the pitch. Additionally, it’s crucial to use your fingers to guide the ball, rather than your arm strength.


Practice, Practice, Practice

Throwing a drop ball effectively takes time and practice. Start by throwing the pitch into a net or against a wall, focusing on the proper grip, wind-up, and release. As you get more comfortable, try throwing the pitch to a catcher or batter.


Remember to focus on the mechanics of the pitch, rather than the speed. Once you have the mechanics down, you can start working on increasing the speed and adding more spin to the ball.



In conclusion, the drop ball is an essential pitch in the game of softball. The key to executing a successful drop ball is by controlling the speed and height of the pitch, and keeping the ball in the strike zone. With the right grip, release, and follow-through, you can use the drop ball to fool the batter and earn yourself a strike. Remember to practice your drop ball regularly and make adjustments to your form if needed, to ensure maximum effectiveness. With the drop ball in your arsenal, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a dominant pitcher on the field.

Clark Harris

Clark Harris

"I live and breath Softball"

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