All-American Girls Professional Baseball League rules of play

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The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was a circuit that began to operate in 1943. Since the only organized ball for women in the United States was softball, the league officials created a hybrid game which included features of both fast-pitch softball and baseball. Compared to softball, the crucial differences were that nine (not ten) players were used, and runners could lead off, slide and steal bases.

In its twelve years of history the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League evolved through many stages. These differences varied from the beginning of the league, progressively extending the length of the base paths and pitching distance, while decreasing the size of the ball until the final year of play in 1954.

For the first five years the circuit used a fastpitch underhand motion, shifted to sidearm in the 1947 season, and never really became baseball until overhand pitching began in 1948.[1]

Rules of play[edit]

Season Ball size (inches) Length of base paths (feet) Pitching distance (feet) Pitching style
1943 12" 65' 40' Underhand
1944 11½" (midseason) 68' (midseason) 40' Underhand
1945 11½" 68' 42' (midseason) Underhand
1946 11" 70' 43'  Underhand (Limited side-arm) 
1947 11" 70' 43' Side-arm
1948 10⅜" 72' 50' Overhand
1949 10" (red seam) 72' 55' (midseason) Overhand
1950 10" (livelier) 72' 55' Overhand
1951 10" (livelier) 72' 55' Overhand
1952 10" (livelier) 72' 55' Overhand
1953 10" 75' 56' Overhand
1954 9" 85' 60' Overhand

Sources[edit]