Age Category, Ball Size and Pitching Distance Changes for 2022 Season

Age Category, Ball Size and Pitching Distance Changes for 2022 Season

13 April 2021 Gilles LeBlanc

Ottawa, Ont. – At the request of its membership, Softball Canada’s Board of Directors held a Special General Meeting with representation from each of its Provincial/Territorial Softball Associations on April 12th to vote on one motion submitted by Softball Ontario relating to age categories, ball sizes and pitching distances.

The motion passed with an overwhelming majority, meaning the following changes will take effect starting with the 2022 softball season.

Rulebook Reference:
Fast Pitch – Page 109: Age Category and Distance Table 

2021 Age Category / Distance Table

As a result, minor age categories will move from U6, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 towards U7, U9, U11, U13, U15, U17 starting with the 2022 season. The U19 age category will move to U20 on the Men’s side only, while the Women’s side will add a U23 category. In addition to these age category changes, the U13 level (both male and female) will use an an 11” ball.
In terms of pitching distances, the progression will begin one age category earlier from U11 to U17 (as opposed to U12 to U19) to allow athletes to adapt and develop at a younger age.
All of these changes apply to Fast Pitch only and will be in effect for the 2022 Canadian Championships.
In addition, Softball Canada announced a decision will be made on the 2021 Canadian Championships by May 18th. Softball Canada and its Canadian Championship host committees remain committed to holding these events in 2021 and are continuing to move forward with all planning according to COVID-19 conditions.