International Journal of Exercise Science 11(6): 179-186, 2018. Speed is a crucial aspect in softball, and can be the difference between winning and losing. Base stealing is a method used to produce runs. There has been debate over which starting position is the most advantageous to maximize acceleration and speed to reach the next base the fastest. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of different starting stances on acceleration and speed phases in collegiate softball players. Seventeen healthy NCAA Division I women’s softball players (age = 19.9 ± 1.3yrs, height = 167.0 ± 5.4cm, mass = 74.8 ± 14.1kg) volunteered to participate. Three maximum 45 ft sprints, with one minute rest, were performed (with splits at 15, 30 and 45ft) for each of three starting stances (front foot on the base, back foot on the base, and cross over stance). A 1x3 repeated measures ANOVA for total time demonstrated that front foot on the base was significantly faster (2.51 ± 0.18s) than back foot on the base (2.70 ± 0.19s) and the cross over step (2.66 ± 0.23s). For all three splits, front foot on the base was also significantly faster (0.96 ± 0.07s, 0.81 ± 0.06s, and 0.73 ± 0.06s) than back foot on the base (1.10 ± 0.13s, 0.84 ± 0.05s, and 0.75 ± 0.43s) and cross over step (1.04 ± 0.09s, 0.84 ± 0.06s, and 0.75 ± 0.07s). The decrease in time for front foot on the base was probably the result of using the base to push against, like a sprinter’s block, to produce greater horizontal force to accelerate faster and reach a greater top speed. Coaches should teach their softball athletes to stand with their front foot on the base when base running.
Marquardt, Amy; Wong, Megan A.; Watkins, Casey M.; Barillas, Saldiam R.; Galpin, Andrew J.; Coburn, Jared W.; and Brown, Lee E.
"Effects of Starting Stance on Base Running Sprint Speed in Softball Players,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 11
6, Pages 179 - 186.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol11/iss6/1