The USA Softball youth program, also known as the Junior Olympic (JO) program, is among the nation's largest youth sports organization.  

The USA Softball youth program provides recreational and competitive opportunities for boys and girls in both fast and slow pitch. Whether a player views softball as a new sport to learn, as a way to have fun with friends, or as a path to the Olympics, the USA Softball youth program has something for them. Foremost, the goal of the USA Softball youth program is to help aspiring young softball athletes learn a sport they can enjoy for a lifetime in a positive, safe, and supportive environment.

JO Player Information

USA Softball provides varied programs of competition for the JO program, including fast pitch and slow pitch for boys and girls. 

The following are Code and Playing Rule Changes with Comments that will be affecting the youth division effective January 1, 2019 unless otherwise noted.

 Playing Rule Changes with Comments

 Code Changes with Comments

 

Click here to see all Playing Rule, Code, Procedural Manual changes and the USA Softball Bylaws.

At the National level, USA Softball conducts several Youth Fast Pitch National Championships each year, including Boy's Fast Pitch and Girls' Class A National Championships. 

Each state/metro association may offer additional opportunities for league or tournament play. 

Things to note for Youth Fast Pitch:

- A 10th player, known as the Designated Player or DP, may be used in a starting lineup.  A DP will bat in the lineup in lieu of a defensive-only player known as the Flex.

- A windmill or "slingshot" underhand pitch is used to deliver the pitch.

- Pitches can reach up to 65-70 for women while men can reach a top speed of 75-80.

- The pitching arm may pass the hip twice but may not make two full revolutions.

- Bases are set at 60' apart.

- Pitching distance ranges from 35' at 10-Under play to 43' for 18-Under play for girls while boys pitching distance ranges from 35' to 46'.

To find out more information on the Youth Fast Pitch program, please click here >>

At the National level, USA Softball conducts numerous Youth Slow Pitch National Championships each year, including Boys and Girls Slow Pitch National Championships. 

Each state/metro association may offer additional opportunities for league or tournament play. 

Things to note for Slow Pitch:

- A starting lineup consists of 10 players.

- On defense, teams can place the additional fielder either on infield (known as the Middle Infielder) or in the outfield.

- The pitcher must deliver the ball towards home plate on the first forward swing of the pitching arm past the hip with an underhand motion.

- The ball is delivered with perceptible arch and must reach a height of at least 6' from the ground while not exceeding 10' from the ground.

- Bases are set at 60' apart for boys and girls 10 and 12-Under levels while 65' apart for boys and girls 14, 16 and 18-Under levels.

- The pitching distance is 40' for boys and girls 10-Under, 46' for boys and girls 12-Under and 50' for boys and girls 14, 16 and 18-Under.

To find out more information on the Youth Slow Pitch program, please click here >>

USA Softball Certified Training Academies provide training opportunities for softball athletes around the U.S. to foster and develop their skills.  USA Softball Certified Training Academies provide opportunities for youth softball athletes to train with former professional and college athletes to advance their fundamentals and knowledge of the game.  

Click here for information on USA Softball Certified Training Academies>>