“Middle's Open!” Norms Regarding Hitting in Adult Recreational Softball

Gretchen Peterson


In recent years, changes in bat and ball technology for slow-pitch softball have made the position of pitcher particularly dangerous in recreational softball due to the speed at which the batted ball comes off a bat.  With this increasing danger has come a new focus among players on balls being hit towards the pitcher.  Referred to as “going middle”, these hits at the pitcher have norms about when such acts should be reciprocated.  The phenomenon of going middle is explored through participant observation of adult recreational softball tournaments in southern California and through the analysis of the results of an online survey distributed nationally.  The role that gender plays in perceptions of balls hit at the pitcher are explored.


Sports; Norms


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


ISSN: 2049-6869