Females in sport are under-represented in data and analysis when compared to their male counterparts. This disparity also applies to women’s softball in comparison to men’s baseball. To help fill this gap, this study evaluated the extent and impact of laterality in women’s college softball’s Power Five and Group of Five conferences from 2015-2017.
This study focused on the extent of a left-sided lateral preference in women’s college softball, possible interactions between throwing hand and batting preference, to what extent the platoon effect exists in the sport, and the extent of positional bias in the sport. As one of the largest studies on the laterality of women in sport, with a sample size of over 3,000 women’s college softball players, this study contributes to the understanding of the manual act of throwing and the bimanual act of batting by females.
The results from this study indicated that a left-sided lateral preference occurred more often in women’s softball than in the public, with slap hitters a possible cause. However, without a method to identify which batters in softball are slap hitters, it was difficult to draw as rich of conclusions about laterality in women’s softball as those drawn for men’s professional baseball. The study also provided an assessment of performance variables that could impact the way the game is played and how coaches make recruiting decisions.
Softball, Laterality, Handedness, Fastpitch, Women, Sport
Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science
Level of Degree
Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences
First Committee Member (Chair)
Dr. John Barnes
Second Committee Member
Dr. Alfredo Martinez
Third Committee Member
Dr. Todd Seidler
Fourth Committee Member
Dr. Alan Nathan
Nachtigal, Jon C.. "Laterality in the Power Five and Group of Five Conferences in Women's College Softball." (2018). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/educ_hess_etds/97