Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-13-2018


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

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

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