How To Curve A Baseball

How to Throw a Curveball

Article in PDF format Article in PDF format Once you’ve mastered the fastball, you’ll want to learn how to throw a curveball to further improve your pitching abilities. It may appear that a well-thrown curveball is the same as a fastball, but it spins in the other way, causing it to “break” and travel in an opposite direction before reaching the batter. It is possible that the batter will swing early and miss the ball with a little luck. In order to master this ability, you’ll need to polish your fundamental curveball, as well as your straight curveball and knuckle curveball, among other things.

  1. 1 Take a firm grip on the ball with your thumb and middle finger. Place your middle finger along the seam of the baseball’s bottom seam and your thumb along the seam of the baseball’s back seam. Your index finger should not be touching the ball. As an alternative to using it to hold the ball, you’ll be employing it to point in the direction in which you desire the ball to travel.
  • As you hold the baseball, make sure the curves of the seams are near to your hand, with one on top of your palm and one on the bottom of your palm. To sew with your right hand, place your middle finger on the right seam on top and your thumb on the left seam on the bottom. Leftists should do the inverse of this
  • 2 Keep your grasp as concealed as possible. If the batter is aware that you are about to throw a curveball, he or she will be prepared for the shift in pace and reduction in the pitch velocity. It is critical to keep your pitch a secret until you are ready to throw it. Make sure your glove completely covers the hand that is clutching the ball, so that no one on the other team can see that you are grasping for a curveball.
  • Even during the windup, it is simple for experienced batters to identify the fundamental curveball grip. Practice concealing your grip so that your curveballs are more difficult to read.
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  • s3 Prepare to throw the pitch by winding up. Place the rubber sole of your dominant foot on the ground. As you toss the ball, lift your opposing leg and swivel your hips forward to create more power. Your elbow should be at or above the level of your arm, and it should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Complete the initial half of your curveball pitch in the same manner as you would a fastball pitch
  • While the ball is facing you, a basic four seam fastball will have your middle and pointer fingers on top of the ball on the seam that runs left and right across the ball when the ball is in your hands. Ideally, your thumb should be resting directly on the smooth leather of the ball’s bottom, in the space between the seams.
  • 4 Press the release button. Your hand should be pointing inward toward you body, and you should release the ball as your arm extends and you take a stride forward with the opposite foot. As your arm comes down from the throw, it should be pointing in the direction of the opposing hip.
  • Rather than sweeping your hand in an arc over your torso, snap your fingers swiftly from top to bottom instead. To release the ball, raise your thumb and lower your middle finger in the same manner as if you were about to snap your thumb and middle finger together. In the direction in which your middle finger is pointed, the ball will begin to move.
  1. 5Practice. Learn how to throw a basic curveball before moving on to more sophisticated shapes. Remember that the spinning movement of the throw is performed by grasping the ball with the index finger free of pressure and snapping the ball as it is released from the thrower. While you throw, keep this action in mind as you do so. Advertisement
  1. Take your thumb, forefinger and middle finger and hold the ball in this position. The typical curveball grip is seen here. Place your index and middle fingers on the bottom seam of the ball and your thumb along the rear seam to hold it in place. Hold the baseball in such a way that the curves of the seams are near to your palm, with one on the top front of the ball and one on the bottom rear
  • When throwing a basketball, you should consider the “front” of the ball, which is the part of the ball that will be moving away from you when thrown, and the “rear,” which is the part of the ball that will be facing you after the ball has been thrown. To sew with your right hand, place your middle finger on the right seam on top and your thumb on the left seam on the bottom. Leftists should do the inverse of this
  • Make a target with your index finger by pointing it at it. The same as with the basic curve, your index finger should be used to point at the location where you want to throw the ball. This time, though, it will also serve as a stabilizer for your middle finger.
  • 2 Keep the position of your hand secret. In the same way you would with any other pitch, you’ll want to make sure your grip isn’t apparent to the other side by concealing it beneath your glove until you’re ready to throw the pitch. Because otherwise, the batter would be alerted to the impending arrival of a curveball, and you will not be able to get the outcomes you desire
  • It is probable that you may have problems disguising your pitch before the wind up if you do not put your ball as deeply as possible in your mitt before taking your hold on the ball.
  • 3Wind up and toss the ball. Place the dominant foot on the rubber in a parallel position with the other foot. As you toss the ball, lift your opposing leg and swivel your hips forward to create more power. Your elbow should be at or above the level of your arm, and it should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Using this windup, you may throw a fastball just like you would a curveball
  • 4 With a snap, the ball is released. Keep your palm pointing inward toward your body, and as you step forward with the other foot, release the ball. Immediately after the toss, whip your arm toward the hip on the other side of the field.
  • In the act of releasing the ball, spin your thumb upward and your middle finger downward in the manner of snapping your thumb and middle finger together.
  • 5 Experiment with different grips. By changing the location of your fingers slightly, you may alter the way the ball breaks, further confounding the hitter’s efforts. Because the ball breaks at the angle represented by the numerals eleven and five on a clock, regular curve balls are referred to as 11-5 throws on occasion. Experiment with the following adjustments to see how they affect your throw’s break:
  • A 12-6 curve ball will break downhill more strongly than a 12-5 curve ball. Place your index and middle fingers between the seams of the ball, and your thumb on the bottom of the ball. Repeat with the other two fingers. Instead of continuing the arm motion all the way through, snap the ball as soon as your hand passes your head or release the ball as soon as your hand passes your head. To adjust for the sharp break, throw a 12-6 a little higher in the zone than you would normally throw a curveball. After starting high and close to the batter, a 10-4 curve ball will break low and away from him. To begin, hold the ball with your index and middle fingers like you would for a regular curve ball, then slip your index and middle fingers downward a touch, toward your thumb. During the throw, place the majority of your pressure on your middle finger and rotate your wrist outward from your body as you throw
  1. 1 Take a firm grip on the ball. The knuckle curveball is identical to other grips, with the only difference being that the variable this time is your index finger. The ball should be grasped with your middle finger along the bottom seam, and your index and middle fingers along the rear seam. Using your palm, hold the baseball such that the seams are near to your palm, with one on the palm’s top surface and one on its bottom surface (see image below). Before placing your index finger on the ball, bend it inward so that your nail and top knuckle are resting on the ball and your middle knuckle is looking at the target.
  • To sew with your right hand, place your middle finger on the right seam on top and your thumb on the left seam on the bottom. Leftists should do the inverse of this
  • Getting used to a knuckle curve ball grip might take some time and effort to master. Prepare yourself by practicing the grip without throwing it when you have downtime
  • This type of curveball is believed to be more sophisticated than other types of curveball. Don’t get disappointed if it takes some time to learn the skill
  • Patience is required.
  1. 2Make a pointing motion with your index knuckle at your goal. As with the straight curve, your index finger will be both pointing to the target and stabilizing your middle finger, but the bending of your knuckle provides the extra benefit of increasing torque
  2. 3Keep your grip disguised within your baseball glove. If you’re using a knuckle curve ball, this is especially crucial because your finger placement will be visible at first look. Take a deep breath and place the ball deep in your glove before applying the knuckle curveball grip to it
  3. 4 Make a winding motion and throw it. It is important that your dominant foot is on the rubber in a parallel posture. As you toss the ball, lift your opposing leg and swivel your hips forward to create more power. It is important that your elbow is level with or above your arm and bent at a 90-degree angle, just as you would with a typical fastball delivery
  4. 5snap the release. You should keep your hand pointing inward toward your body and release the ball as you take a stride forward with your opposing leg. You should be able to get the ball out of your hand immediately after it goes over your head. Immediately after releasing your arm from the throw, snap it toward the other hip. When you want to put a spin on the ball, twist your thumb upward and your middle finger downward. Advertisement

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  • Question What is the best way to toss a curveball to a 12-year-old? Baseball Coach and Instructor Isaac Hess is the founder of MADE Baseball Development and Champion Mindset Training Program, a baseball training program in Los Angeles, California. Hess has also worked as a professional baseball player and coach. Isaac has more than 14 years of experience coaching baseball, and he specializes in private classes and competitions for young athletes. He has experience playing baseball in both professional and collegiate divisions, having played for teams such as Washington State University and the University of Arizona, among others. Isaac was rated as one of Baseball America’s top ten prospects in both 2007 and 2008, and he was named to the All-Star team in 2007. In 2007, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Regional Development from the University of Arizona. Baseball CoachInstructorExpert AnswerSupport wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer from a baseball coach or instructor. You’ll want to get the ball as near to your body as possible as you release it. Known as “short arming,” this technique will increase the amount of resistance between your middle finger and the seam, boosting spin and curve as a result. Question What is the most effective method of throwing a curveball? Baseball Coach and Instructor Isaac Hess is the founder of MADE Baseball Development and Champion Mindset Training Program, a baseball training program in Los Angeles, California. Hess has also worked as a professional baseball player and coach. Isaac has more than 14 years of experience coaching baseball, and he specializes in private classes and competitions for young athletes. He has experience playing baseball in both professional and collegiate divisions, having played for teams such as Washington State University and the University of Arizona, among others. Isaac was rated as one of Baseball America’s top ten prospects in both 2007 and 2008, and he was named to the All-Star team in 2007. In 2007, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Regional Development from the University of Arizona. Baseball CoachInstructorExpert AnswerSupport wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer from a baseball coach or instructor. The ball should be held in a specific manner on the horseshoe side. There is no one correct method to get there
  • You can use a variety of grips. The back of your hand is going to be facing out at this point. So, if I’m a lefty, the palm will be on the right when I’m at release, and the face will be on the left when I’m at release. Pulling down and shaking cans, or if there is a cord pulling a light lamp, it will appear as though I am pulling down and shaking a light lamp. Question Is it necessary for me to throw a curveball quickly? Curveballs, on the other hand, are designed to move. The movement of the ball, rather than its speed (which is why these pitches are referred to as off-speed pitches), usually causes batters to be perplexed. Question What kinds of injuries may someone under the age of 15 sustain when they throw a curveball? Pitching in general can put a strain on the arm and shoulder muscles of young athletes. Pitching a curveball exerts additional strain on the ligaments and tendons of the elbow
  • Question At what age do you think this is appropriate? Anyone under the age of 15 should avoid throwing curveballs since it might cause injury to their arms. As a result, everyone beyond the age of fifteen is acceptable. Question Is it possible for me to throw a curveball from the stretch? Yes, you have the option to throw any pitch from the stretch position. The windup provides you with greater power, while the stretch just reduces the amount of time you have to deliver the pitch. It helps to expedite the delivery process. Question What is the best way to kick a curve ball in soccer? As you rush in, you take an oblique step around the ball and kick it with your heel
  • Question What is the proper way to throw a fastball? Using your index and middle fingers, grasp the seams that resemble a horseshoe and toss it straight ahead
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  • In general, the closer you snap your wrist to your body, the straighter and sharper the curve will be
  • Nevertheless, the opposite is true. When you are practicing curveballs, you should concentrate more on the curve of the ball than on throwing a strike. Then, once you’ve mastered the curve, you can focus your attention on precision. By snapping your wrist as forcefully as you possibly can, you may increase the drop in your curve. If you snap the ball forcefully enough, it will have more bite or motion than if you snap it softly. Imagining your arm action as though you were pounding a nail might be helpful while throwing curves. Curveballs should be thrown with the hip rotated towards third base for left-handed pitchers.


  • Throwing a curve ball for a long period can hurt your arm. A 12-6 curve puts a lot of stress on the UCL
  • sDo not twist your arm to throw a curve. You can easily do harm to your humerus bone throwing in this fashion
  • sDo not start throwing a curve ball until you’re at least at the age of 15 or older. Practicing this pitch at too young an age could harm your muscular development
  • Never twist your wrist when throwing a curveball or a slider. When releasing a curveball, rotate your arm downward as if you were executing a karate chop or shaking someone’s hand. Bring your throwing arm to opposite side hip (if you’re a righty that’s to the left hip, and vice versa for a lefty)


About This Article

Summary of the Article Curveballs are traditionally thrown with your middle finger resting against the bottom seam of the ball, where the ball bends back into a circular pattern. If it is more comfortable for you, you can also grasp the ball with your index and middle fingers lying parallel to the seams at their narrowest point. Make no changes to your typical throwing mechanics, such as the size of your kick or the course of your arm, in order to conceal the pitch and prevent batters from identifying the pitch ahead of time.

  • Follow through with the pitch in the same manner as you would with any other pitch.
  • Try to release the ball fractions of a second faster than you would typically do with a fastball if you want to keep your curveballs in the dirt at the top of the order.
  • Continue reading this post if you want to learn how to throw a knuckle curveball!
  • The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 599,621 times.

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HomeArticles PitchGrips for Curveballs Learn more about my pitchers’ exercise routines here. The proper method of developing functional strength should be used. Discover my pitching routines and throwing plans for athletes that are dedicated to their craft and refuse to accept defeat. More information may be found here. Do you have the ability to toss a curve ball? Learn everything there is to know about throwing a curveball that is more than just “dirty” or “mean,” and which usually entails humiliating the hitter, in this article.

  • It’s impossible not to spend the entire day watching Clayton Kershaw throw curveballs like this one, as they smoothly fall into the zone over and over again.
  • It is distinct from the fastball in that its rotation is from top to bottom, rather than from bottom to top as is the case with the fastball.
  • During this specific throw, the fast hand speed transmits leverage to the front of the ball, resulting in the 12-6 movement that distinguishes the curveball from other pitches.
  • As soon as it reaches home plate, it begins to plummet.

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Curveball grip

So, what exactly is the trick to throwing a nice curveball? Examine how to grip and throw the curveball in greater detail. is the source of this image.

  1. Take a baseball in your hand and place your index finger on it
  2. Placing your middle finger along the seam of the baseball is a good idea. Place your thumb on the rear seam of the garment
  3. In order to throw this pitch well, your thumb should spin upward and your middle finger should snap downward. The arm motion is a bit shortened near the end of the video. Bring the elbow of your throwing hand to the opposite hip, which will lessen your follow through but will let you to snap off the pitch

More images of curveball grips is the source of this image. WHAT IF I TOLD YOU? A unique feature of the curve is that it spins from top to bottom, rather than from bottom to top, as is the case with the fastball. This is due to the fact that the curve ball is thrown with the wrist cocked such that the thumb is on top of the ball, rather than being released forward in the direction of the fingers toward the batter. During the descent of the arm, the ball rolls along the outside of the index finger, which causes it to rotate downward.

If the pitcher throws the ball straight over the top or with a greater sidearm motion, it is possible that the ball will break across the plate and land up outside the infield.

My favorite GIF of throwing a curveball

When you put everything together, it looks like this. A fantastic curveball from Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Corey Kluber: is the source of this image. Those are some incredible pitching skills there!

Learn more about my workout programs for pitchers

When it comes to baseball, one of the most common myths is that playing the game keeps you in condition to pitch. That would be fantastic if it were true. It is not the case. Preparation is critical in order to go to the next level. Pitchers in the major leagues spend significantly more time preparing to prepare than they do actually pitching. You may learn more about my fitness and pitching programs for baseball pitchers of all ages if you feel that increasing your velocity will be vital to your future success.

What do you think?

Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts: Did I overlook any interesting grips, tactics, or tips? Alternatively, perhaps you have an idea for how I might improve this post even further. In any case, please leave a remark and let me know. Next, check out this cheat sheet on pitching grips, which explains how to throw eight different baseball pitches.

How to Throw a Curveball

Welcome to the fourth installment of our “How to Throw” series. Curveballs are one of the most commonly used breaking pitches, and we’ll talk about them in this piece. The following material will act as a guide and will give specifics that will assist you in developing your own high-quality curveball.

Overview of a Curveball

A curveball is a breaking pitch that has a significant downward movement and is used to break up a game of baseball. Unlike fastballs, which are often thrown with backspin to produce lift, curveballs are typically delivered with topspin to induce drop. As a baseball approaches home plate, topspin is what causes it to slide downwards (assisted by the force of gravity) as it travels down the field. Typically, this pitch type is thrown at a release point that is comparable to that of a fastball, but with a little less extension than a fastball.

The variances between the two pitches aid in deceiving batters, who are left scratching their heads as to what actually transpired.

How to Grip a Curveball

If you’re familiar with this pitch, you’ve probably heard of the “12-6” or “knuckle” curve, which is a type of pitching curve. The diverse titles convey the proper idea that there are several methods to throw a curveball in different directions. With the help of our grip tracker database, we are able to account for a variety of grips and ball orientations at Driveline Golf. The “CB 1” grip is the most often employed by our sportsmen. The middle and index fingers are strategically positioned on the ball, which is considered a typical grip by many.

  • They are utilized in conjunction with one another to apply the greatest amount of force possible in order to create spin.
  • We will be able to throw a more effective curveball if we do so.
  • Take notice of how the ball has been nestled into the palm of your hand.
  • Pitchers who keep the ball tucked between their hands are able to apply more pressure to the ball, which in turn generates higher velocity and spin.
  • After you’ve found a comfortable position for your fingers, you should squeeze the ball between your thumb, index, and middle fingers with a significant amount of pressure.

How to Throw a Curveball

When opposed to fastballs or changeups, a curveball is released in a different way. Take a peek at the Edgertronic film provided below as an example. Take note of how the pitcher’s hand is positioned slightly to the side. When the fingers come in front of the ball and pull down on the pitch, topspin is produced, and finally the ideal top-down movement is achieved. To “yank” the ball down with your middle finger or to “throw the ball with the back of your hand,” are two cues we propose. It should feel as though the pitch “shoots” out of the hand as it is released from the hand.

It is possible to pay attention to the sort of spin and movement the ball exhibits during catch play or bullpens even if you do not have access to high-speed camera footage.

Analyzing Curveball Movement

When you’re ready to put on aRapsododevice to track your progress, you may use the horizontal and vertical break plots to chart the movement profile of your pitch as it moves through the air. In this graph, we can see that curveballs, which are shown in yellow on the graph, would fall to the bottom of the graph as negative vertical movement increased. It is vital to notice that the break on a pitcher’s curveball will often correspond to the position of his arm in the zone. A higher release point will result in a movement profile that is more top-down in nature, comparable to the example above.

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However, the lower the arm slot of a pitcher, the more likely it is that a curveball will have some horizontal movement.

There isn’t an one sort of curveball that surpasses the others by a wide margin.

The latter, on the other hand, may provide batters with more time to respond. In order to identify which curveball profile is best for you, you must first understand what sort of pitch profile you are capable of creating and which pitches will be the most productive in your repertoire.

Additional Grips and Cues

Additional grips and cues are provided in the section below. You’ll see that there are around five more sorts of curveball grips that are popular among our sportsmen. Each grip will differ in terms of either seam orientation or the use of the index finger. The seam position is the most significant distinction between CB 1 and CB 2. While both the index and middle fingers are put on the ball, the placement of the index and middle fingers vary. For example, in CB 2, the horseshoe is leveraged in conjunction with the inner seams, which may result in improved feel and outcomes for a particular athlete.

  1. This sort of grip becomes to resemble a “knuckle-curve” or “spiked curve” as it becomes more advanced.
  2. The amount of pressure applied by the fingertip will differ from athlete to athlete depending on their level of comfort.
  3. CB 5 and CB 6 are our final two grips, and both have the index finger fully off of the ball.
  4. Because the middle finger is responsible for the majority of the labor involved in imparting spin, the index finger moves out of the way to allow the middle finger to exert the greatest amount of power onto the ball.
  5. CB 4″Standard w/ Index Off” CB 5 “Standard w/ Index Off” A horseshoe with the index turned off.


There are a plethora of elements to consider while attempting to throw a curveball. There are a variety of factors that may come into play, including your level of comfort and finger length. So that you can attain the pitch you desire, it’s vital to experiment with different grips. Mike Tampellini contributed to this article. Learn how to throw a cutter and a slider by reading these articles. Check out How to Throw a Changeup for more information. Learn how to throw a sinker or two-seam fastball by reading this article.

Science of Baseball

Getting Knocked For a Loop Every major league pitcher possesses a diverse range of pitches in his repertoire. Years of effort, as well as trial and error, have gone into making these pitches flawless.

A curveball, slider, or even a screwball with a regular baseball may have been something you’ve attempted but failed to achieve well. The use of a Styrofoam ball makes it much easier to throw these pitches and monitor the outcomes, which we have shown to be true.

What You Need

Make an attempt to throw the various pitches listed here.


Using your index and middle fingers, hold the ball at the ends of your fingers and toss it with a conventional overhand delivery. Backwards spin on the ball should cause it to roll off your fingertips (it will tend to rise). Outfielders typically toss the ball in this direction because the rising movement allows them to throw it far further than they otherwise could. ‘Choke’ the ball (wedge it in between your thumb and forefinger) and cock your wrist to the left; when you release your wrist, the ball snaps down and to the right.

  • Experiment with different speeds and spins to see what works best for you.
  • As you throw the ball, cock the wrist to the right initially then “flip the ball over” to the left as you release it.
  • Slider: Throw the ball as if it were a football pass, with the wrist cocked at a 90-degree angle to the ground.
  • Please keep in mind that the slider ball is not suggested for players under the age of 18 – some coaches and trainers advocate players above the age of 21.

What’s Going On?

The key to comprehending a curveball is to pay attention to the speed with which the air moves past the ball’s surface. As the ball spins, the top surface of the ball travels in the same direction as the air is traveling. Toward the bottom of the ball, the surface of the ball and the movement of the air are in opposing directions. As a result, the velocity of the air relative to the surface of the ball is greater on the bottom of the ball than on the top of the ball. It doesn’t seem to make a difference.

  • As a result of the tension, air moving around the ball is more likely to “break free” from the ball’s surface sooner.
  • Consequently, the air flowing over the ball’s surface causes it to move in a path that is somewhat downward rather than straight back.
  • Consequently, while the spinning ball pulls the air down, the air pushes the ball up in reaction to the spinning ball.
  • By the time it reaches the plate, a major league curveball can have deviated as much as 17 1/2 inches from the intended trajectory.
  • As a result, curveballs do the majority of their bending in the latter quarter of their journey.
  • It’s no surprise that curveballs are difficult to hit.
  • (Other essential elements to consider include the pitching speed and the rate of spin.) The front of the ball (home plate side, when pitched) will curve in the same way as it rotates when it is delivered with a spin, according to general rule.

If the ball is spinning from left to right, the pitch will break toward third base, as seen in the illustration. The more quickly the ball spins, the more curved the path of the ball becomes.

Curveball – Wikipedia

The curveball is a type of pitch used in baseball and softball that is thrown with a distinctive grip and hand action that imparts forward spin to the ball, causing it to dive as it approaches the plate. The 12–6 curveball, the power curveball, and the knuckle curve are all examples of curveball variations. Theslider and theslurve are two of its near cousins. From pitcher to pitcher, the “curve” of the ball varies somewhat. The phrase “throw a curveball” generally refers to the act of presenting a major divergence from a previously established concept or idea.

Grip and action

The curveball is handled in the same way that a cup or drinking glass would be. As seen from above, the pitcher positions the middle finger on and parallel to one of the long seams, and the thumb just behind the seam on the opposite side of the ball, so that the hand forms a “C shape” when viewed from above, with the horseshoe pointing inward and following the contour of the middle finger. Using the index and middle fingers, tuck the other two unnecessary fingers in towards the palm so that they contact the leather at the base of the knuckles of the ring finger.

The curveball and slider have grips and throwing motions that are remarkably identical to one another.

The pitcher will snap his arm and wrist in a downward motion as he approaches the peak of the throwing arc.

Because of the forward-spin created by the seam fastball, the result is the exact opposite pitch of the four-seam fastball’s backspin, but because all four seams are rotating in the same direction as the flight path, the axis of rotation is parallel to the intended flight path, much like a reel mower or a bowling ball.

  1. The more forceful the snap, the more likely it is that the pitch will shatter.
  2. A fastball’s apex does not necessarily have to occur at the moment of release, and the arc of the ball’s flight path arc commonly peaks shortly after the pitcher’s release point.
  3. When pitched at the major college level and above, the average velocity of a curveball is between 65 and 80 mph, with the average MLBcurve clocking in at 77 mph.
  4. In order to be successful, curveballs must begin breaking at the pinnacle of their arc of flight and then continue to break more and more swiftly as they approach, cross through, and depart from their target zone.
  5. Figure 1: Movement of a curveball after it has been thrown When it comes to professional baseball, the curveball is a popular and successful pitch.
  6. This is done out of concern for the pitcher’s safety, not because the pitch is difficult to learn – however the pitch is commonly seen as tough to learn due to the fact that it demands some level of skill and the ability to identify the placement of the thrown ball.

When throwing a curveball, there is a larger probability of throwing wild pitches than when throwing other pitches. This pitch, when thrown well, can have a break of anywhere between seven and 20 inches in compared to the same pitcher’s fastball when thrown incorrectly.


Because of the unusual action necessary to throw a curveball, it is regarded a more advanced pitch and has an increased risk of damage to a pitcher’s elbow and shoulder when used frequently. According to a story in The New York Times on March 12, 2012, there has been debate about whether curveballs alone are responsible for injuries in young pitchers or whether the amount of pitches thrown is a predisposing factor in the development of these problems. According to theory, giving the cartilage and tendons of the arm enough time to properly mature would help to prevent injury to the arm.

Specifically, the elbow ligaments, the biceps, and the forearm muscles are the areas of the arm that are most frequently hurt by the curveball.


There is a wide range of trajectories and breaks among pitchers when it comes to curveballs. This has a lot to do with the arm slot and release point of a certain pitcher, which are both influenced by how comfortable the pitcher is throwing the overhand curveball in the first place. The arm slot should be more or less vertical while throwing a curveball entirely overhanded, and the curveball should break straight downwards for pitchers who are capable of doing so. This is often as as a 12–6 curveball because the break of the pitch follows a straight downward path, similar to the hands of a clock at 12 and 6.

The arm slot of a pitcher who throws his or her curveball at an angle will result in a curveball that breaks down and toward the pitcher’s off-hand.

Because the slider and the curveball have virtually identical grips and throwing mechanics, this curveball breaks in a manner similar to a slider, it is often referred to as a ” slurve “.

When it comes to some pitchers, distinguishing between a curveball and other pitches such as a slider or a slurve can be difficult, if not impossible, to detect or explain.

A sweeping curveball, flat curveball, or frisbee curveball is a curveball that spins on a vertical axis completely perpendicular to its flight path and thus with complete side spin, and that is either 3–9 for a right-handed pitcher or 9–3 for a left-handed pitcher with a velocity of 3–9 for a right-handed pitcher.

  • The majority of the time, this side spin is caused by a pitcher’s arm angle being either sidearm or at a very low 3/4 arm angle.
  • This can happen for pitchers with a higher arm slot, but it is more often for pitchers with a lower arm slot.
  • Like a football or bullet, the spin axis of a slider is roughly parallel to the ball’s flight path, although it is slanted slightly upwards, pointing to 12 o’clock, as opposed to a football or bullet.
  • This slurve often occurs when a pitcher throws a curveball with too much power and not enough finesse, as opposed to a normal curveball.
  • Sometimes the slurve will occur as a result of the pitcher supinating a bit too much at the release point of a slider, which may be referred to as a “slurvy slider” by fans.

A slurvy slider with the same velocity as a power slider (5–8 mph slower than a fastball) may be able to impart more break than a fastball in some situations.


In general, the Magnus effect defines the rules of physics that cause a curveball to curve in a certain direction. A fastball has backspin as it goes through the air, which generates a greater pressure zone in the air ahead of and under the baseball as it passes through. With the increased seams of the baseball, the ball is better able to establish a boundary layer, which results in a bigger differential pressure between the top and lower zones. Due to the additional pressure created by the ball riding on the ground, the influence of gravity is somewhat countered.

See also:  When Was Baseball First Invented

A curveball, thrown with topspin, on the other hand, generates a greater pressure zone on top of the ball, which causes the ball to deflect downward as it travels through the air.

Real or illusion?

The question of whether or not a curveball is genuinely curved or if it is an optical illusion was formerly up for dispute. To demonstrate that a curveball curves, Ralph B. Lightfoot, an aeronautical engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft, utilized wind tunnel measurements to verify his point in 1949. The following comment from Baseball Hall of Fame pitcherDizzy Dean on whether a curveball is generated by an illusion is one of many variants on this fundamental premise: “Stand behind a tree 60 feet away, and I will whomp you with an optical illusion!” Although it is possible that the optical illusion generated by the ball’s spinning plays a significant role in making curveballs tough to hit, it is not certain.

When a curveball travels smoothly down the middle of the plate, the hitter notices a rapid, dramatic shift in the ball’s path and reacts accordingly.

Although the internal spinning motion is not seen until it reaches the peripheral vision, it alters how the overall motion is interpreted when it enters the peripheral vision.

This theory was the subject of a peer-reviewed study that was published in 2010.


“The bender” and “the hook” are two popular nicknames for the curveball, which both refer to the pitch’s trajectory, as are “the yakker” and “Uncle Charlie,” which both refer to the pitcher. The legendary New York Mets pitcherDwight Gooden threw a curveball that was so lethal that it was nicknamed “Lord Charles,” and the legendary hitterBill Madlock dubbed it “the yellow hammer”—apparently because it came down like a hammer and was too yellow to be struck by a baseball bat.

Known as “the deuce” or “number two” Since catchers typically use two fingers to signal for a curveball, the pitch is also known as “the deuce” or “number two.”


Candy Cummings is credited with inventing the curveball in the early 1870s, according to baseball legend (it is debatable). Fred Goldsmith gave a demonstration of the “skewball” or “curveball” at the Brooklyn Capitoline Grounds in August 1870, which is considered to be the first known demonstration of the ball. Ponney Martin was described as a “very difficult pitcher to hit” by a writer for the New York Clipper in 1869, who noted that the ball “never comes in a straight line, but always in a tempting curve.” If the remark is correct, it would indicate that Cummings and Goldsmith were ahead of their time.

  • While at Western Reserve College, now known as Case Western Reserve University, he was the first player to never lose a game.
  • Barden became well-known for their use of the curveball.
  • “How Science Won the Game” was the title of an article that appeared in St.
  • It featured the story of a young pitcher who learned to master the curveball and use it to defeat opposing batters.
  • P.
  • Charles Eliot, the president of Harvard University, was one among many who opposed the curve, stating that it was a dishonest practice unworthy of Harvard students.
  • And this is often regarded as the final victory of athletic science and talent in the modern era.

See also

  1. “Pitching 101” is a course that teaches you how to make a good pitch (PDF). The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published this article. “Curve Ball Grip” was published as a PDF on March 24, 2009, and has since been archived. On July 26, 2009, published an article that was subsequently archived. Retrieved on 2017-07-24
  2. “Holy mother of Strasburg (with Pitch f/x!)”
  3. “Holy mother of Strasburg (with Pitch f/x!)”., accessed on 2010-06-09
  4. Retrieved on 2010-10-27 Bill Pennington is an American businessman and philanthropist (2012-03-11). “Young Arms and Curveballs: A Scientific Twist” is the title of this article. The New York Times (New York)
  5. Bill Thurston is an American businessman and philanthropist (2008). has information on when to teach the curve ball and how to teach it. The article “Pitching Science — Engineers who track baseballs catch insights into the game” was archived from the original on 2009-02-14 and retrieved on 2009-01-29
  6. 2001-06-09
  7. Retrieved on 2010-10-27
  8. (2001-06-9)
  9. Finalist in 2009 (2009-05-10). “2009 Vision Sciences Meeting: Curveball Demo Wins Illusion Contest”. Archived from the original on 2010-10-27. Retrieved2010-10-27
  10. “Revealed: Why curveballs are so difficult to hit”. Archived from the original on 2010-10-27. Retrieved2010-10-27. New Scientist, June 7, 2009, retrieved on October 27, 2010
  11. Previous post Following up on that (2010-10-19). “Wired”. Wired. “Breaking Curveball Too Good to Be True – USC News”, which was retrieved on October 27, 2010. The original version of this article was published on October 13, 2010. Shapiro, Arthur
  12. Lu, Zhong-Lin
  13. Huang, Chang-Bing
  14. Knight, Emily
  15. Ennis, Robert (2010). Retrieved on October 27, 2010. (2010-10-13). “A Hypothesis Concerning the Perceived Break of the Curveball: A Hypothesis Concerning the Transitions Between Central and Peripheral Vision Create Spatial/Temporal Distortions.” PLOS ONE.5(10): e13296 (October 5, 2010). 2010PLoSO.513296S.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013296.PMC2954145.PMID20967247
  16. Bibcode: 2010PLoSO.513296S.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013296.PMC2954145.PMID20967247
  17. Terry McDermott is a writer and poet (May 16, 2017). Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception is a book on the sport of baseball and the art of deception. Knopf Doubleday, p. 46, ISBN 9780307908896
  18. “Charlton’s Baseball Chronology – 1869,” p. 46, ISBN 9780307908896
  19. “Charlton’s Baseball Chronology – 1869.” The original version of this article was published on December 11, 2008. James M. Egan, Jr., James M. Egan, Jr., James M. Egan, Jr. (21 May 2008). Base Ball on the Western Reserve: The Early Game in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, Year by Year and Town by Town, 1865-1900 is a book on the history of baseball on the Western Reserve. McFarland.ISBN9780786430673. “The Kent Stater, April 28, 1927 — Kent State University,” which was retrieved on May 9, 2018, from Google Books. “Archived copy” was obtained on May 9, 2018. The original version of this article was published on February 24, 2014. Retrieved2013-03-23. :CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. “St. Nicholas”. ScribnerCompany. 9 May 1885. :CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  21. Obtainable on May 9, 2018– via Google Books
  22. Frank Presbrey and James Hugh Moffatt are two of the most well-known authors in the world (9 May 2018). “Princeton Athletics: A Historical Overview.” The Frank Presbrey Corporation Obtainable on May 9, 2018– via Google Books
  23. ‘A look inside: Eliot House,’ the Harvard Gazette reported on April 19, 2012. retrieved on October 14, 2015
  24. Kiara F. Z. Barrow is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (7 November 2013). “Throwback Thursday”.Harvard Crimson, April 15, 2010. 9th of May, 2018
  25. Retrieved 9th of May, 2018. Richard Herschberger’s “With a Deliberate Attempt to Deceive” is available online. SABR is an abbreviation for the Society for American Baseball Research. Spring 2017 issue of Baseball Research Journal. retrieved on March 25, 2020
  26. ‘Give the Batsman a Fair Shot,’ the saying goes. The New York Clipper is a fictional character mentioned in the Herschberger piece quoted above. On the 19th of January, the New York Clipper published No. Vol. XXXI No. 44, Column 3. On the 25th of March in the year 2020,

External links

  • It is believed that Candy Cummings was the creator of the curveball. Version 2: Fred Goldsmith, co-developer of the curveball or the pitcher who threw what is believed to be the first documented display of the curveball, is the most likely candidate. In Navier-Stokes Flow, the Aerodynamics of a Curveball is studied. How to Throw a Curveball – wikiHow website describing the method of throwing a curveball

12–6 curveball – Wikipedia

A 12–6 curveball with topspin applied by a pitcher is seen in the illustration. Pitches such as the 12–6 curveball are among the many different types of pitches that may be thrown in baseball. In recognition of its downward break, it is classified as a “breaking ball.” For its action, the 12–6 curveball differs from the normalcurveball in that it breaks in a downhill motion in a straight line, rather than the “11 to 5 curve” or the “2 to 8 curve” of the normalcurveball. This explains the moniker “12–6,” which alludes to the ball breaking from the number 12 to the number 6 on a clock as it hits the ground during the break of the pitch.

Major League Baseball employs this pitch throughout their season. It is known by a variety of nicknames, including the “yellow hammer.”


In baseball, the most difficult type of curveball to hit is the 12 to 6 curveball, which travels vertically and does not have any horizontal break. If a pitcher employs the pitch appropriately in a pitching sequence, the difference in speed between a fastball and a breaking ball makes the pitch tough to strike out. It is customary to pitch the 12 to 6 curveball from the overhand action, since a three-quarters or sidearm delivery would result in the ball breaking 2 to 8 instead of 12 to 6. The steep vertical break on the 12–6 curveball is formed when pitchers add topspin to the ball with their fingertips as they prepare to release it, resulting in the sharp vertical break.


The 12–6 curveball may be more or less successful depending on the scenario and the kind of pitcher involved in the game. However, when facing a batter with the same handedness as the pitcher, the 12 to 6 curveball has proven to be a very effective pitch in general. However, when facing a batter with opposite handedness as the pitcher, the 12 to 6 curveball is significantly more difficult to hit, making the 11 to 5 curveball the more effective pitch type in that situation. The success of the pitch is also dependent on the pitcher’s ability to deliver topspin to the ball while simultaneously producing movement.

Throwing mechanics

The 12–6 curveball is thrown in a similar manner to the majority of curveballs. Typically, a four-seam grip is used to throw the pitch, in which the middle finger of the pitcher’s throwing hand is put in the space between the two seams on the right side, and the index finger is positioned precisely next to it. The thumb of the pitcher is pressed directly on the bottom of the baseball. This grip enables the pitcher to generate a significant amount of topspin while yet maintaining excellent control over the ball.

This pitch is one of the most hardest to learn because of the wide mix of techniques required to create it.

Notable practitioners

  • Sandy Koufax, a Dodgers Hall of Famer, threw a 12–6 shutout in 2002, which is widely considered to be the most effective of all time. Cy Young Award-winning musician A 12–6 curveball was thrown by Barry Zito, a former member of the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants, and it was widely regarded as the finest in baseball at one point. a total of three times With a 12–6 curveball, Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw of theLos Angeles Dodgers unleashed a pitch that was dubbed “Public Enemy1” by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully
  • Nolan Ryan, the all-time leader in career strikeouts in Major League Baseball, also employed a particularly effective 12–6 curveball
  • Adam Wainwright, a long-time St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, is known for throwing a very good 12-6 curveball, which Wainwright and St. Louis fans affectionately refer to as “Uncle Charlie.”


  1. ^abcd Derek Carty’s article “On Curveballs” was published on August 18, 2008. The original version of this article was published on May 22, 2009. Obtainable on 2009-05-16
  2. Abcd Gola, Mark, and Myers, Doug (2000), p.115
  3. Gola, Mark, and Myers, Doug (2000), p.115
  4. (2000). The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching is a comprehensive resource for pitchers of all levels. ISBN0-8092-2668-5
  5. Paul Dickson and Skip McAfee, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (Third Edition)(2011), p. 953
  6. Gola, Mark and Doug Myers (2000, 2000)
  7. Fairburn, Matthew (2001), p. 256. ISBN0-8092-2668-5
  8. “MLB Power Rankings: The Top 10 Curveballs in Baseball History” is the title of this article. Bleacher Report is a sports news website. “Barry Zito’s Nasty Hook – Interactive Graphic –” (Barry Zito’s Nasty Hook – Interactive Graphic –, retrieved on November 12, 2021. Cary Osborne and Cary Osborne & Associates, Inc. (25 May 2018). “This day marks the beginning of the Clayton Kershaw era.”, accessed on November 12, 2021
  9. “Adam Wainwright’s Curveball and the Nastiest Pitches From 9/13.”, accessed on November 12, 2021. The 14th of September, 2019. Retrieved on November 12th, 2021

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