The "slapper" is a type of hitter unique to softball. To be a slapper you have to be fast and you have to bat left-handed—because slapping is all about speed and only the speediest of players can make it work. Batting lefty is crucial because the extra half step toward first you get from batting lefty can make the difference between success or failure.
The basics of slapping is to line up in the left-handed batters box, and when the ball comes you try to swing down on the ball while simultaneously taking your first step (or two) toward first. The goal is get the ball to bounce high in the air to buy extra time while the speedy hitter sprints and makes it safely to first. The slapper can be used effectively both to get fast players on base and as a way to play "small ball" and advance runners on the base paths.
But the NCAA instituted an "anti-slapper rule" this year that severely limiting the effectiveness of slap-hitting. Now hitters are prohibited from having any part of their feet outside of the batter's box when making contact with the ball. Because slappers need to take a swing and their first step toward first base simultaneously to give maximum chance of success, this makes it much more difficult to execute a successful slap.
Legendary Arizona Head Coach Mike Candrea has said the new rule has “almost taken the slapper completely out of the game." With this new rule change, at best, the chances of success while slapping are reduced and slap hitters, in general, are less effective and less valuable.
Do you think slapping should remain a part of the game of fastpitch softball? Are you for the rule change or against it?