Softball Rules and Positions - How to play Softball Game!

 Kevin Brown

The history of softball takes us back when the game was first time played in Chicago, Illinois on the day of Thanksgiving in 1887. It took place at Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the results of Yale University and Harvard University football game. Today, we have shared the details regarding basic softball rules and how to play it.

George Hancock is officially known as the inventor of this game for his development of a 17" ball with an undersized bat in the next week. The Farragut Club soon set its rules for the game, which spread quickly to the people.

Softball Rules

Before starting the game, you must follow the basic softball rules. Softball is a variation of the game ‘baseball’. It is generally played at a recreational level and on a smaller pitch than that of the baseball. While the rules are very similar, there are some that differ. This game is widely played throughout North America but it is also played widely in Asia, South America, and Europe.

The field of Softball

The softball field is divided into ‘fair territory’ and ‘foul territory’. Fair territory is further divided into ‘infield’ and ‘outfield’. There are ‘foul lines’ that meet at a right angle at the ‘home plate’. Behind the home plate, there is a ‘backstop’. It must be between 25- 30 feet i.e. 7.62 to 9.14 metres depending on the type of division that is being played.

How to play Softball?

1. Softball equipment includes a ball, a bat (made of wooden or metal), gloves, uniforms, and protective armour for e.g. helmet, chest protector, shin guards, and knee sliders.

2. Each team has 9 players. The game takes place in 7 innings and in each innings, the team will bat first and then the field. There can also be 3 innings, one to two hours depending on league, softball rules, and type of softball.

3. Innings are split into 2 sections- Top and bottom innings. The away team gets to bat first at the top of the innings while the home team field, then the teams switch. The home team then bats in the bottom innings.

4. The team which is going to field has a pitcher, catcher, a player on the first base, second base, and the third base, three deep fielders and a shortstop.

5. Pitch sizes vary and are often just whatever size that can be found or used at that time. The softball field has four bases in a diamond shape. Those are home base (where the batter stands), first base, second base, and the third base.

6. Home plate is placed in the centre of the field where the pitcher stands to throw the ball.

Softball Positions

1. The pitcher must throw the ball underarm and must have at least one foot on the plate at the time of throwing the ball. The order of batting cannot be changed once it is set at the start of the game.

2. The batsman is considered as out if the ball is being caught by the fielder without the ball being bounced. If a ball is missed 3 times, it is considered as strike or is being tagged by a fielder holding the ball while running between the bases.

3. A batter can walk to the first base if the pitcher fails to get the ball within the strike zone 4 times without a stroke. The strike zone in softball is bigger than that in baseball.

4. Once a team has completed their innings, the teams switch to play the opposite roles. An inning is considered complete when the fielding team manages to get three players out from the batting team.

5. A batter must successfully strike the ball and run around as many bases as possible. Once they get back to the home plate without being out, a run is scored.

6. The fielding team prevents the batter by making them miss the ball, catching the ball, tagging one of the bases before they reach there or tagging the batsman while they are running with the ball in hand.

7. At the bottom of the first and the third baseline, there is a foul area. Once the ball crosses this line before it gets bounced, the ball is considered ‘dead’ and the game restarts with a new pitch.

8. A home run can be scored by hitting the ball over the outfield into a dead ball area. This game is also played in the colleges and high schools; the rules remain the same or are altered by the students.

9. The winners of the game are declared after 7 innings have been completed. The team with maximum runs wins. If after 7 innings, the game is a tie, then an extra inning will be played until a winner is found.

10. Softball is played in over 100 countries around the world. The International Softball Federation (ISF) has 113 member countries.

11. Amateur Softball Association (ASA) is one of the biggest sanction bodies of softball. So, these were the basic softball rules and positions.

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Domain: Afterhours
Category: Sports
Kevin Brown
15 September, 2019
Kevin Brown
15 September, 2019
Kevin Brown
14 September, 2019