The Basic Rules And Guidelines To Play Softball
Do you want to know how to play softball? If yes, you are in the right place. However, before jumping right into the softball rules, let’s first learn a little about this sport.
Softball is a variant of baseball and is quite popular in the United States. This softball game is commonly played only at a recreational level on a small pitch. People play softball commonly in North America; however, there some places where professional leagues are held, like Asia, South America, and Europe. The game is said to have emerged from indoor baseball, which was first played in 1887 in Chicago.
People know softball game by a lot of names in the U.S like mushball, kitten ball, playground ball, diamond ball, and indoor-outdoor. While most of the softball rules are similar to baseball, there is still a difference in how it is played, the size of the pitch, and playing equipment.
The objective of the Softball Game
The main aim of playing a softball game is to hit the ball with the bat before the player runs around the four bases. Once the player successfully manages to run around the field, a run is scored. The team that scores the highest runs will be announced as the winner at the end of the game.
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Players & Equipment
To play softball, you need two teams with 9 players each. The game consists of 7 innings, and in each inning, the team will first bat and then do the fielding. An inning is split into two sections: top and bottom. In the top of the innings, the team bats first while the home team fields, and at the bottom of the innings, the team switches positions.
There is no fixed pitch size in softball games; however, the inside of the field has to have a four bass in a diamond shape. These bases are named: home base, first base, second base, and third base. You can see the home plate in the center of the field where the pitcher stands to throw the ball. The pitcher must follow underarm to throw balls and must have at least one foot touching the plate during the making of a delivery.
Once the batting order is set at the beginning of the game, it cannot be changed later. A batsman is out in the following conditions:
- being caught by the fielder without any ball bounce,
- being tagged when running through bases by a fielder holding the ball,
- in case of a strike.
The team can consist of both men and women or just a single-gender on each team. After completing all the innings, the teams switch roles in the second inning. An inning is said to have complete when the fielding team gets three players out from the opposite team.
In order to score runs in a softball game, the rules say that the batsman has to first hit the ball and run around the bases without being out. Every time the batsman manages to successfully complete a round, a run is scored. The run is also scored in case the batsman hits the ball and does not make it round the bases, however, manages to get to the base where one of the players is already standing.
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The winners of the softball game are decided after all 7 innings have been completed. The team that scores the highest number of runs in the 7 innings wins the game. In case there is a tie after 7 innings, one extra inning will be played until there is a winner.
Rules of Softball
To play softball, you need to follow the following rules:
- Both the teams must have nine players, and the teams can consist of both genders.
- There will be a total of 7 innings in a game, and the innings are split into two sections: the top and the bottom part of the inning.
- Each team gets the chance to bat in each inning before switching the sides.
- The fielding team consists of a catcher, pitcher, a player on the second & third base, shortstop, and three deep fielders.
- The batsman needs to strike the ball and successfully run around as many bases as possible. Once he makes it around and comes back to the home plate, one run is scored.
- The fielding team prevents the batsmen by catching the ball, making him/her miss the ball, tagging on any of the base,s or tagging the batsman when he is running with the ball in hand.
- Down the first base and third baseline is considered a foul area. If the ball crosses the line before bouncing, the ball is said to be “dead,” and the game has to restart again with a new pitch.
- The batsman can score a home run by hitting the ball out of the outfield and into the dead ball area. He can score additional runs by running around the bases.
Softball is a very popular recreational game in North America. The game is said to be a smaller version of baseball. However, the softball rules, pitch, equipment are quite different than baseball. By following proper rules and guidelines, you can easily play softball in your nearby playground. If you find this article useful, do not forget to leave a comment.