Fastpitch Softball

If you're a player who's just getting into softball or a spectator who wants to gain more appreciation for the game, then knowing the rules in playing softball would definitely help.

It could be a headache to try to understand all the rules of softball at the same time. Every year, there are minor changes being made to the game and it could be difficult for everyone to keep track of that. Some leagues also modify the rules depending on their requirements, which could make their rules even more different.

That's why I'm providing you here with some of the most basic softball rules to help you get started. These are the rules that you will see applied to most, if not all of the games so you'll be able to pick these rules out almost immediately the next time you watch a game.

Here they are.

The Players and Teams

Let's begin with the number of players. Each team must have 9 players each to play the game.

The defensive side is composed of the pitcher, catcher, 3 basemen, 1 shortstop and 3 outfielders. The pitcher is the one that throws the pitch at the catcher who's positioned behind the batter's plate. Basemen are assigned to each of the bases, while the shortstop is positioned in the middle of the 2nd and 3rd bases. Finally, the outfielders are positioned in the outfield.

The offensive side is the one that hits the ball. There is a certain batting order for each team that will be followed throughout the game.

Deciding which side a team plays first is done by a toss coin at the beginning of the game.

Game Length

There are 7 innings in a game. An inning is where both teams take turns in playing offense and defense. Some rules may limit the game further into a certain time period, while others may be limited by the number of runs a team is leading.

Scoring in Softball

There are two ways a team can score in softball. One is when a batter hits a homerun - that's when the ball is hit and goes outside the field - or when a base runner safely runs to the home plate.

Foul, Ball, Strike, Out

A foul ball is called when the ball is hit to either of the foul areas found on the right side of the 1st base and the left of the 3nd base.

When a pitch doesn't enter the strike zone, it is called a ball. Four balls would be equal to a walk, where the hitter walks to the first base. If a base runner is on the first base during a walk, she proceeds to the 2nd base.

Meanwhile, a pitch is called a strike when it comes within the strike zone. Three strikes would result in an out.

A base runner is considered out when she is tagged with the ball before reaching the base. A batter is also considered out when the defensive team catches the ball she hit before it reaches the ground.

The offensive team is only allowed three outs. After that, the teams change sides.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide of rules used in softball as some leagues incorporate some rules of their own or modify the rules depending on their own requirements.

About the Author

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