Everyone from kids to an elderly citizens have the right to enjoy softball. And there’s really never ever a negative time to present yourself come the game. Still, first-timers (and their parents) might want to obtain acclimated come the game prior to their very first practice. Before you have actually your first catch, get to know these important things about the video game of softball.

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1. It isn’t “just choose baseball.”

Yes, the game is played on a 4-base diamond. 3 strikes and you’re out, 4 balls and also you obtain to walk to an initial base. Players on each team have actually assigned positions. The team up to bat has to follow the batting order set by every team’s manager in ~ the beginning of the game. 

But that’s about where the similarity end.

Softball is play on a smaller sized field, v 60-foot basepaths (the path that runners use to gain to each base. The smaller sized dimensions do for a faster-paced, arguably much more exciting game, in part because it allows techniques like slap hitting:


Unlike baseball, yes sir no pitcher’s mound in softball. Instead, the pitcher stands inside of a flat “pitcher’s circle” through a “rubber” in the center. The distance from the rubber to house plate is 43 feet, as compared to the 60 feet, 6 inch street of expert baseball. 

While baseball pitchers tend to throw with much more raw power and speed, the mix of the shorter distance between the pitcher and home bowl in softball poses the own 

There are a few other distinct details that separates soft ball from baseball. Pitchers litter underhand, as opposed come the overhand pitching found in baseball. Baserunners in softball aren’t permitted to take a lead off the base before the ball leaving the pitcher’s hand.

2. The ball isn’t in reality soft.

 At least, it no in the modern version the the game. Soft ball was created by a group of guys in Chicago in 1887 together an indoor different to playing baseball external in the Illinois winter. Legend has it the an initial ball was fashioned out of a boxing glove, making it soft and also unable to take trip far. It was additionally fielded barehanded. 


One that (if not the) first softball teams. Dapper, no they?


As the video game progressed, the balls got progressively harder. Still, a soft ball is bigger than a baseball due to the fact that the larger circumference guarantee it won’t travel as far as a baseball, making it right for play in smaller sized (or also indoor) spaces.

The existing standard because that a soft ball is 12 inches in circumference, with a number eight stitching pattern. And also it is hard. Like, break your fingers hard. Unless you’re play by Chicago rule (which supplies a 16-inch sphere anyway), you’re going to require a glove.


A 16″ soft ball alongside a 12″ softball (middle) and a baseball.


The Best form of Softball gloves for Beginners

Made of soft or easily broken in leather. yes sir no should shell out over $100 because that an entry-level glove. Simply make sure the player have the right to squeeze the shut, and a soft ball won’t popular music out.

-Neither too large nor too small. The glove must fit a player’s hand need to fit snugly, but not uncomfortably so. A player should be able to control the glove, yet have sufficient length to make catches more easily.

NOT a baseball glove. A baseball glove will work-related in a pinch, yet they don’t have a huge enough bag to wake up to long-term softball use. A softball particular glove is constructed for the objective of catching a softball– no a baseball.

3. There are Two version of Softball: Slowpitch and also Fastpitch 

There are two main codes of soft ball rules: slow-moving pitch and fastpitch. The main difference is in the name: slow pitch requires pitchers to pitch a slow, looping round to the batter, when fastpitch has pitchers windmill the round underhand come the key as hard as they can.

For this reason, slow-moving pitch is normally regarded together the much better version because that beginners, and those who want to play a more leisurely game. 

That’s no to speak there are no competitive slow-moving pitch soft ball tournaments, simply that the game is an ext accommodating come those who might not have actually the time come dedicate come hardcore training. 

Fastpitch, on the various other hand, is a more taxing video game that requires fast reflexes and also a major competitive streak. This is the version of the game that’s play at the highest possible level. That was supposed to go back to the Summer Olympics (along through baseball) this year. 

There space a couple of other amazing distinctions between the 2 sets of rules. Slow-moving pitch teams are frequently able to play with 10 football player in the field, while fastpitch only enables for nine. The extra player in sluggish pitch have the right to play “short outfield” (aka “rover”), behind 2nd base at the leaf of the infield (called a “pivot”), or as a 4th outfielder. 

Team Size

How countless players per team counts on the league. Recreational slow pitch leagues might require a lower maximum amount of football player in order to ensure anyone gets sufficient playing time, when fastpitch leagues may have a higher limit to aid teams play in the occasion of injuries. 

The function of the Catcher

Catchers room not always required come wear protective gear in slow pitch games, particularly for adult to chat leagues. Lock are generally not too affiliated in the defensive component of the game, which is why some groups will placed their weakest defender, or someone coming back from one injury, there. 

By contrast, the catcher is one of the most involved players in fastpitch softball. They are compelled to place the defense to best cover the player at-bat, communicate with the pitcher about what kind of pitch to throw, and throw the end runners attempting come steal bases. They also have come wear considerable protective gear that enables them to remain safe from foul-tips and also balls the bounce in the dirt, together with a glove that can protect their hand native the speed of the pitch.




Game Length

While a sluggish pitch softball game can have almost everywhere from 3 to seven innings every game, fastpitch softball calls for seven. Both have actually rules enabling for extra innings in the occasion of a tie.

Because a game is measure by innings and not a clock, it can be difficult to say exactly how long games last, time-wise. Generally, 7 inning gamings can critical in upwards of two hours, while slow pitch gamings are slightly much more likely to it is in shorter, together leagues have actually leeway within the rules to limit how numerous runs a team deserve to score per inning.

4. Soft ball Favors All-Around Athleticism 

Slow pitch adult softball frequently gets the “beer league” moniker that makes it seem prefer little more than a glorified barbecue, yet don’t it is in fooled– you’ll use every muscle group. Softball can be fun, however it no necessarily “easy” to play

Every player demands to know exactly how to throw, catch, swing the bat, and also field soil balls. They also need to have the mental and also physical stamina to stand in the field, all set for the ball to be hit come them (harder 보다 it looks!).

While you could not need to obtain in the best shape of your life come play, girlfriend will must round yourself right into something approaching playing shape.

Basic tasks to Prepare for a brand-new Season

– Jogging and also running to build endurance.

– Playing catch to construct arm strength and endurance.

– take at-bats at your neighborhood batting cage come refine your hitting approach. 

– practice running the bases come familiarize yourself through the best path roughly the bags.

5. You’re going to acquire dirty 

Softball is played on a dust diamond and also a grass outfield. Not specifically the ar to wear her Sunday best.

You don’t desire to look choose The Rookie, either, for this reason it’s certainly a good idea to choose up some athleticwear and also softball-specific clothing to undertake to exercise or games.

I’m including games in this since not every softball organization offers full-on uniforms because that players. Numerous rec leagues will give you simply a t-shirt to wear to games. Some shoestring operations won’t also offer the much. If you’re running a team or league and want to make awesome uniforms because that the diamond, inspect out our guide to making baseball uniforms. They might be two various sports, yet most of the same ethics apply.

Many rec leaguers like playing in shorts. After all, you’re normally playing in the sun, and keeping cool is better than feeling cooked. However it renders sliding a risky proposition. If you’re playing casually, you may think you don’t should slide. But if you’re favor me, sometimes the warmth of the minute takes over and also you finish up through a scrape under your backside.

with the in mind, you should buy a pair of sliding shorts to walk under her gym shorts. It will market a tiny extra protection when you make that extra effort. 

Softball or baseball pants space another good option. Yes, you will certainly feel a bit warmer in them, however you’ll likewise have an extra bit of defense from scrapes need to you autumn down, or do a diving capture in the gap. They’re nice durable, too. 

Pick increase a pair of cleats, too. They sell superior traction to sneakers when running top top the field. This will help prevent injuries, both come yourself and also others.

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Don’t forget around protecting her eyes (and skin) from the sun. Sunscreen should be a offered at the very minimum. Undertake sunglasses– otherwise, what will certainly you do when someone access time a popular music fly? A hat or visor is a classic softball look. If you’re in a casual adult league, however, there’s probably no must adhere come tradition. What ns saying is, if girlfriend feel choose wearing a bucket cap, you entirely should.

If she a newcomer to the game of softball, ns hope girlfriend enjoy getting to know the video game better. There are so countless details and nuances the make the infinitely interesting. These basics room your gateway come a totality lot of fun!