How to Play Softball

Do you know how to play softball? Known as the most popular participant sport in the United States, softball season introduces a whole new league of players to the game. Learning how to play is easy. The game resembles baseball, but a few differences do exist.

The actual softball is larger, heavier, and softer than a baseball. The ball measures 11 or 12 inches in circumference. Also, the softball diamond is smaller than the baseball field. Finally, the softball bat differs in size, weight, and composition. Some softball bats are made of aluminum.

Playing the Game
Learning how to play softball is relatively easy.

  • Divide into two teams consisting of nine players.
  • When one team takes the field, each player is assigned to a position: pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, short stop, right field, center field, left field and a designated hitter.
  • The pitcher pitches underarm, releasing the ball when the hand is below the hip and no farther than elbow's length away from the body. Fastpitch softball and slowpitch softball are two different styles of league.
  • The batter attempts to hit the ball. If successful, the batter than runs around the softball diamond, making sure a foot touches each base. The batter can stop on any base if he believes he won't make it to the home plate safely.
  • The fielders (players on defense) try to catch the ball. A caught fly ball results in an out. If the ball lands on the ground, defensive players throw the ball to an infield player. If the ball reaches the defensive player at the base before the runner arrives, the runner is called out.
  • When the next batter bats, the process begins again.
  • Three strikes equal an out. If the batter watches four balls pass outside the strike zone, he receives a walk and proceeds to first base.
  • Three outs result in the end of that half an inning. Then, the batting team takes the field and the other team is up to bat.
  • This repeats for seven innings, unless the tie is scored at the bottom (end) of the seventh inning. If so, the game goes into extra innings.

Why not learn how to play softball? It is a popular spring and summer pastime, involving an estimated 56 million Americans each year.

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