Softball

1 January 2017

What sport includes a bat, a glove, a helmet, and bases? You guessed it . . . softball! Softball is my favorite sport, and in this paper I am going to tell you all about it including the basics of the game, equipment, positions, and more. Let’s get started! To play the game of softball you need several things including a bat, a helmet, a glove (mit), and of course, the ball. Let’s start with the bat! The bat used by the batter can be made of wood, metals, or composite materials. It is usually between 30-38 inches long. In fast pitch softball you can’t use a wooden bat.

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Next the helmet. A helmet must have two ear flaps, one on each side. Helmets and cages that are damaged or altered are forbidden. Helmets must be worn by batters and runners in fast pitch. Helmets are optional in slow pitch. In NCAA fast pitch softball you have the option to wear a helmet with or without a face mask. In fast pitch, the catcher must wear a protective helmet with a face-mask and throat protector. A glove is vital in softball; here is some info about a glove. All defensive players wear fielding gloves, made of leather or similar material.

Gloves have webbing between the thumb and forefinger, known as the “pocket”. The first baseman and the catcher may wear mitts; mitts are distinguished from gloves in that they have extra padding, and no fingers. In 2007, ASA and other organizations revised their rules regarding gloves and mitts, allowing any player to use a glove or mitt. No part of the glove is allowed to be the same color as that of the ball, including that of its seams. Gloves used in softball are usually larger than the ones used in baseball. Lastly, the ball.

Despite the sport’s name, softballs are not especially soft! A 12-inch circumference ball is generally used in softball. The ball is most often covered in white or yellow leather in two pieces roughly the shape of a figure-8 and sewn together with red thread, although other coverings are permitted. Now that you know the equipment, let’s get to the basics. The game of softball is generally played between 3 and 9 innings and begins when a pitcher pitches the ball to a batter, and it is declared a ball or a strike by the umpire.

The batter only has 3 strikes before they get out, and if they get 4 balls they get what is called a “walk” to first base. The team that is out in the field has to get 3 outs before the two teams switch and the team that was in the field now gets the chance to bat. You can get an out by throwing to a base, tagging a runner, catching a ball in the air, or getting a strikeout. Depending on how good your hit is you can get a single, double, triple, home run, or grand slam. A single is when a runner successfully reaches 1st base without getting out.

A double is the same concept, except with 2nd base. A triple the same also except with 3rd base. A home run is when you get all the way around the bases to home plate. A grand slam is when you hit a home run while the bases are loaded, all of the runners reaching home plate, and knocking in 4 runs. At the end of the innings, the team with the most points wins. That is the very basics of the game of softball. Our last topic is positions. The 9 positions are pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, right field, center field, and left field.

The names pretty much explain themselves. The pitcher pitches to the catcher, first base usually is thrown the ball if no one is on base, second is thrown to if there is someone on first, and so on. Shortstop is between second and third and tries to stop any balls from passing through that area. Center, right, and left field catch and play the balls that are hit to the outfield. They are all very important in this game. Now you know the basics of softball including equipment, gameplay, and positions. Thanks!

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