Everyone from kids to senior citizens have the right to enjoy softball. And also there’s really never a negative time to introduce yourself come the game. Still, first-timers (and your parents) can want to acquire acclimated to the game before their first practice. Prior to you have your an initial catch, obtain to recognize these important things around the video game of softball.

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1. It no “just choose baseball.”

Yes, the game is play on a 4-base diamond. Three strikes and also you’re out, 4 balls and you acquire to to walk to an initial base. Football player on each team have assigned positions. The team approximately bat has to follow the batting order collection by each team’s manager in ~ the start of the game. 

But that’s about where the similarities end.

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


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

While baseball pitchers often tend to litter with more raw power and also speed, the combination of the shorter distance in between the pitcher and also home bowl in softball poses the own 

There space a few other distinct details the separates softball from baseball. Pitchers litter underhand, together opposed to the overhand pitching discovered in baseball. Baserunners in soft ball aren’t enabled to take it a lead off the base before the sphere leaving the pitcher’s hand.

2. The sphere isn’t in reality soft.

 At least, it no in the modern version that the game. Softball was created by a team of men in Chicago in 1887 as an indoor alternative to play baseball external in the Illinois winter. Legend has it the an initial ball to be fashioned the end of a boxing glove, making the soft and also unable to travel far. It was additionally fielded barehanded. 


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


As the video game progressed, the balls obtained progressively harder. Still, a softball is bigger than a baseball since the bigger circumference ensures it won’t take trip as much as a baseball, do it right for play in smaller (or even indoor) spaces.

The existing standard because that a softball is 12 inches in circumference, with a figure eight stitching pattern. And it is hard. Like, break your fingers hard. Uneven you’re play by Chicago rules (which supplies a 16-inch ball anyway), you’re walk to require a glove.


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


The Best type of Softball glove for Beginners

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

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

NOT a baseball glove. A baseball gloves will work-related in a pinch, but they don’t have actually a large enough bag to wake up to long-term softball use. A softball particular glove is built for the function of catching a softball– not a baseball.

3. There room Two versions of Softball: Slowpitch and also Fastpitch 

There space two main codes of softball rules: slow-moving pitch and also fastpitch. The main distinction is in the name: slow pitch calls for pitchers to pitch a slow, looping ball to the batter, when fastpitch has actually pitchers windmill the sphere underhand come the bowl as tough as lock can.

For this reason, sluggish pitch is normally regarded as the better version because that beginners, and those who desire to play a more leisurely game. 

That’s no to say there are no competitive slow pitch softball tournaments, just that the video game is more accommodating come those who may not have the time come dedicate to hardcore training. 

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

There room a few other amazing distinctions in between the two sets that rules. Sluggish pitch groups are typically able to play with 10 football player in the field, while fastpitch only enables for nine. The extra player in slow pitch have the right to play “short outfield” (aka “rover”), behind second base in ~ the leaf of the infield (called a “pivot”), or as a 4th outfielder. 

Team Size

How plenty of players every team relies on the league. Recreational slow-moving pitch leagues may require a reduced maximum amount of players in order to ensure anyone gets sufficient playing time, when fastpitch leagues may have a greater limit to assist teams pat in the event of injuries. 

The function of the Catcher

Catchers space not always required come wear protective equipment in slow pitch games, especially for adult recreational leagues. Lock are generally not too associated in the defensive component of the game, which is why some teams will placed their weakest defender, or who coming earlier from an injury, there. 

By contrast, the catcher is one of the most connected players in fastpitch softball. Castle are forced to position the defense to finest cover the player at-bat, connect with the pitcher around what type of key to throw, and also throw out runners attempting to steal bases. They likewise have to wear substantial protective gear that allows them to continue to be safe from foul-tips and balls that bounce in the dirt, together with a gloves that can defend their hand indigenous the speed of the pitch.




Game Length

While a slow-moving pitch softball video game can have anywhere from 3 to 7 innings per game, fastpitch softball requires seven. Both have actually rules allowing for extra innings in the event of a tie.

Because a video game is measure up by innings and also not a clock, it have the right to be tough to say exactly how long games last, time-wise. Generally, seven inning games can last in upwards of two hours, while slow-moving pitch gamings are slightly an ext likely to it is in shorter, as 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 key adult softball regularly gets the “beer league” moniker that makes it seem choose little more than a glorified barbecue, yet don’t it is in fooled– you’ll usage every muscle group. Softball have the right to be fun, yet it isn’t necessarily “easy” come play

Every player demands to know how to throw, catch, swing the bat, and field ground balls. They likewise need to have the mental and also physical stamina to stand in the field, prepared for the ball to be hit to them (harder than it looks!).

While you can not require to get in the finest shape of her life come play, friend will need to round yourself right into something approaching play shape.

Basic tasks to Prepare because that a brand-new Season

– Jogging and also running to build endurance.

– Playing capture to develop arm strength and endurance.

– take it at-bats at your local batting cage to refine your hitting approach. 

– exercise running the bases come familiarize yourself v the ideal path around the bags.

5. You’re walking to get dirty 

Softball is play on a dust diamond and also a grass outfield. Not precisely the place to wear your Sunday best.

You don’t want to look favor The Rookie, either, for this reason it’s absolutely a good idea to pick up part athleticwear and softball-specific garments to undertake to exercise or games.

I’m including gamings in this since not every softball organization offers full-on uniforms for players. Many rec leagues will give you just a t-shirt come wear come games. Part shoestring work won’t also offer the much. If you’re to run a team or league and also want to make awesome uniforms because that the diamond, check out our guide to creating baseball uniforms. They might be two different sports, yet most that the same principles apply.

Many rec leaguers like playing in shorts. After all, you’re usually playing in the sun, and keeping cool is better than feeling cooked. Yet it makes sliding a risky proposition. If you’re playing casually, you may think you don’t need to slide. But if you’re prefer me, periodically the warm of the minute takes over and also you finish up with a scrape down your backside.

with that in mind, you need to buy a pair of slide shorts to walk under your gym shorts. It will market a small extra protection as soon as you make that extra effort. 

Softball or baseball pants space another good option. Yes, you will certainly feel a little warmer in them, yet you’ll additionally have one extra bit of defense indigenous scrapes must you autumn down, or do a diving catch in the gap. They’re pretty durable, too. 

Pick up a pair of cleats, too. They market superior traction come sneakers once running on the field. This will aid prevent injuries, both to yourself and also others.

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Don’t forget about protecting her eyes (and skin) indigenous the sun. Sunscreen should be a provided at the an extremely minimum. Undertake sunglasses– otherwise, what will certainly you do when someone hits a pop fly? A cap or visor is a standard softball look. If she in a casual adult league, however, there’s more than likely no have to adhere to tradition. What ns saying is, if friend feel choose wearing a bucket cap, you totally should.

If you a newcomer to the game of softball, i hope girlfriend enjoy getting to recognize the game better. There are so numerous details and also nuances that make that infinitely interesting. These basics are your gateway come a totality lot that fun!