The rules and details of playing softball may seem overwhelming for beginners. If you are a newbie in this sport, you have to learn first the basics. There is more than getting the best softball bats and softball glove. The sport is more than just hitting and catching.
There are key rules to follow during the game. From the equipment to use to your position on the field, there are softball guide to follow. The basic rules are a good starting point for aspiring players like you.
You are responsible for bringing your own cleats, softball bat, glove and other gears. Your equipment must be according to your skills and strength as a player. Coaches usually provide the typical balls and bat to use. Only softballs are allowed in the game.
Youth softball only uses softball with a circumference of 11 inches. Its diameter is 3.5 inches. You are also required to use a batting helmet for protection. Other protective gears are also necessary to wear. This includes a face mask with throat protector, leg guards and chest protector.
This is where the action takes place. It is a marked area consists of home plate as well as first, second and third bases. These are all spaced at 60 feet apart which creates a diamond.
The batter’s box is on the left and right of the home plate. Behind it is the catcher’s box.
These are the areas where catchers and batters position themselves. Take note that the foul lines extend to the first and third base. The pitching mound is near the center of the diamond.
PLAYERS AND POSITIONS
It will take a while for newbies to know where exactly their position in the field is. Each player has a specific job to do. Your coach will explain this to you. You will be assigned to a position that suits your knowledge and ability.
Ten players are on the field during the game. Nine players per team should be present to avoid a forfeit. The defensive positions are the first base, second base, third base, pitcher and catcher. As well as the short stop and left, right and center outfielders.
If your team is on offense, all are listed in a line-up. This line-up will determine the batting order as directed by your coach. The order of the hitters should be the same throughout the game. Batting out of order is against the rule.
INNINGS AND OUTS
Each game is composed of seven innings. The home team is always the last to bat during the first inning. Both teams will bat and pay during the inning. They will switch when the team on offense get three outs.
When you or a player is at bat (called the batter), the pitcher will throw the ball underhand. You may or may not swing. This depends on the precision of the pitch. Remember that three strikes means one out.
BATTING AND SCORING
When you hit the ball, run the bases. The defensive players will get them out. It is either they catch the ball before it touches the ground or tagged you with the ball. They can also touch the base with the softball to force an out.
Infielders are taught to catch a ground ball and then throw it to first base. This is to force out the runner. However, some suggest that it is better if you will force out a base runner on the 2nd or 3rd base if he is heading there. They believe it is a better play.
Runs are being scored when the offensive player successfully crossed the home plate. This is after batting and completing the circuit.
All of these rules will be useless if players are not showing sportsmanship. It is a life skill to respect the opponents, coaches, umpires and your teammates. Remember that this will outweigh a player’s softball skills and drills.