Thinking of Joining a Softball Team?
When you first join a softball team, you will need to have a rough idea of the rules, the right uniform and glove, and plenty of energy to run off. Softball is a high-spirited game and, as you pick up the rules, you will soon be in the center of the action.
Here’s what you need to know.
What to Wear
Though the game has kept the name softball, over the years the ball itself has evolved into a much harder ball, more akin to a baseball. However, the ball is still much bigger and the speed it is pitched and hit is slower. Because of the nature of the ball, it is advisable that you wear some protective gear, just as you would for baseball.
Each team wears a distinctive uniform of a shirt, shorts and socks. You may also wish to wear sliding shorts and a cap or visor. Your shoes may have spikes less than 0.75” to aid grip but do check with your league first to see what they allow.
Different players around the field will wear different gloves. The purpose of the glove is protective as well as to give the fielders a better chance of catching using the webbing between the fingers. The pitcher uses her glove to hide her hand so that the batter can’t see her grip on the ball.
A Helmet with Face Guard
Helmets are required in fast-pitch games and though they are optional in slow-pitch, you are well advised to wear one, especially while you are learning. The helmet is designed to protect your head and face should the ball come towards you. Catchers may also wish to wear a helmet too.
Other Protective Wear
You may also wish to wear shin and knee pads.
What are the Rules?
Much like baseball, the fielding team spread out around the 4 bases and try to catch the ball once it has been hit. The difference is that the field is slightly bigger and the pitcher will only pitch the ball under-arm.
The batter must try to hit the ball and then run around the 4 bases. You must touch each base as you pass. A home run is scored when each base has been hit and the batter has not been caught or tagged out by a fielder.
There are usually between 3 and 7 innings depending on how long you want the game to last and which league you are playing in. A game of 7 innings usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours. The teams take it in turns to bat and field.
The batting team must bat in the same order every time and give a list to the dugout to confirm what that order is. It is against the rules for anyone to bat out of place. The batting team’s innings are over when 3 players are out. The teams then switch and the batting team field for their opponents.
The game is won by the team who has the most runs at the end of the allotted number of innings.