[40], In fastpitch, if the catcher drops strike three (a "passed ball") with less than two outs, the batter can attempt to run to first base if first base is unoccupied. However, not all softball diamonds have these safety bases and they are much more common in women's softball than in men's. Softball is played in all states and territories in Australia and at all levels of academic education. All decisions made by the umpire(s) are considered to be final. Due to the popularity of the sport, there are a multitude of governing bodies such as the United States Specialty Sports Association, International Softball Congress and the National Softball Association. Call Us at 1-866-321-2287 for Assistance. The strike zone therefore varies from batter to batter. The center fielder covers the area behind second base if the ball is going to be thrown in that direction. In fastpitch, runners may try to steal bases by running to the next base on the pitch and reaching it before being tagged with the ball. A right fielder will throw the ball to each base more than the other outfielders will because of their position in respect to the bases. A game may be lost due to a "forfeit". The IOC executive board were to decide at their May meeting which sport to recommend for inclusion. Similarly, both the dropball and the riseball are pitches that change heights. This often involves jumping from the pitching plate and replanting somewhere in front of the pitching plate. After a successful hit the batter becomes a base runner (or runner) and must run to first base. She must make an attempt to get out of the way and it is the umpire's judgmental call whether the batter attempted to move. The four-time MVP of the Women's Major Fastpitch National Championship, Dot owns two Olympic Gold Medals for her time as the shortstop for team USA. They are responsible for fielding all balls hit their way including bunts. The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America (founded 1933) is one of the largest governing bodies for the game in the United States and sponsors annual sectional and World Series championships. It is 11 to 12 inches (28–30 cm) (or, rarely, 16 in or 41 cm[23]) in circumference. If a batted ball bounces off a fielder (in fair territory) and goes over the fence in foul territory, or if it goes over the fence at a location that is closer than the official distance, the batter is awarded a double instead. Collegiate and international level pitchers pitch from 43 feet. Some male players use long, baseball-style pants. These can be outfitted with a pouch for fitting a protective cup for male players. Please upgrade to a supported browser: Answer a few simple questions to find your perfect bat. [37] The teams take turns batting. As a result of rule changes initiated by the Independent Softball Association which later made its way to the Amateur Softball Association and the International Softball Federation in the 21st century, most levels of slow pitch permit stealing bases, provided the runner starts when the ball either touches the ground or crosses the plate. Pitches can travel at speeds of more than 65 mph. This is the list of registered activity providers who can accept FairPlay vouchers. There is no limit to the number of batters a team may have available, although only so many can bat in one inning. Generally, outfielders act as a back-up to the infielders when they make plays or if the ball is hit past the infield. For information on indoor baseball venues, see, Australia vs. Japan on 24 March 2012 at Hawker International Softball Centre, Pitching style of "modified" fastpitch softball, Meyer, Gladys C. Softball for Girls & Women. Despite the fact that it was originally intended to be played indoors, softball is usually played outdoors. In some leagues, the number of home runs that can be hit by a team are limited. Other sports seeking to be included in the 2020 program, when only one spot is up for filling, are: karate, roller sports, squash, sports climbing, wakeboard and wushu. However, if the game is being played on a field larger than required, no warning track is required before the temporary outfield fencing. Pitchers can also make the ball curve or screw to the inside of the plate. The pitch must be lofted in such a way that it falls onto the plate in order for it to be a called strike (the ball falls into the strike-zone instead of flying through). The Farragut Club soon set rules for the game, which spread quickly to outsiders. When the ball is hit to the right side of the outfield, the shortstop then covers second base. The other walls are considered fair. [69] Softball and Baseball have been unable to have their sport included in the program at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. When a ball is batted into play, runners generally must attempt to advance if there are no open bases behind them; for example, a runner on first base must run to second base if the batter puts the ball in play. Each box is behind a line 15 feet (5 meters) long located 12 feet (3 meters) from each baseline. Senior leagues with players over the age of 60 are not uncommon. The order the players bat in, known as the "batting order", must stay the same throughout the game. Each type of slap has a different purpose or goal. The bases are usually securely fastened to the ground. For example, in some slow pitch softball leagues a batter starts at bat with a count of one ball one strike. They will have more momentum towards first base when fielding the ball than a shortstop. Nuveman or Nuvey, a right-handed hitter who mostly played catcher, is one of only eight NCAA players to own a career .400 batting average with at least 200 RBIs, 50 homers, and a .800 slugging percentage. The 10 Best Mens Softball Bats 7,656 reviews scanned The 10 Best Asa Slow Pitch Softball Bats ... EASTON GHOST -11 ASA Fastpitch Softball Bat | 29 inch / 18 oz 9.2 8.7 9.3 4: In 16-inch softball, as well as a number of varieties of slow pitch, the pitch is lobbed so that the ball rises above the batter's head and lands on a small rectangular area on the ground behind the plate. The distance between each base is 60 feet, with the pitcher's mound 46 feet from home plate for men and 43 feet for women. Watley was the first African-American female to play on the United States Softball team, and has even fielded some phone calls for JustBats.com. The University of Arizona alum still ranks in several categories for NCAA softball statistics and was described by TIME magazine as "the most famous softball player in history.". The ISF recognizes three pitching styles: medium pitch, "modified" fast pitch, and slow pitch. Center fielders technically serve as the "captains" of the outfield. The teams can be men's, women's or co-ed, and skill levels can range from novice to elite, with league composition reflecting that. In some associations and leagues, bunting is not allowed and results in an out. The last (bottom) half of the seventh inning or any remaining part of the seventh inning is not played if the team batting second is leading. A native of Stockton, Calif., Beitia earned numerous honors while playing shortstop on the ASA Men's Major Fastpitch circuit from 1976-85 before beginning his illustrious coaching career The umpire behind home plate is the sole arbiter of balls and strikes. [35] "Baseball and softball are the primary causes of severe sports-related eye injury in Indiana and in most over state." The shortstop doesn't cover second base only when a right-handed batter is up. Runners generally cannot be put out when touching a base, but only one runner may occupy a base at any time and runners may not pass each other. In 2012 the heads of the International Softball and Baseball Federations announced their united effort to be included in the program in 2020. The name was coined by Walter Hakanson of the YMCA[11] at a meeting of the National Recreation Congress. [24], In slow pitch, the catcher must wear a helmet, chest protector and mask at youth levels. Men's Slowpitch National Team Coaches. [9] When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. In this case the four outfielders are spaced equidistantly and play at roughly the same depth. Japan has had a long tradition of softball which is played at all levels in the country. Caps are mandatory for male players. If the game is tied, play usually continues until a decision is reached, by using the international tie-breaker rule or if time is expired the score would be just tied. However, in advanced play pitcher and catcher play a psychological game trying to get the batter to guess where the next pitch is going and if it will be a strike. Often, this pitch is thrown at a batters hip or hands with the intention of either moving them off the plate or inducing a foul ball), Backdoor screw (the same as a backdoor curve except the ball spins in the opposite direction of a curveball), This page was last edited on 15 February 2021, at 14:34. If it is a championship game, it is replayed from the beginning. Australia has excellent softball teams which are a reflection of its coaching, education and training system.[71]. It must be between 25 and 30 feet (7.62 and 9.14 meters) behind home plate depending on the type of division that is playing. With such a history and popularity, who are the top 10 Fastpitch softball players of all-time? Mostly an outfielder, Mendoza hit .416 during her collegiate career, .432 during her Team USA career, and .355 as a member of the USSSA Pride. If the catcher doesn't catch the ball, the batter has the chance to run to first base and the catcher can throw the batter out at first base. 8u and below is usually played with 10 players on a field at once.) A well-broken-in ball is called a mush ball and is favored for informal "pick-up" games and when playing in limited space, such as a city street (because the ball does not go as far). There is also a not so common occurrence when the batter has 2 strikes and swings at strike three. The one pitch that drastically changes speed is the change up, disrupting the batter's timing. For example, helmets for the offensive team and a helmet, shin guards, and chest protector for the defensive catcher. [16] Rober's version of the game used a ball 12 inches (30 cm) in circumference, rather than the 16-inch (41 cm) ball used by the Farragut club, and eventually the Minneapolis ball prevailed, although the dimensions of the Minneapolis diamond were passed over in favor of the dimensions of the Chicago one. In the outfield there is a left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. The center fielder is part of a group of two other fielders that make up the outfield. [40], Runners may advance at risk to be put out: on a hit by another player; after a fly ball has been caught, provided the player was touching a base at the time the ball was first touched or after; or (in fastpitch) automatically, when a pitch is delivered illegally. In many[quantify] US cities, adult softball teams are organized by bars and clubs, hence the popular term "beer league" softball. The distinction is not absolute and there can be gradations within each. [68], Women's softball debuted at the 1996 Summer Olympics and was removed from the program following the 2008 Summer Olympics. If the player hits the ball and advances to a base without a fielding error or an out being recorded, then that is called a "base hit". The left fielder covers this area in the case that the ball will pass the infielders. Thanks for signing up and welcome to the team! Many recreational leagues prohibit the use of metal cleats or spikes to reduce the possible severity of injuries when a runner slides feet-first into a fielder. Print. Decisions about plays are made by umpires, similar to a referee in American football. After hitting the ball the batter may advance as many bases as possible. Have you heard about Jennie Finch? Left fielders must also play a role in any run down situation between third base and home plate or back up any plays that happen at third base in case of an overthrow. In this case, the second baseman covers the steal. Every two years an open women's European fastpitch championship is held with over twenty nationals teams. Besides covering certain areas of the field, the left fielder must be the smartest of the outfielders. There are various types of pitches. [40], Runners advance without liability to be put out: when a walk advances another player to the runner's current base; or automatically in certain special circumstances described below.[41]. [48] Some leagues even use different balls for male and female batters. If the home team is leading and the road team has just finished its half of the seventh inning, the game ends because it is not necessary for the home team to bat again. [24], While mandatory for the pitcher in some slow pitch leagues, there is an option to wear a face mask on the field. Pitchers strategize to pitch the ball with a high enough arc that the batter cannot hit a line-drive. In softball, the pitchers throw from within a circle and the rubber in the circle is not elevated. If you're part of a slow-pitch league, it's important to seek out slow-pitch softballs. The minimum length of the baselines varies classification of play (see below for official measurements). All Regions Region 1 - Northeast Region 2 - Central Atlantic Region 3 - Southeast ... ASA Links. The umpire also has the option of not saying anything on a ball. The selection of which pitch to use can depend on a wide variety of factors including the type of hitter who is being faced; whether there are any base runners; how many outs have been made in the inning; and the current score. A batted ball driven in the air through the infield at a height at which an infielder could play it if in the right position is a "line drive". And, while there are still some men's teams, the sport is primarily female. If the ball is hit to the first baseman, the second baseman then is responsible for covering first. The team is required to have all of its members wear the same uniform. Gloves used in softball are larger than the ones used in baseball. The defense attempts to field the ball and may throw the ball freely between players, so one player can field the ball while another moves to a position to put out the runner. The size of the ball varies according to the classification of play; the permitted circumferences in international play are 12±0.125 in (30.5±0.3 cm), in mass between 6.25 and 7.0 oz (177–198 g) in fast pitch and adults and males 13 and older for slow pitch, 11±0.125 in (27.9±0.3 cm), mass between 5.875 and 6.125 oz (166.6–173.6 g) in slow pitch for females 18 and younger, and kids 12 and younger. Traditionally in the game of softball, the right fielder will have the strongest arm out of the two other outfielders. Starting in the top of the last inning, the batting team starts with a base-runner on second base, which is the player who is the last available to bat (in other words, the batter who last took their position in the batter's box; regardless whether they were the last out or another runner was put out). The name "softball" dates back to 1926. By: Rob Callahan . Most female travel ball teams for fastpitch softball require the batter to wear a helmet with a face mask. A pitch in "the well" (pictured) is considered a perfect pitch. At adult levels, there is no formal requirement for the catcher to wear a mask, although the official rules recommend it. Games that are not regulation or are regulation ties are resumed from the point of suspension. Choose ASA softballs with strong covers and center cores to satisfy ASA standards. Some umpires wear a variant of the uniform: some umpires in ASA wear heather gray slacks and may also wear a navy blue shirt; umpires from the USSSA wear red shirts with grey slacks; National Softball Association (NSA) umpires wear an official NSA white-colored umpire shirt with black pants or black shorts; NSA fastpitch umpires wear the white NSA umpires shirt and heather gray slacks. As in baseball, the infield fly rule applies in some game situations to prevent the defense from recording multiple force outs by deliberately dropping an easy catch. There is less time for the base runner to get to first while the opponent fields the ball; yet, the fielder has less time to field the ball while the opponent is running down to first base. Italy and Netherlands are the best nations, and both have an almost professional championship where athletes from the US, Australia and China play. It is about 12 in (about 30 cm) in circumference (11 or 12 in for slow-pitch), which is 3 in (8 cm) larger than a baseball. (Ronald Davis, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Indiana University)[36]. The number of balls and strikes is called the "count". A "crow hop" occurs when the pitcher pushes with the pivot foot from somewhere other than the pitching plate. To the batter, the dropball appears to be coming in level but then as the ball reaches the plate, the pitch drops, trying to force the batter to hit the top of the ball. Like baseball, softball in Japan is intensely competitive. Indoor softball has generally the same rules as outdoor softball. The catcher must then attempt to throw the ball to first base ahead of the runner. The batter is out if: three strikes are called (a "strikeout"); a ball hit by the batter is caught before touching the ground (a "flyout"); the batter goes to a base that is already tagged ("tagged" or "tag play"); a fielder holding the ball touches a base which is the only base towards which the batter may run before the batter arrives there (a "force out" or "force play"); or in certain special circumstances. When pitchers throw curveballs they snap their wrist and follow their arm across their body, making the ball curve to the outside of the plate. All defensive players wear fielding gloves, made of leather or similar material. [33] A pitcher's glove is typically 11.5 to 12.5 inches for fast pitch or 11.5 to 13 inches for slow pitch. In other varieties of slow pitch (sometimes known as "modified"), the only restriction is that the windmill cannot be used; thus the pitching arm cannot be raised above the shoulder and both the wind-up and the release must be underhand, still allowing for moderate speed and control in pitching. The other common pitches are change-up and fastballs. 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. In the infield there is the pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, and third baseman. The number of umpires on a given game can range from a minimum of one to a maximum of seven. Speed is not always the most important factor in fast pitch softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 inches, for a women's league, or 12 inches, for a men's league, in circumference, must arch on its path to the batter, and there are 10 players on the field at once. This last rule is rarely enforced as players who break rules after being warned are usually removed. In fast pitch softball the entire infield is dirt, whereas the infield in baseball is grass except at the bases and on the pitcher's mound which are dirt. New York: Scribner, 1982. The earliest known softball game was played in Chicago, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. If a fielder intentionally carries a ball out of play, two bases are awarded from the time the ball leaves the field of play. The left fielder's position is on the left side of the outfield behind the third baseman when looking at the field from behind home plate. The Harvard fan grabbed a stick and swung at the rolled up glove. If this is unintentional (fielder's momentum), the award is one base. The major role of the first baseman is to receive throws from other defensive players in order to get a force play at first base. This requires the outfielders to stay behind a line till the ball is hit. The umpire sticks his left arm out straight to the side and clenches his fist. [59] The International Softball Federation has 113 member countries (excluding dependent territories).[60]. Mens Fastpitch Softball Class C Semifinal Los Altos Park,Albuq July 27,08 Bulls(Albuq/Gray) vs Sundevils(Gallup) Action from 3rd inning, dvds available The outfield is the remaining space between the baselines and between the outfield fence and the infield. The Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship dates back to 1933 when USA Softball, known then as the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America, was founded during the World’s Fair in Chicago, Ill. The softball pitcher makes a windmill motion while throwing underhand, unlike baseball pitchers who throw overhand. 19 in Minneapolis, Rober's post from 1896 to 1906, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in part for its association with the sport's development. Some groups allow for a more defensive game by making home plate a force out for first base. The defense's pitcher stands atop the rubber and pitches the ball towards home plate using an underhand motion. The object of the game is to score more runs (points) than the other team by batting (hitting) a ball into play and running around the bases, touching each one in succession. Also cleats, sliding shorts, face masks and knee sliders may be worn for softball. In youth leagues, the pitcher's mound is between 35 and 46 feet from home plate. [2]. The IOC funded a landmark biomechanical study on pitching during the games. USA Softball of WA is working to develop of plan for a safe return of softball activities throughout the state of Washington. TournamentASA - Official Tournament Management System of ASA. A score of 7–0 for the team not at fault is recorded (generally one run is awarded for each inning that would have been played). This left-handed softball pitcher from the University of Texas still claims the NCAA Division I records for strikeout ratio (14.34), WHIP, and perfect games (seven). However, bunting a foul ball does result in a strikeout. And, while there are still some men's teams, the sport is primarily female. Co-ed leagues sometimes adopt live-play rules intended to reduce gender inequality, under the assumption that men will be generally more powerful. If the ball is hit to right-field or center field, they become the cut-off for the center fielder or the right fielder depending who the ball was hit to. Are you looking for a softball trailblazer? In slow pitch, the ball must land on a carpet or marked area behind the plate, therefore standardizing the strike zone. circumference) on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35–43 feet away from home plate, and a home run fence that is 220–300 feet away from home plate, depending on the type of softball being played. You’ll find many of the same brands when searching for a softball bat that you would when looking for a baseball bat, such as DeMarini, Louisville Slugger, Worth, Mizuno, and Rawlings. [14] Under the name of "Indoor-Outdoor", the game moved outside in the next year, and the first rules were published in 1889.[14]. The bat is held with both hands, over the shoulder, and away from the pitcher (90-degree angle). A batted ball which hits the ground within the diamond is a "ground ball". A ball hit in the air and caught before hitting the ground, in fair or foul territory, puts the batter out. The 117th meeting of the International Olympic Committee, held in Singapore in July 2005, voted to drop softball and baseball as Olympic sports for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[22]. The game is played in usually seven innings. Official umpires are often nicknamed "blue", because of their uniforms – in many jurisdictions, most significantly ISF, NCAA and ASA games, umpires wear navy blue slacks, a light powder blue shirt, and a navy baseball cap. The batter is considered to strike out if the batter fails to hit the ball into fair territory after the given number of pitches. Somewhat controversial, since Harding's MVP performance that helped UCLA win the 1995 NCAA women's softball championships was vacated after scholarship violations. Besides being a quick player, the center fielder must have a strong throwing arm because of the distance between the player and home plate. Fastpitch Softball TV Network Free fastpitch softball videos, fastpitch softball blogs, fastpitch softball clinics, and softball drills. Competitive fastpitch softball for girls is growing increasingly popular. In slow-pitch softball there is an extra outfielder in the outfield, who is specified as a roamer or rover. A batted ball hit high in the air is a "fly ball". The Oklahoma State Cowboy finished her college career with a 0.75 ERA, was an eight-time Japan Pro Softball League champion and MVP, and was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 2006. On steals to second base (when the runner from first is advancing to second on the pitch) the shortstop usually covers. [8] Despite the name, the ball used in modern softball is not soft, unless using a foam practice ball. If the batter reaches first base without being put out, then that player can then be forced to run towards second base the next time a ball is driven into fair territory. 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