The Art Of Playing Softball

By: James Monahan

In today's sports, softball is considered to be the most common sport that is able to accumulate approximately 56 million Americans who will vie for anything just to be able to play this well-loved game in a year.

Before, softball was considered as a game only for women, but later on gained acceptance and was widely played by more players regardless of their respective genders.

Basically, the concept behind this very competitive game is for a player, known as the batter, to hit the ball thrown by another player, known as the pitcher.

The ring-shaped rod being used to hit the ball is identified as a bat. To be able to score in the game, the batter has to run and tap the four bases in the playing field after hitting the ball.

In reality, the mechanics of softball is not at all different to that of baseball. Though, they also differ in some ways like the ball's size, the way the ball is being thrown, the size of the playing field, and the number of innings in a given game.

Basically, there are two types of softball: fastpitch and slowpitch. Fastpitch is, generally, focused on the pitcher.

In this game, the chance of winning the game is based on the ability of the pitcher to release the ball at utmost velocity in an even curve, thus, making it very hard to hit. With this kind of ball delivery, the batter is usually blasted with numerous ground balls and strikeout cases.

The next type of softball is the slowpitch. Here, the batter gains more confidence in winning the game. However, the slowpitch softball is still dependent on the pitcher, whether he or she is an offensive pitcher or a defensive one.

The offensive pitcher is usually employed when playing informal sets of games. The bottom line here is that the game is more of a social function rather than being on its bloodthirsty field actions.

The defensive pitcher, on the other hand, is normally used in most slowpitch games. Here, it is required for a thrown ball to define a curve with the highest point slightly over the batter's head.

Because of this condition, the pitcher is made to throw the ball in such a slower pace so as to define the said curve. That is why most batters achieve considerable scores in this kind of softball.

Consequently, softball is based on this concept of hitting the ball and pitching that the score can be identified. A score can only be achieved if a player makes one complete rotation in the four bases.

Accordingly, the batter is considered out or is no longer allowed to hit the ball when he or she had accumulated three strikes, was hit by the ball or by the glove that contains the ball, the fielder touched the base even before the batter gets close to it, and when the ball hit by the batter was caught by a fielder and had not yet touched the ground.

The conditions of the ball being pitched and hit and the position of the players in the field while playing softball are all being decided by umpires. They render their decisions through the use of hand signals.

Indeed, softball is a more modern way of playing baseball. But the reason why most players appreciate softball more than the baseball game is that softball is a game that requires a combination of constant force and power at the same time use of strong mind power coupled with skills and determination. It is certainly an art playing softball.

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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about softball.

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