How to play Softball

How to play Softball

How to play Softball


How to play Softball - Ohio Fitness Garage


Kitten ball, pumpkin ball, diamond ball, and more -- softball has taken on many different names throughout history, but was given its present-day name in 1926. Originating in Chicago, softball is very closely related to baseball with just slight differences. Now, the sport is widely popular in North America and Asia, with gaining popularity in Europe as well.


How to play Softball


Like baseball, the object of the game is to strike the ball effectively, get on base, and score. The team with the most runs at the end of the game is deemed the winner. Defensively, players will use gloves similar to baseball gloves to field the ball.


At the collegiate and professional level, softball is more often played by women -- but there are still many recreational leagues with male players. The equipment is nearly identical to baseball. The only noticeable difference is some softball helmets are permitted to have a face-cage on them for protection.


Rules of Softball


  • Each team will field nine players in nine different positions. These positions include: one pitcher, one catcher, four infielders, and three outfielders.
  • Softball field dimensions are similar to baseball, just on a smaller scale. Bases are 60 feet apart and the pitcher's mound is much closer to the batter -- only 40 feet away. Outfield fencing differs between each field, but is typically between 220 to 250 feet.
  • Different from baseball, the pitcher in softball pitches on a flat surface instead of a mound.
  • It’s not uncommon for softball batters to get a running start when hitting the ball. The momentum leading them towards first base can be the difference between a base hit and an out. However, runners who leave the batter's box before hitting the ball will be called out.
  • Three strikes means the batter is out. A strike can be acquired if the ball crosses the strike zone, the batter swings and misses, or the batter fouls off a ball. However, a batter cannot be called out on a foul ball.
  • Four pitches out of the strike zone results in a free base for the batter. Same with being struck with a pitch.
  • A ball hit over the fence is a homerun (an automatic run). Balls hit in the gaps and down the foul line also present great scoring opportunities for a team.
  • Games will last 7 innings long, with games extending into extra innings if tied by the end of 7. Like baseball, there are never ties in softball.


There are actually two variations of softball -- slow pitch and fast pitch. Slow pitch is played with a larger, softer ball (around 16 inches) that’s thrown with a 6 to 12 foot arch. Slow pitch is usually played on a recreational level. Most professional softball is played with a more compact, harder ball (12 inches) which is thrown much faster and on a straight line.


Written by: Devin Pickell

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