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How to Play Softball

By Contributor

The rules of softball are very similar to baseball. Each team gets three outs and then the team in the field changes. Also, the team with most runs at the end of the game wins. The main differences are the field is smaller, the pitching style is underhand and the ball is bigger. Depending on the type of league determines the size of the bat, field size and how the ball is pitched.


Put the four bases into a diamond shape on to the filed. Each base should be equal distances apart. The base where the batter will be is home plate. First, second, third should be placed in order starting on the right hand side of the field.

Place the pitching mound in the center of diamond, with a permanent marker such as a rubber pad that shows where the pitcher needs to start throwing the ball from.

Mark the ground with lines that run from home plate to the outfield on both sides of the field. These lines will delineate the foul ball marker.

Send players on the defense to a position. Each base has a player positioned next to it with a short stop position is between second and third base. There is the pitcher at the mound and a catcher who is placed behind home plate. Outfield consists of a right, center and left fielder placed past the bases.

Keep players of the offense team in the dugout, or an area off to the side of the field that doesn't interfere with the play of the ball. Each team will have a line up and bat in order of that list. Each batter must bat in their turn or it is an out.

Home team will take the field first and get to bat last. This is an advantage in case the team is behind in runs.

Play the Game

Hit the ball pitched by the pitcher, if the ball is in the strike zone. The batter will get five pitches to swing at. If pitched four balls not in the strike zone, the player gets "walked" to first base. If the ball is hit, the runner runs to first and then to consecutive bases until the runner can no longer get to the next base without being out. Foul balls do not count as the third strike, unless league rules state that a player is only allowed a certain number of foul balls.

Run to home plate to score a run. You leave the field if you get out before you get to home plate.

Advance a runner by hitting the ball into play. In play means that it is not foul. All runners must advance if there is a runner on the base previous to them.

Pitch three strikes to the batter and the batter is out. Each team get three outs, then the teams switch between the field and the batting.

Throw the ball to another fielder where the runner is running to so the receiver can touch the base or runner before the runner gets to the base. When this happens the runner is out. When the runner runs without having to make room for the runner behind her, the fielder must touch the runner with the ball.

Catch the ball in the air before it hits the ground and it is an out. If it is caught it doesn't matter if the ball is a foul or a fair ball.

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