For many years, softball was played in a very different manner than it is today and was not even called softball. In the beginning, it was considered indoor baseball invented by George Hancock. Fire departments than caught onto the game and played it for recreation purposes. It wasn't until 1926, that the term, softball, was officially coined. In 1934, the Amateur Softball Association was formed, but it wasn't until 1972 that softball was required to be a sport at high schools and colleges. In 1996, softball was first recognized and played at the Olympic games. Over the years, there has been many changes to the sport and many rules passed for playing the sport. Today, the International Softball Federation Playing Rules Committee regulates and oversees the rules of softball.
Rule 1: A batting order should have the player's name, positions, and number on the list. This order must be followed for the entire length of the game. Rule 2: All batter's must be wearing a helmet when they are either in the on deck circle or at the plate. Rule 3: When the batter is at the plate and is batting, both of their feet must be within the lines of the batter's box.
Designated Player, Pitcher, Catcher
Rule 4: A designated player can or can not be used. The designated player is a starting offensive player who bats in the line-up for the Flex Player who is listed in the tenth spot in the line-up. Rule 5: A pitcher must have part of each foot touching the pitching rubber before beginning to pitch the ball. Rule 6: The pitcher must touch the glove and the ball together before beginning with the wind up. Rule 7: A catcher must wear a mask, throat protector, and helmet when receiving warm-up pitches. During the game, the catcher must also wear a body protector and shin guards.
Stealing, Tagging Up, Jewelry
Rule 8: When stealing a player's foot must remain on the bag until the pitcher has released the ball from her hand and the ball is on the way to the catcher. Rule 9: Tagging up is the act of advancing to the next base when a fly ball is hit. The player on the base must remain on the base until the ball is caught and then is free to try and advance to the next base. Rule 10: No jewelry except medical alert bracelets or necklaces can be worn. If the medical alerts are worn, they must be taped to the body.