Did you know that softball trading pins have been around since the early 1900s? Pin trading became more popularized as the years passed and now many softball players and enthusiasts have traded or purchased dozens of pins.
It can be a fun hobby as you pick up softball or watch your kids play. But before you get started with trading or buying unique pins, you might be curious about how to play softball.
While it has similar rules to baseball, softball is a unique sport that requires some basic knowledge before you go running out onto the field. For a complete softball playing guide, keep reading on!
Softball is a fun and exhilarating sport that many different age groups can start. Generally, playing softball takes on two different forms. You can either pick slow pitch or fastpitch softball.
Slowpitch is mainly found on co-ed or intramural teams, while fastpitch softball is played on all-female teams at collegiate and professional levels. You will also see fastpitch softball played at high school levels and competition teams.
Next, you need a basic understanding of the rules to know how to win at softball.
If you want to play softball, you need to purchase the right gear. Softball players will have matching uniforms with their team name or logo on their jerseys.
You will need a mitt and bat after purchasing your jersey and softball. A mitt or glove should be comfortable with enough padding that your hand doesn't sting each time you catch the ball. Since the player at first base and the catcher tend to have many softballs thrown their way, they usually opt for a heavier padded glove.
Aluminum and composite are the two most common types of bats. Collegiate athletes have stricter regulations on the length and weight of their bats - it is helpful to check the league regulations before you purchase any equipment.
Lastly, you will need a batting helmet and extra paddings, such as sliding shorts or knee pads. Additionally, the catcher requires special gear and padding for their position.
Most softball games have seven innings that are played in half innings. What this means is the home team will bat after the visiting team. Once both teams have completed their turn at bat, the next inning starts.
Each team will have nine players on the field while playing defense (e.g., the other team is batting). The nine positions are:
Typically, a softball field has all dirt in the infield and grass in the outfield. As it sounds, left, center and right fielders are equally spaced out in the grass region. You can also think of positions split between outfielders and infielders.
Their primary purpose is to catch or field balls that are hit by the opposing team. Typically, they field the ball and throw it to one of the infielders.
Infielders are spaced out according to their position, with the bases set up in a diamond. For example, there are three bases and one home plate. The player on the first base will be close to their base, as will the second and third base player. Shortstop is the exception to the rule.
They stand between third and second base. The catcher remains crouched behind home plate and catches the softball thrown by the pitcher standing in the center of the infield.
The game starts with the pitcher throwing the ball underhand. To do this - the pitcher winds up her arm in a complete circle before releasing the ball by her hip.
The person on the opposite team stands on one side of the home plate with a helmet on and holding a bat. They have a goal of hitting the ball, and once they do - they can drop their bat and run to first base.
If the ball touches the ground, the defensive team has to pick up the ball with either their glove or bare hand and throw it to their teammate closest to where the batter is running. If the batter hits the ball into the air and the other team catches it before it hits the ground, the batter is automatically out.
When the batter hits the ball and it bounces on the ground, the closest player will stop the ball, pick it up, and throw it to the first baseman. The person at first base needs to have at least one foot touching the base when they catch the ball.
If their foot is not on the base and they catch the ball, they have to use the ball - usually in their glove hand - to 'tag' a player out. If you tag the player out or catch the ball, and your foot is on the base before the batter makes it there, they are considered 'out.'
The team batting has three outs before they switch back to defense. If the batter makes it to first base before they are tagged out, they get to remain on the base. You can think of each base as a safety point.
The opposite team cannot tag you out if you are standing on a base. But, once you leave the base, all bets are off.
The next batter will come out, and the goal is to advance the player on first base all the way around and back to home plate. You can do this by stealing a base (running to the next base just as the ball is thrown) or waiting for the batter to hit the ball.
Once a player makes it back to home plate (after touching each base), they score a point! The ultimate goal is to score more points than the other team.
If you have wanted to learn how to play softball, the best advice is to join a local team. As you get more familiar with playing the game, you can participate in other fun activities like softball pin trading! It is a great way to bring your team together and create new hobbies.