Softball – The Game And The Rules
There are several determining factors that define the game of softball. These factors include the league, rules, type of softballs. Thus, the number of innings in a softball game can range anywhere between 3 to 9 innings. Under the most common scenario, the number of innings in a softball game is equal to 7. Batsmen from each of the teams bat in a particular innings until at least three batsmen of the team have been put out. The different teams exchange their batting turns. A coin toss is used for finding out that which team will bat first. However, in some of the cases, this decision may also be left with a league. In most of the cases, it has been seen that it is generally the home team that bats second.
Extra innings are played between the teams if a tie has been declared between them. This is done to finally single out a winning team. However, this may not be practiced in some of the tournaments and championships. There are several forms of this game and in almost all the forms the fielding team is generally the defensive team while the team that is batting is generally nomenclatured as the offensive team.
The umpire generally gives directions to initiate the game after ensuring that the players of both the teams are ready. Before announcing the beginning of the game, he also makes sure that the fielders of the defensive are all in the fair territory. The pitcher makes the attempt of throwing the ball beyond the batter and he generally stands at the pitching plate. ‘Windmill’ motion may be described as the underarm motion in which a throw or pitch must be made. This type of motion is generally achieved by extending a throwing hand around the back of the body and then the ball is released at the level of the hip. This is generally achieved by throwing the ball at the maximum speeds.
However, in case of fast pitch softball, speed may not be the only criteria. There are different ways in which pitchers may throw the balls such as drop, rise, curve, change-up, fastball, etc. For any good pitcher, it is also important to ensure that he throws the balls at varying speeds and it is even more important that varying motions can also be achieved. Generally, the pitch will make an attempt to throw the ball in the ‘strike zone’. But this may not be the case in advanced play, where a pitcher may throw a ball outside the strike zone and that too intentionally. This happens when the pitcher expects that the batter is most likely to swing. There may be a variation with respect to the strike zone in different forms of softball. The term that is used to define the number of balls and the number of strikes is known as ‘count’. At ‘full count’ the strike will come to an end and the batters turn unless there is a foul ball. The term called ‘dead ball’ is used to define a foul ball. In this scenario, till the time the pitcher will receive the ball again, no plays are ensured. There are several other well defined rules that the batters and the pitchers have to follow in this game.