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Softball

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The softball is a sport that is practiced in very similar equipment to the courts , however, the courts where they practice are quite different in terms of size concerns. It is a sport that tends to be unknown to many people, however, with the passage of time, it begins to be practiced more and more every day in different countries.

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What is softball?

Softball is a type of sport that mainly consists of hitting a ball with force using a bat in order to send it as far as possible and then be able to travel the three different bases that are distributed in the field of play.

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What does it consist of

The game consists of a sports modality where ten people play on a grass court or field which also contains a part of land known as a diamond . The player must try to hit the ball with force so that it travels the greatest possible distance , with this, it is intended that the player can travel the bases of the track until reaching home plate . The main objective of the game is to score the most runs.

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Softball Features

The main characteristics of this sport are the following:

  • It is very similar to baseball .
  • The ball is larger than that used in baseball.
  • The bats are made of aluminum alloy.
  • The place where it is played must have grass and a part of earth .
  • It is a very popular sport especially in the United States .
  • The gloves used in this sport must be larger than normal to be able to catch the ball more easily.
  • It is a game that is characterized mainly by its great dynamism .

Story

The first time this sport was played was in the year 1887 in the city of Chicago . It spread very quickly throughout the United States and had different names. In 1923, a committee was created for the first time with the aim of regulating the sport and that is how the Softball Regulation Committee was born . By 1933, the American Amateur Softball Association of America was founded , which was dedicated to regulating and controlling all the competitions that were given in the country.

Who invented it

This sport was invented by George Hancok in 1887 , a journalist who initially called it by the name of mushball or kittenball.

How to play

Softball is played between two teams, each consisting of nine players . They all have a specific position within the field. It starts when the pitcher (person who throws the ball from the center of the field) throws the ball so that the batter can hit it. When the batter fails to hit the ball, then the umpire will call a strike . After the ball is hit, the player must run towards first base , if he manages to throw it long enough, he will have the possibility to keep running until he reaches second base and so on until he reaches the end.

On the other hand, players from the opposing team should attempt to eliminate the person who hit the ball by stepping on the base that she or he is heading towards and touching it with the ball placed in the glove before the player reaches the base.

Softball Fundamentals 

The fundamentals of this sport are basically the same as that of baseball. Aspects related to throwing and hitting the ball are practically the same, however, the main difference is that the court is much smaller in size and only has seven different entrances. In softball, the ball must be released by the forearm and its movement and the runner must remain in contact with the base at all times until the ball is released.

Rules

This sport has a number of unique rules.  In this discipline, the competitions are divided into seven different turns and points or races can be won after a player passes the base before the opposing team manages to make three starts .

The fouls include theft of the ball , physical harassment or verbal insults and when this happens, the entire team is fined as each of its players will have to return to the original base as punishment.

It uses a number of different terms unique to its category, including double play, which refers to the ability of a player to perform two outs consecutively, and the term error, which is used to indicate that the defense does not have the ability to be able to control a ball that has been thrown.

In softball, players are not allowed to take defensive positions to obstruct the free passage of the running player, and he will also have to touch each of the bases in order to score a point for his team. In order to take a player out of play , the pitcher must make three strikes or the outfielder will have to catch the ball in the air.

Positions

The softball positions are as follows:

  • First base : in this position you must locate a player who has good reception.
  • Second Base – Player must be able to master throwing.
  • Third base : considered the best defender and the one with the most power to throw the ball.
  • Out-field : they are quick players to read the trajectory of the ball.
  • Receiver : it is essential to nullify opposing attacks.
  • Pitcher : it is a defensive position and is the one who is in charge of throwing the balls.
  • Receiver : receives the ball that is thrown by the pitcher.
  • Short-stop : A player who is placed between second and third base.
  • Gardener : can be central, right or left.

Categories:

The softball categories are as follows:

  • Under 10 that includes players aged 10 and under
  • Under 12 with players between 11 and 12 years old
  • Sub 14 has athletes between 13 and 14 years old
  • Under 16 who form teams with boys between the ages of 15 and 16
  • Under 18 between 17 and 18 years old
  • 1st Division A that includes players over 16 years old
  • 1 Division B with players aged 16 and over according to their abilities
  • Softball, Slow and Honor that include boys 16 and over

Competitions

Currently, softball has different competitions throughout the year in different countries. It has been included in the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020 are also held World Championship Softball Female and Male, the Spanish League Softball ‘s Women’s Softball World Championship Sub-19.

Techniques

The main technique of this sport is undoubtedly hitting and throwing . Currently, there are seven important moments that every pitcher must have; the grip , the approach , the movements before the launch, the circular movement of the step and the delivery . The pitcher must know how to analyze movements well and have good precision to be able to send at high speeds. As for the batting technique , you must have your own style while maintaining the technical aspects of it.

Softball court 

The court where this sport is practiced must have a diamond- shaped surface with a rounded side and must be 18.3 meters long as far as the baseline is concerned. Must have a throwing distance of 14 for men and 13.11 for women. The field must be divided into internal and external, in the internal part there must be four bases , these are the ones that basically form the corners of what is called a diamond.

Ball

The ball used in this sport measures 30.5 centimeters and must weigh a maximum of 140 grams .

Softball equipment

The basic equipment to be able to practice this sport consists of the following elements:

  • Ball
  • Bat that can be made of graphite, ceramic, carbon or aluminum.
  • Gloves that must be made of leather and must join all the fingers except the thumb.
  • Helmet as a protection measure.
  • Comfortable clothing in which the catcher or catcher has a different outfit from the rest of the team.

Famous players

Some famous softball players include the following:

  • Miguel Cabrera from Venezuela
  • Robinson Cañó from the Dominican Republic
  • Felix Hernández from Venezuela
  • José Fernández from Cuba
  • Yadier Molina from Puerto Rico

Curiosities

One of the main curiosities of this sport is its inclusion as part of the Olympic Games from the year 2020. Its rules are very similar to those of baseball as well as its playing technique.

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