About Softball

What is Softball?

Fast Pitch

Slow Pitch

Softball is a very exciting game that’s played by more than 20 million women and men, boys and girls all over the world. It is fast paced game played in over 124 countries. Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a field. The game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball. There is less time for the base runner to get to first while the opponent fields the ball; yet, the fielder has less time to field the ball while the opponent is running down to first base. The game softball was given to the game in 1926, because the ball used to be soft, however in modern day usage, the balls are hard. It was recognized as an Olympic sport in 1996.

There are two versions of Softball.

In FASTPITCH, the ball is pitched in a straight line to the batter as fast as possible. Pitched balls will travel at over 100 Km an hour at the top levels. 

While in SLOW-PITCH, the ball is pitched in an arc to the batter and travels slowly – thus the name.

Game Objective

The game of softball is played on a softball field or, “pitch" that includes 3 bases and a home plate arranged in the shape of a diamond.

  • Softball involves two teams of 9 players – one team on defense and one team on offense.
  • The object of the game is to get a “runner" on base by hitting a pitched ball and to advance this runner safely around all the bases on home plate.
  • A runner advances safely by not being touched by a player holding the ball or by getting to the next base before the defense can get the ball to that same base.
  • This scores your team one “run."
  • The team with the most runs in seven innings wins the game.
  • Each team’s half of the inning (counted when they are on offense) ends when three of its batters have rules out. 
  • The positions for the defensive team are as follows:

Play the Game

  • The offensive team sends one player at a time “up to bat" with a bat. This player stands next to home plate and tries to hit the ball pitched by the pitcher.


  • The batter’s objective is to hit the ball as far as possible. Once the ball is hit the batter runs to 1st base or advances to as many bases as possible. 
  • A RUN is scored when a runner touches all 3 bases and reaches home without being “out". 
  • Only the offensive team, which is the one referred to as “up to bat" is able to score runs.
  • The defending team’s objective is to get 3 outs and not allow the offense to score.

A player is OUT if:

  • A batted ball is caught in the air before it bounces.
  • The ball is caught and thrown to any base before a runner gets to that same base, or a base runner is tagged by the player with the ball while off of a base.
  • The batter gets 3 strikes without hitting a fair ball. (A “fair ball" is any ball hit in the portion of the field where the defense plays). 

Softball Equipment

The Ball

The ball is possibly the most important piece of equipment used in softball, but unlike the name states, the ball is not soft. The ball is round with a circumference of 30.2 cm (12 inches) and a weight of 166.5g (6oz). It’s optic yellow in colour with red stitches to make it easier for the batter to see.

The Bat

The bat is probably the most fun piece of equipment because everyone loves hitting the ball with it. Bats are usually made of very high-grade graphite, carbon, magnesium, ceramic or some combination. They can be no longer than 34 inches (86.4 cm) and weigh no more than 38oz (1077 g).

A Glove

A glove is used by every fielder in a defensive position. They are made of leather and have a pocket which is the area between the thumb and first finger that allows for the ball to be caught safely.

Catcher’s Gear

Catcher’s gear is only worn by the catcher and is to protect that player from pitched or batted balls since a pitched ball can travel at or near 112km an hour (70mph). It consists of a face mask, a chest and shin guards. 

Batting Helmets

A batting helmet is used by the batter and all base runners to protect themselves from any stray balls that might either be thrown their way or pitched poorly.