Softball Study Guide

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1 Softball Study Guide The Team: A team consists of nine players: a pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. 1. A player may be in any part of the field on fair territory, with the exception of the pitcher, who must be within the pitcher s position, and the catcher who must be in the catcher s box at the time of the pitch. 2. No team shall play with fewer than nine players. 3. The official softball used for fast pitch programs is a 12 raised-seam softball. The Game: 1. A regulation game consists of seven innings. 2. The winner of the game is the team that scores the most runs in a regulation game. 3. A game tied at the end of seven innings, will continue until one team has scored more runs than the other team in an equal number of innings. 4. A player s turn at bat begins when he/she enters the batter s box and continues until he/she is put out or becomes a baserunner. A Strike: A strike may occur in any one of the following ways: 1. The batter swings at a pitched ball and misses. 2. A pitched ball is called a strike when it is delivered in the strike zone before touching the ground and the batter does not swing. 3. A fly ball goes foul and is not caught. 4. A foul tip that remains lower than the batter s head and is caught by the catcher, (except on the third strike, which would be an out.) 5. Three strikes and a batter is out. Ball: A ball may occur in any one of the following ways: 1. A pitched ball that does not go over the plate in the strike zone and at which the batter does not swing. 2. When the pitcher goes through the preliminary motions of pitching but fails to deliver (balk). A baserunner may also advance one base without liability of being put out. 1

2 Fair Ball-Fair Hit Ball: A ball is considered fair if any one of the following occurs: 1. The batted ball settles on fair ground between first base and home plate, or between home plate and third base, or touches first or third base. 2. The batted ball is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield. 3. The batted ball first touches fair ground beyond first and third base. In this case, a ball that goes foul after touching fair ground is a fair hit ball. 4. A batted ball that touches foul ground and rolls into fair territory before reaching first or third base is considered a fair ball. Foul Hit Ball: A ball is considered foul if any one of the following occurs: 1. A batted ball settles on foul ground between first base and home plate or between home plate and third base. 2. A batted ball falls on foul ground beyond first and third base. Batter Out: The batter is out if any one of the following occurs: 1. The player swings and misses on the third strike. 2. The player bunts foul on the third strike. 3. A foul tip is caught on the third strike. 4. A fair or foul ball is caught. 5. The player does not follow the correct batting order. 6. The player does not take the batter s position within one minute after called by the umpire. 7. The player interferes with the catcher. 8. The player is hit by his/her own batted ball in fair territory before it has been played by a fielder. 9. The ball reaches first base before the runner and is caught by the player playing first base. 10. The player is tagged with the ball before he/she reaches first base. Baserunner Out: The baserunner is out if any one of the following occurs: 1. The player leaves the base he/she is on before the ball leaves the pitcher s hand. 2. The player is tagged when off the base. 3. The player fails to return to his/her base before the ball reaches the baseman following a fair fly that is caught. 4. The player interferes with the fielder trying to field the ball. 5. The player is forced off base. 6. The player passes another baserunner. 7. The player is hit by a batted ball. 8. The player turns three feet outside the baseline, except when he/she is avoiding a player fielding the ball. 2

3 9. The player fails to touch a base. 10. The player deliberately removes the head protector during playing action. The Pitcher In preparation for delivering the ball, the pitcher has one foot in contact with the pitcher s plate and holds the ball in front of the body in both hands. The ball is delivered toward the batting area with an underhand motion. The pitcher may take one step toward the batter during the delivery, but one foot must remain in contact with the pitcher s plate at this time. Terminology Balk: The pitcher begins the pitching motion but does not complete the motion or deliver the ball. Baserunner: A player on the team at bat who has finished his/her batting turn, reached first base, and has not yet been put out. Batter s Box: The area that the batter is restricted to while in position to bat. Battery: The pitcher and the catcher. Bunt: A fair ball in which the batter does not swing to hit the ball but holds the bat in the path of the pitched ball to tap it slowly to the infield. Called game: A game which is ended by order of the umpire. Double: A two base hit. Double Play: Two outs accomplished during a single play. Error: A play which allows a baserunner to advance by reason of a fumble which fails to make an otherwise certain out. Forfeited game: A game awarded to the opponent of the offending team with a final score of 7-0. Infield: That portion of the field which includes the area within the diamond formed by the baselines. Infield Fly Rule: The batter is called out if he/she hits a fly ball which stays within the infield, if there are fewer than two outs and there are base runners on first and second, or first, second, and third bases. Baserunners may advance at their own risk. 3

4 Inning: An inning for one team is the time served at bat until the team has 3 outs. A complete inning in a game consists of an inning for each team. Outfield: That portion of the field which is outside the diamond formed by the baselines and within the foul lines beyond first and third bases. Overthrow: A ball which goes from one fielder to another, to retire a runner, which goes into foul territory at first, third, or home. The runner may take one base on an overthrow without liability of being put out. Play : The term used by the plate umpire in order to start the game or continue it after suspension of play. Sacrifice: A sacrifice is a bunt which enables any runner to advance, or a fly ball which enables a runner to score but which, in either case, results in the batter being put out before reaching first base, or which would have resulted in the batter being put out if the hit had been fielded without error. Single: A one base hit. Strikeout: The batter has three strikes. Strike Zone: The space over any part of home plate that is between the batter s armpit and the top of the batter s knees. Suspended game: A called game to be completed at a later time. Time : The term used by the umpires in order to call for a suspension of play. Triple: A three base hit. Triple Play: Three outs accomplished during a single play. Walk: A base on balls. This occurs when the pitcher throws four balls to the batter, thus the batter may advance to first base without liability of being put out. 4

5 Player Position by Number for Scoring Purposes. 1. Pitcher 2. Catcher 3. First baseman 4. Second baseman 5. Third baseman 6. Shortstop 7. Left fielder 8. Center fielder 9. Right fielder Softball Field and Players in Position by Numbers Source: 5

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