Softball Study Guide

Softball History

USA Softball

Softball was invented in 1887 at a Harvard-Yale Football game, when a man from Yale playfully threw a boxing glove at the Harvard grads after the game was done. A fan from Harvard hit the glove away with a broom handle. The game of indoor baseball or “Softball” commenced as a result. It was considered a perfect way for baseball players to practice during winter months. In the early days, because the ball was soft they didn’t feel the need to use gloves.

A fireman, Lewis Rober, played a very big role in developing the game. He needed something to keep his Minneapolis firemen busy while waiting for fire calls. He marked a field in a lot next to the fire station. The smaller field and softer ball used in the game of softball made meant more offense and action in the field than baseball. Rober decided to limit games to seven innings because this allowed games to be completed in an hour while being active and competitive. Contests between different firehouses began to draw as many as 3,000 spectators. By 1913, the game was officially adopted by the Minneapolis Park Board and was played in parks and on playgrounds all over the city.

Basic Rules/Positions-

Innings-7 innings or 60 minutes of play
9 Positions-
In-fielders- Catcher, Pitcher, First Base, Second Base, Short Stop, Third Base
Out-Fielders- Right Field, Center Field, Left Field

Batting- Allowed 3 Strikes to “strike out”, or 4 balls to “walk”

The pitcher must start with two hands on the ball and pitch underhand. To pitch a strike the ball must hit the home plate or the batter must swing and miss. Fouls and foul tips are considered strikes, but you cannot get a batter “out” by a foul. If the batter is hit by the ball or “beaned” the batter will take the base.

Tag out- When a base runner is tagged out by a fielder with the ball in hand/glove.

Force out-When a base runner is out by way of the fielders touching the advancing runner’s base with the ball in hand.
•Can only use the force out when the base runner’s previous base is to be occupied by another runner or when the runner hits the ball and is taking his/her first base.

Base Running- At first base you are allowed to run through the base. This eliminates the need to slow down as you approach first. Once you make contact with the base you are considered safe or out, but can proceed with your momentum through the base.

Tagging up-Unlike Baseball, In Softball you must “tag up” or wait for the pitcher to release the ball before you attempt to take the next base. If a fly ball is hit, then the base runners must tag up and wait for the ball to be caught before they take off to take the next base. If the base runner does not tag up the base runner can be called out if the fielders return the ball to the base runner’s original position.