If you have an idea about how baseball operates, then understanding softball should be a, well, very soft task. Don’t worry, however, even if baseball is just as foreign to you; this article will lay bare every aspect of the game for you.

Softball is a batting game played between teams of nine or ten players each, depending on the variation of play (slow or fast). The main actions during the game are throwing, batting and running. Teams seek to beat their opponents by making the most runnings during the period of play.

Similarity to Baseball

From a distance, an inexperienced eye may not be able to tell the difference between softball and baseball. The equipment and gear are similar at first glance, and so are the rules. The main difference is the pace of the two games. Softball is played at a relatively faster speed than baseball.

The ball used in softball is larger than a baseball, while the softball pitch is smaller than in a baseball game.

Why Softball?

The term has been in use since 1926 and was drawn from the plain fact that the ball used to play the game was relatively soft. The game was, however, in existence way before 1926. Its origin dates back to 1887 when it was first played in Illinois, USA.

Softball Variations

As mentioned earlier, softball can either be in slow pitch or fast pitch format. The difference between the games is the speed at which the game moves, and the number of on-field players.

Fastpitch softball has nine players, while slow pitch has ten competitors on the field.

In both variations, play begins by pitching, which is the action of a pitcher trying to throw the ball past the batter, towards a catcher to prevent opponents from making adequate runs. An umpire is present to ensure that players stick to the game’s rules.