SOFTBALL STUDY GUIDE HISTORY: It is said that George Hancock invented the game in 1887. He and some friends were looking for a game that resembled baseball to play inside. In its early days, it was called “Kitten Ball” and “Ladies Ball”. POSITIONS: SLOW PITCH FAST PITCH Infield Outfield Outfield First Baseman Left Fielder Left Fielder Second Baseman Left-Center Center Fielder Third Baseman Right-Center Right Fielder Shortstop Right-Fielder Pitcher Catcher *OR Center-Fielder Rover Fast-Pitch –vs- Slow Pitch (*all pitches are UNDERHAND) Fast-Pitch- 9 players, bunting and stealing bases is permitted, no arch on pitch, strike zone is between the knees and the armpits, third strike rule exists. Slow-Pitch- 10 players, no bunting or stealing bases is permitted, no third strike rule, 6- 12 foot arch on pitch. Skills: Throwing (2 types): 1. Overhand- easier, more accurate, step with the opposite foot as you throw. 2. Sidearm- hard to control, use wrist snap, used by infielders-it gets ball to base faster. Catching: back of the glove faces body, give with glove while catching ball. If the ball is above the waist, fingers of glove point up If the ball is below the waist, fingers of glove point down “Cover” the caught ball in your glove with your other hand Fielding: 1. Ground balls- in a semi-crouch position, weight on the balls of your feet, hold glove low to the ground, turn body to kneel to block ball if it misses your glove. 2. Fly balls- extend the glove up and out to catch the ball (use free hand to cover the glove so ball won’t fall out). If the ball is hit over your head-turn, run and catch the ball over your shoulder. DO NOT BACK PEDAL. Batting: 1. Grip- hands together, line up knuckles, choke up 2. Stance- head faces pitcher, chin tucked under shoulder, elbows away from body, bat is back 3. Swing- eyes on ball, forward foot steps toward pitcher on swing, rear leg is bent, wrists lead, weight shifts forward 4. Contact- is made out in front of body as wrists whip bat around 5. Follow-through- roll wrists over! Terminology: AB: Scoring notation for “at bat” Assist: A play by a fielder that helps put a base-runner out. Ball: A pitch that does not pass through the strike zone and is not swung at by the batter. A pitch is not a ball if it first touches the ground and then passes through the strike zone. Bases Loaded: When all the bases are being occupied by base runners. Batters Box: The box by home plate in which the batter must stand while at bat. Batting Order: The official list giving the order in which members of the team must come to bat. Bunt: A bunt occurs when a bat is positioned to meet intentionally with the ball and knock it slowly into the infield, instead of the ball being swung at. Choke-Up: Means to grip the bat away from the knob. Cut-off Player: Infielder who cuts off the throw from the outfield. Dead Ball: A ball that is legally out of play due to a temporary suspension of play, such as an out. Error: A mistake by a fielder that lets a batter or base runner advance to a base Fair Ball: A ball hit into the field of play. Force Out: An out made when a base runner, forced to run because another team-mate must run to the base being occupied, cannot reach the next base safely. Foul Ball: A ball hit outside the foul lines. Foul Lines: The two straight lines, extending from home plate past the outside edges of first and third bases to the outfield fence. Foul Tip: a ball that barely touches the bat before continuing sharply to the catcher with little deviance. Infield Fly: An infield fly is a fair ball which, in the judgment of the umpire, can be caught with ordinary effort by infielders on or near the infield when 1st and 2nd, or 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases are occupied and there are less than 2 outs. The umpire shall declare the ball caught and the batter out regardless of the defense catching the ball or not. Runners may proceed at their own risk. Inning: A turn at batting and fielding for each team. Live Ball: A ball in play. Passed Ball: A catcher’s failed attempt to catch a good pitch, allowing a base runner to advance to the next base. Pinch Hitter: A player who bats in place of a teammate one time in a game. Run: The point scored when a better or base runner advances to home plate. Run Batted In: The credit a batter reeves for a turn at bat that enables a teammate to score a run. Run Down: A play involving two or more fielders trying to tag out a base runner in between two bases. Sacrifice Bunt: Allows runners on base to advance though the batter is thrown out. Sacrifice Fly: A fly ball hit far enough to enable a base runner on third base to score a run after the ball is caught. Scoring Position: A good position for scoring a run on most hits, referring specifically to a base runner standing on 2nd or 3rd base. Slide: A base running maneuver in which the player slides into a base to avoid overrunning it, or to make it difficult for the fielder to tag the runner with the ball. Squeeze Play: An offensive play in which the batter bunts to try to let the base runner on third base score a run. Steal: A base runner’s successful advance from one base to the next during a pitch that is not hit. Strike: 1) A pitch judged by the umpire to have passed over home plate between the batter’s armpits and the top of the knees. 2) A pitch that the batter swings at and misses. 3) A foul ball when the batter has fewer than two strikes. Strike Zone: The area over home plate between the batter’s armpits and the top of the knees, where a pitch is called a strike even if the batter does not swing the bat. Strikeout: An out where the batter has three strikes. Tag: A base runner who is off base is touched with the ball by a fielder. Tagging Up: When a runner must touch the base he is occupying before he can advance after a fly ball is caught. Walk: An automatic advance to first base for the batter after the pitcher delivers four balls. * A regulation game is 7 innings long.