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the name softball dates from

Peterson, Brian. In fast pitch, the pitcher is allowed to take one step back prior to releasing the ball during the forward movement. The defense's pitcher stands atop the rubber and pitches the ball towards home plate using an underhand motion. High school athletes are sometimes permitted to wear metal cleats, such as in Ohio.[34]. Corrections? What sport originated because businessmen found the new game of basketball to be too difficult? The left fielder must constantly be aware of the situation on the field and know what must be done in different circumstances. The last (bottom) half of the seventh inning or any remaining part of the seventh inning is not played if the team batting second is leading. They may have cleats or spikes. In other instances, such as when an extremely powerful hitter comes up to bat and they are followed by a weaker hitter, a pitcher may deliberately walk the first batter based on the calculation that the next batter will be an easy out. Gloves have webbing between the thumb and forefinger, known as the "pocket". The IOC executive board were to decide at their May meeting which sport to recommend for inclusion. Traditionally in the game of softball, the right fielder will have the strongest arm out of the two other outfielders. The number of balls and strikes is called the "count". Often double plays are due to quick thinking/reaction by the shortstop. If on a tag play, the fielder loses control (after establishing control) of the ball and it leaves the field of play, one base is awarded.[40]. In girls' fast pitch, 12U up to 18U level can throw between 30 mph and 65 mph, or more. A catcher may optionally wear a body protector in adult slow pitch. Right field is meant to cover this area if the ball gets past the first baseman. In fast pitch, a skinned circle 16 feet (4.88 meters) in diameter known as the pitching circle is around the pitching plate.[24]. However, Lewis Rober Sr., the man responsible for organizing softball games for firefighters in Minneapolis, used a 12-inch ball. These softballs, when hit, will not go as far as regular softballs. In some leagues the number of pitches to walk or strikeout can be reduced. In fast pitch, to be within the strike zone, the pitch must cross over home plate, and as it crosses it must be above the knees and slightly below the shoulders (roughly the armpit or the shirt logo). In fast pitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, and while bunting and stealing bases are permitted, leading off is not. If he or she cannot, the runner is safe. The pitcher throws the ball in or around the "strike zone". In 1991, women’s fast pitch softball was added to the roster of the 1996 Summer Olympics—a landmark many people recognize as the ultimate success of a sport. The playing field is divided into 'fair territory' and 'foul territory'. Loved by amateurs and professionals of all ages and athletic backgrounds, the world can only anticipate what is in store for the future of America’s other favorite pastime. A fence running between the baselines defines the limits of the field; distance from home plate to the fence varies by field. In Chicago, where softball was invented, it remains traditional to play with a ball 16 inches (41 centimeters) in circumference. The recent trend with tournament and league slow pitch softball play is to field 5 infielders instead of 4 outfielders. There are nine players out on the field at one time in fastpitch softball and 10 players in slow-pitch softball. Many bats may be "doctored" or "juiced" in a sense that they are end loaded, shaved and or painted. Others will allow a game to proceed when a team does not have the requisite number of women available but charge the batting team with an automatic out whenever the missing woman's place in the batting order comes up. The batting order must be fixed at the start of the game, and players may not bat out of turn. At any time, the designated player can be substituted back into the lineup in the place of the flex player, but once taken out, the designated player cannot take the place of any other player in the lineup.[42]. Pitchers are also not allowed to have any white on their gloves including the seams. This can result in a multiple-out play: a double play is two outs, while a triple play, a very rare occurrence, is three outs. Starting in the top of the last inning, the batting team starts with a base-runner on second base, which is the player who is the last available to bat (in other words, the batter who last took their position in the batter's box; regardless whether they were the last out or another runner was put out). These shorts also help to protect the upper thigh when sliding into a base. The uniform may include a cap, a shirt displaying team colors and the players' number, sliding undershorts/compression shorts (optional), socks, and pants/athletic shorts. A home run includes any ball that bounces off a fielder and goes over the fence in fair-territory (depending upon association and local league rules) or that hits the foul pole. [38] Male pitching can reach speeds around 85 miles per hour (137 kilometers per hour). The extra outfielder is sometimes called the short fielder and plays somewhere behind second base, adjusting position based on the handedness or other characteristics of the batter, while the regular center fielder plays a considerably deeper position. A fly ball is a ball hit high and deep, a pop fly is a ball hit high but short, and a line drive is a ball hit close to the horizontal. Decisions about plays are made by umpires, similar to a referee in American football. Another role they play is to make fielding plays on all balls hit towards first base. That is because the player must vacate first base to allow the next batter to reach it, and consequently can only go to second base, where a force out may be recorded. A pitch that the batter swings at is also a strike, as is any hit ball that lands in foul territory that is not caught out. The batter is considered to strike out if the batter fails to hit the ball into fair territory after the given number of pitches. The double base is required in ISF championships. Despite the fact that it was originally intended to be played indoors, softball is usually played outdoors. The strike zone therefore varies from batter to batter. Defensive strategy is more complex, as particular situations (number of outs and positions of base-runners) and particular batters call for different positioning of fielders and different tactical decisions. In this case the four outfielders are spaced equidistantly and play at roughly the same depth. If the ball is hit to the left side of the field, the second baseman covers second base. For example, with a thinner wall, players are able to swing the bat faster, which allows the ball to go faster, harder, and further. Shin guards also protect the kneecap. This is common in leagues where doubleheaders are played, or in late season leagues when reduced daylight is an issue. The Amateur Softball Association of America, organized in 1933, came to be the recognized governing agency for promotion and control of organized national competition. The ball is usually hit with a full swinging motion in which the bat may move through more than 360 degrees. Rober’s ball won out as the preferred softball size, and professional softball games today are played using a 10–12-inch ball. Although the pitcher and catcher have the ball the most, each person has a specific job. Speed is not always the most important factor in fast pitch softball. Riseballs may be thrown low in the zone and move higher in the zone or even below the zone and move into it. During most of these tournaments the biggest goal is not winning the tournament, but attempting to get as many college coaches as possible to observe (a) particular player or players. Shortstop also takes the cut off for the left field when the play is at second base. After a successful hit the batter becomes a base runner (or runner) and must run to first base. No matter what way the batter hits the ball, they must be inside the batter's box when the bat makes contact with the ball. [18] By the 1930s, similar sports with different rules and names were being played all over the United States and Canada. If a batted ball bounces off a fielder (in fair territory) and goes over the fence in foul territory, or if it goes over the fence at a location that is closer than the official distance, the batter is awarded a double instead. The field is usually composed of a dirt or brick-dust (colloquially called "sand") infield that contains the shape and running areas of a diamond and a grass outfield. In 1934, the Joint Rules Committee on Softball collaborated to create a set of standardized rules. The selection of which pitch to use can depend on a wide variety of factors including the type of hitter who is being faced; whether there are any base runners; how many outs have been made in the inning; and the current score. A tournament held in 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair spurred interest in the game. The infield in softball is smaller than on an adult or high school baseball diamond but identical to that used by Little League Baseball; each base is 60 ft (18 m) from the next, as opposed to baseball's 90 ft (27 m). New York: Scribner, 1982. from one team on the field at a time. For instance, if a runner is on third base prior to a hit, and he or she crosses home plate after an out is made, either on the batter or another runner, the run is not counted.[40].

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