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Fastpitch Softball Tips for New Fans


Like any sport, softball is confusing to watch if you never played it yourself or you didn’t grow up watching it. Here are a few things you can do to learn more about the game.

1. Understand what type of sofball you are trying to learn about. We are focusing on women's fastpictch softball, not slowpitch softball.

2. Read about the basics. Here are a few sites you should visit to learn more about the game:
SportSpectator Fan’s Guide to Softball: Our 10-minute guide to baseball basics.
Wikipedia Softball Write-up: Good wiki community write-up on softball.

3. Watch televised games. The commentary makes the game much easier to follow and will help you pick up the lingo. Commentators use the language and provide analysis that will help you learn. Watching games live at the stadium is a slower learning process. Here is a good resource for clips:
CSTV: Women's softball clips and articles. There is also live coverage of the college playoffs.

4. Pick a college team and follow it throughout a season. Games are much more fun to watch when you have “your team” and you know the players, record, etc. You don't have to watch every game. A team that is has performed well historically is UCLA.

5. Understand the major differences between softball and baseball. If you understand baseball, you are well on your way to understanding softball. Below are the major differences:
What are the major differences between softball and baseball?
A. 7 Innings: 7 innings are played instead of the 9 innings played in professional baseball.
B. Smaller Field: The distance between the bases is 60 ft instead of 90 ft and the outfield is not as deep.
C . Underhand Pitching: The ball is delivered underhand on the pitch.
D . No leading off: Base-runners must wait until the ball is released before they can leave the base.
E. Ball is larger: A softball is slightly larger than a baseball.

5. Ask questions. If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask. Good resources are coaches or players. You can ask them in person, or contact us and we'll try to help you out.