Softball is a team sport very similar to baseball. But compared to baseball, it is considered less traumatic. Softball was created specifically so that not only men, but also women and children could play. Having acquired the skills of this game, a person can easily take up baseball in the future.
History of softball
Softball originated in the USA. The game was first recognized as a sport in 1920. In the future, the popularity of softball grew due to the fact that no special physical training is required and non-professionals can play it. The game develops qualities such as dexterity, attentiveness and endurance. Plus, it’s a great cardio workout.
Softball was created for playing indoors, but later transferred to outdoor playgrounds.
Softball sports equipment
The equipment of the players is very important. Softball is considered a non-injurious sport; however, participants need head protection. Players will need a bat, ball, glove, helmet and boots.
The bat must be selected individually for each participant. When choosing this inventory, you need to take into account your height. Bits are solid and prefabricated. They are made of impact-resistant materials such as bamboo, metal, wood, graphite. The weight of the bit should not exceed 1 kg 80 gr. The surface of the bit is smooth.
The ball must be bright, contrasting, so that it can be seen on the field. The size is approximately 30 cm in diameter. Softball uses a soft ball to reduce the chance of injury.
A leather glove is required in order to catch the ball. It has a special pocket for the ball. The player puts on a glove on his left hand. To make it easier to catch the ball, the glove must be kneaded before the game, since the leather from which this equipment is sewn is very dense. It is worn by the players of the attacking team. The catcher (the player who catches the ball) puts on a special glove. It allows you to catch the ball faster and easier.
Boots must be with plastic or rubber studs. Do not use shoes with metal spikes, as this increases the risk of injury.
A helmet is required during the game. It protects the players’ heads from impacts. Catchers also need chest protectors, leg shields and a face mask. In the event of a ball flying at high speed, these devices will protect against injuries and fractures.
The essence of the game
The team consists of 9-10 members. The game itself is divided into 7 parts. They are called innings. Each inning is divided into halves. All time periods are equal.
In the corners of the field there are “bases” and “home”, and on the site on both sides of the team members. In the center of the field is the player who makes the pitch – the pitcher.
The pitcher pitches the ball, and the forward team player must hit 3 times, run through all the “bases” and return to his “home”. The defending team members aim to intercept the ball and deliver it earlier to the “base” where the attacker is running. Thus, they force the attacking team out of the game. On the “base” there is one participant. The attackers must take turns hitting the ball with a bat and have time to run to the “base” or to the “house”. Run counterclockwise around the field. Running is allowed when the defender has caught the ball.
If the game is successful, the team gets a point – a point. The winner is the one who leads in the number of points for all 7 innings.
The first blow is made by “guests” of competitions. Then the teams change. Positions are assigned by the coach. Without his consent, participants do not have the right to change their location on the field.
At what age can you start playing softball
To date, sports sections are accepting children from 7 years old. At this age, students learn basic motor skills and the rules of the game.
In the future, children who do not have contraindications for health reasons go to the initial stage of preparation for competitions. During this period, they develop their physical fitness and study in detail the tactics and rules of the game, form a team spirit and mutual assistance, and become accustomed to discipline and hard work. This training phase lasts 2 years.
Children who have reached the age of 11 and are interested in further softball lessons go to the stage of sports specialization. Students must pass the required standards for physical and specialized training. At this time, the technique of the game is studied in more detail, the experience of sports competitions is acquired. The duration of this stage is 4 years.
Further, athletes can receive sports categories and improve their skills. From the age of 13, you can achieve 1 adult category.
From the age of 15, an athlete moves to the stage of higher sportsmanship. At this time, work can be focused on individual preparation for higher performance and participation in international tournaments.
What else is softball interesting
Softball does not require sports training, and the rules are quite simple. In addition, playing in a team is always fun at any age. Children and adults, girls and boys can take part. Children develop such qualities as mutual understanding, mutual assistance, accuracy, dexterity, endurance and general physical fitness. Outdoor sports have a positive effect on the cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems.
Cons of softball
Like any other sport, softball is not without injuries. The ball flies at high speed, so there may be bruises from hitting it. Also, players can fall during the game. So, no one is safe from bruises and abrasions.
Those wishing to practice this sport professionally must purchase uniforms and shoes, as well as pay for training.