Slowpitch Softball is one of the most popular recreational and competitive games in the world. It is ideal for people of all ages and abilities. It allows people to play together in mixed or single-sex teams in a social, fun environment. While in Australia fastpitch is the more popular form of Softball, in the USA slowpitch is more popular as a participant sport.
There are many variations of slowpitch, with different adaptations to suit local requirements. It can be played as a one-off game or over a competitive season that runs a number of weeks. It is played at the Special Olympics, at the World Police and Fire Games, at the World Masters Games or at the beach.
While similar to fastpitch in many ways, slowpitch has some fundamental differences, the most significant of which (as the name implies) is that the ball is pitched at a moderate speed with a noticeable arc, making it easier for the batter to hit the ball. There are also rule variations, examples of which are outlined below.
A slowpitch team consists of either 9 or 10 players (depending on version of slowpitch played) in the following positions: Pitcher, catcher, 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop, leftfield, centrefield, rightfield and short field (if using 10 players). See the following diagram for field placements.
A game lasts for 7 innings or a set period of time (eg 75 mins), whichever occurs 1st. If 7 innings are not completed within the allotted time, the game is decided on the number of runs scored by each team in an equal number of innings.
In addition to the normal rules, the batter is out when:
The team retires when 3 outs have been achieved or, if playing the 10th batter rule, when the 10th batter has completed their return at bat.
A 2.4m scoring line extends 0.6m from the corner of home plate closest to 3rd base into foul territory at a 90 degree angle to the 3rd base line (see diagram 2). A run is scored if a foot is on or before the scoring line or down on the home plate. Running beyond the end of the scoring line is the equivalent of not touching home plate.
A number of Associations and Clubs run slowpitch competitions, including:
Updated 29 June 2012
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