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Guide to IB Physical Education Class
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Softball Print Page

Softball Vocabulary


Ground Ball- A batted ball that rolls or bounces in the infield.

Home Run-  A ball hit out of the playing field in fair territory, scoring a run for the batter and any base runners.

Base Hit-  A play in which the batter hits the ball into fair territory and gets at least to first base.

Infield-  The area inside the square formed by the four bases.

Foul Territory-  All parts of the playing field outside the foul lines.

Infielder-  Player who fields in the infield, including first, second, and third basemen.

Inning-   A period of play in which each team bats until 3 batters are out.

Run-  A score earned when a base runner safely gets to home plate.

Tag-  To get a runner out by touching them with the glove holding the ball.



Softball was invented as an indoor sport by George Hancock of the Chicago Board of Trade in 1887. The first games took place inside the Farragut Boat Club in Chicago. In 1895 Lewis Rober, a member of the Minneapolis, Minn., fire department, invented outdoor softball. The popularity of the game began to spread during the first two decades of the 20th century. The name softball was not used until 1926 when Walter Hakanson of the Denver, Colo., Young Men's Christian Association, conceived of it and formed the Colorado Amateur Softball Association. Toward the end of the second decade of the century, Canadian amateur players began to play the new game outdoors, on playgrounds or other suitable fields; the game rapidly became popular in Canada. Extensive interest in softball began in the U.S. about 1930. The first national amateur softball tournament took place in Chicago in 1933, in connection with the world's fair then being held in that city. When fast pitching began to dominate the game after about 20 years, slow-pitch softball was developed in order to give batters a better chance. The popularity of the game spread abroad, especially in Mexico, Cuba, Japan, and Australia.

Also in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) was founded to standardize the rules and govern the sport in other particulars; it is still the governing body for softball in the U.S. Under its auspices, annual sectional tournaments, both fast-pitch and slow-pitch softball, are held for men and women. The winners of these tournaments and the championship team of the previous year meet in national championship tourneys. The first world softball championship was played in 1966. Softball is the nation's leading team participation sport.


"Softball." Encyclopedia. Today’s Science. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.


Softball Today

Softball today is one of the largest recreational participation sports in the world. The ASA continues as the national governing body of amateur softball in the U.S. and is a member of the U.S. Olympic committee. As of 1998, there were some 260,000 teams registered nationally with the ASA, more than 73,500 Junior Olympic (Youth) Teams, and 64 national championships. There are also more than 56,000 trained and registered umpires, and an individual membership in the ASA of more than 4.5 million people.

As early as 1968, representatives from Canada, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. began looking for support to make women's fast-pitch softball an Olympic sport. That dream was realized at the 1996 Summer Olympics at Atlanta, Ga., when the sport became a medal event for the first time. The team from the U.S. won the first-ever gold medal. In addition, more than 630 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) member colleges and universities sponsor women's softball programs, with national championships for women held in three NCAA sport divisions (divisions I, II, and III).

"Softball." Encyclopedia. Today’s Science. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 9 June 2011. <>.




Team consists of 10 players; pitcher,catcher,first baseman,second baseman,third baseman,shortstop,left fielder,center fielder,short fielder and right fielder.

A regulation game consists of 7 innings.  In case of a tie game more innings are played.  A forfeited game is awarded to the team that is ready to play.

A strike is called (1) for each legally pitched ball, (2) for each pitched ball missed by the batter, (3) for each foul tip--the batter is out if the tip is on the third strike (4) for each pitched ball struck at and missed that touches any part of the batter, and (5) for hitting a batter positioned in the strike zone.

A ball is called for a pitched ball that does not enter the strike zone.

A fair ball is one that (1) lands in the fair territory-between first and third bases, (2) lands on any one of the bases with the exception of home base, or (3) falls on fair ground beyond first or third base.

The batter is out immediately when an infield fly is hit with base runners on first and seond, or first, second, and third with less than two outs.  This is called the infield-fly rule.

A batter is out under the following circumstances: (1) On three strikes, (2) When the ball is bunted or chopped downward. (3) When a fly ball is legally caught. (4) On an infield fly rule. (5) When the batter interferes with the catcher.



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