Learning the Basics

Softball can be broken down into five core fundamentals - pitching, catching, throwing, hitting and fielding. Each of these core fundamentals have sub-categories, but overall are the main skills you need to be able to play this sport.

Base on balls
Also known as a walk, this is when the batter is allowed to go to first base after receiving four pitches outside of the strike zone
Batting order
The official order in which offensive players must hit.
A batted ball not swung at, but tapped intentionally within the infield, often used to advance base runners
Double play
A play where two offensive players are legally put out due to continuous action
Fair ball
A batted ball is considered fair if it lands anywhere in fair territory or is touched by a fielder or runner anywhere in fair territory, unless it rolls or bounces into foul territory prior to reaching first or third base and is touched by a fielder or runner before re-entering fair territory. A ball that bounces on, over or inside first or third base is considered fair, even if it proceeds into foul territory beyond the base. A ball that hits the outfield foul pole on the fly is fair.
Foul ball
A batted ball is considered foul if it settles on foul territory between home and first or home and third; bounds past first or third on/over foul territory; lands in foul territory anywhere beyond first or third; is touched by a fielder or runner while on/over foul territory ; touches a batter within the batter's box; or leaves the playing field while in foul territory.
The portion of a game within which the teams alternate on offense and defense, and where there are three outs for each team
Strike Zone
The space directly over home plate between the batter's armpits and the top of her knees, when the batter assumes her natural batting stance

© Jenna Harris 2009