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Fastpitch Softball

A fastpitch softball team is the pinnacle of softball in the US and around the world. There are many types of softball teams, but fastpitch teams are usually the most elite level. They include players with the most skill and who have been playing the longest. All of the teams are filled with very talented young women who have spent a long time developing their skills. The games are incredibly fun and exciting to watch when they are televised. They are even more fun to go to and cheer for when you have the opportunity. Most of the fastpitch softball teams across the country are located in metropolitan areas and are associated with colleges and universities. There are also fastpitch teams at many high schools and the girls that play on these teams then go on to upper level play if they have enough skill to continue.

The highest level of fast pitch softball is the Olympic. There are not professional leagues around the world, so the Olympic and international level tends to be the highest. There are the national championships for colleges and universities and these are very popular. They are called the fastpitch world series, even though all of the teams are located in one country. This is a very popular event to attend as it tends to be lots of young women in attendance who travel from across the country to support their team and their friends who are playing softball.

soft-ball-team

The fastpitch softball game is very similarly to baseball, the major differences are the size of the field, the ball, the bat, and the pitch. The field is quite a bit smaller than a baseball field. In baseball, the pitcher stands 90 feet from the batter. In softball, the pitcher is only 60 feet. This means that in general, the field is two thirds the size of a baseball field. The smaller size of the field makes sense since the ball is bigger and does not travel as far. Plus, the player tend to not be as fast as baseball players and the ball is slower, so the bases should be closer together in order to allow the proper timing of tagging and throwing of the ball.

The bat also represents a big difference. In softball, you can use almost any material. Most softball players, even the highest level elite players, prefer alloy bats that tends to be made out of aluminum. These bats make a familiar ping sound when they are hit as the bat reverberates slightly when it hits the ball. The aluminum bats allow the ball to be hit further and for the swing speed to be slightly faster due to the less weight of the bat. Most of the positions on the field are the same as baseball as there is a pitcher, catcher, infielders and outfielders. The game is really fun to play and watch, people should try to attend the games of a fastpitch softball team in their community at least once in their life.

 

Fastpitch Softball Rules

Fastpitch softball is a version of softball played mostly by women by specific fastpitch softball rules. Normally, fastpitch softball players start performing this sport at the age of 6 and most of them go through college age. Fast pitch softball is played mostly by women even though there are few males or mixed leagues. The governing body of softball and all its disciplines is the International Softball Federation which recognizes three styles of softball: fast pitch, medium pitch and slow pitch. Fast pitch is maybe the most competitive version of softball and it was the only form of softball played at the Olympics games since 1996. It is popular among college softball and international championship tournaments.

One of the fastpitch rules is that the ball must have a circumference of 11 inches in youth leagues and 12 inches for the other leagues. In this type of softball, the ball must be thrown underhand and with a high speed, usually more than 70 miles per hour for the girls. The ball must be also thrown in a circular motion, called the “windmill” pitching type which helps increasing the ball’s speed and curvature. In the windmill pitch, the ball is released when it is centered in the middle of the player’s body so the ball will enter the strike zone.

There are different styles of pitching. There is the two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, changeup, two different rise balls, two different drop balls, curveball, off-speed, screwball and some others. The basic pitch is the fastball and that is mostly considered the basic point from where a fast pitch player should practice in his/her trainings. The style on which the players are thought to throw the ball varies depending upon the players’ abilities and on the coach’s methods. But players must be able to throw the pitches at very high speed because that is what speeds up the game creating more action and intensity. However, speed is not everything about fast pitch.

Girls fastpitch softball rules usually refers to the position of the body. Before starting the pitch, the player must have her hands apart, a foot on the surface of the pitcher’s plate and another one behind the pitcher’s plate. It is considered that the pitch starts when one hand lets go of the ball or when the player makes a motion after she has brought her hands together. Another rule is that the pitcher is not allowed to make more than one step forward (it must be done in the same time when she is releasing the ball) after she brings her hands together. A very complete set of fastpitch softball rules can be found on the official website of the International Softball Federation.

 

Fastpitch Softball Bats

There are many types of fastpitch softball bats that you can choose from to play softball. The choice of bat is one of the most important decisions that you will make in order to play softball. There are many types of softball bats for someone to use. The type of bat and the material that it is made out of are very important things to consider. It is also important to consider the different playing styles and your own abilities and swing styles. People come in different sizes and shapes, and so do softball bats. So be sure to investigate all of the different options before you invest in a bat when you start playing softball. This article will review some of the major aspects of a fastpitch softball bat for you to analyze when making your decision.

softball-batsThe first thing to consider is the material that the bat is made out of. This might be the most important decision because there are a lot of different materials and the bats perform very differently based on the materials. It used to be that all of the bats were made out of wood. But some years ago that changed and there are wide variety of different materials available to make softball bats. Here are some of the pluses and minuses of the different materials.

The most common type of bat used these days is the aluminum alloy bat. The aluminum used in the bat varies from one bat producer to another. The higher quality the alloy, the better the performance of the bat. The aluminum has to be mixed with other materials to make it harder and stronger. Over the last couple of years, the different alloys have actually improved a lot and a lot of the low priced bats have good materials. There are different types of bat technology, you should choose the style that best fits your swing and your size. It should feel just right when you swing it.

The traditional material for bats is wood. The wood tends to be from one to a couple different types of trees. They can be ash, maple, bamboo and possibly maple composite wood. Some of these bats can come with a warranty, the typical length is 90 days. The wood bats have made a resurgence in recent years and now there are even wood bat tournaments across the country for people to compete in.

The third type of material is composite. The bats will sometimes have composite handles and alloy barrels. The materials for composite bats can vary between manufacturers, just like aluminum. The best combination depends on you. You should pick the type of fastpitch softball bats that feels the best and allows you to reach your highest potential.

 

Fastpitch Softball Gloves

The fastpitch softball gloves are the gloves worn by the defensive players in fast pitch softball. Generally, the softball gloves are a bit bigger than baseball gloves. The fastpitch softball glove is a larger glove used to catch field balls hit by a batter. The glove must be different than the color of the ball. The softball gloves, also called mitts, are normally larger than baseball gloves. Usually softball or baseball gloves are made of leather or a similar material. They have a pocket which is webbing between the thumb and the forefinger.

Gloves

The catcher’s gloves are different from the other players’ gloves and they are called mitts. Softball catcher gloves have no fingers and they have an extra padding for protection. They are also normally larger than other players’ gloves. They also have a hinged (claw-like shape) which is useful when trying to catch a fastball. The mitts are measured around the circumference and they normally have 32 to 34 inch patterns. Generally the glove is worn on the non-dominant hand while the other hand is used for throwing the ball.

glovesThe softball glove is different for each player of the team. Even if normally only the defensive players can wear a glove, recent rules specify that all the players may wear them. Catcher’s gloves or mitts don’t have individual fingers but they do have an extra padding and a hinged, claw-like shape very useful when trying to catch a fast ball. They are a bit larger than other gloves and they regularly have 32 to 34 inch patterns. First baseman’s mitts are similar to catcher’s mitt without individual fingers and very long and wide to help them pick or scoop the badly thrown balls from infielders. Usually first basemen are left-handed and that is why first baseman’s gloves are more likely to fit the right hand. Infielders’ gloves are smaller with shallow pockets and with an opened web. They normally have 11 to 12 inch patterns, measured from the wrist to the tip. Pitchers’ gloves have closed and opaque webbing and outfielders’ gloves are quite long and they have deep pockets.

Outfielders’ gloves have 12 to 12.75 inch patterns. Switch-throwers’ gloves have a second thumb pocket on the opposite side of the glove. Gloves are part of the protective equipment as well. Apart from gloves, protective equipment includes helmets (mandatory for all batters and catchers in fast pitch). The catcher must also wear a face-mask and shin guards and all the players wear sliding pants under their shorts. Mainly, fastpitch softball gloves are baseball gloves but adapted for fast pitch balls that can be thrown at a higher speed than 90 miles per hour and they must be able to protect the players hand and wrist.

 

Fastpitch Softball Drills

One of the best ways to get better at softball is to practice specific fastpitch softball drills every day to improve your skills. The drills fall into several different categories. There are pitching drills, hitting drills, fielding drills, and base running drills. Depending on your position within the team you should practice a variety of different drills in order to maximize your skills and become the best player that you can be. If you are a coach, you can incorporate draills into the different practices to allow your players to get better. They will also learn teamwork as they cooperate together and improve their skills. Drills are one of the most important parts of practice and getting proficient at softballs, so be sure to start your drills early in the season.

Everyone needs to perform fastpitch softball hitting drills. Unlike the American League of Major League Baseball, everyone in softball has to bat. Therefore it is important for people to practice hitting with many different types of drills. The easiest drill is to focus on hitting to a certain spot. This is the type of batting practice that encourages people to gain control over the bat.

The ball should be tossed or a pitching machine could be employed to have a girl hit twenty to thirty balls in a row all at the same spot. This will allow the girls to tweak their swing to improve it. Every ball is another opportunity to modify the swing in order to hit the ball to the desired location. The only thing that you have to watch out for is that it is very easy to get tired while doing this drill. A girl can easily hit a lot of balls this way and get sloppy as her arms become tired. You do not want to allow bad habits to enter a persons swing, so when a person gets tired she should stop and rest and allow another player to hit.

Fastpitch softball pitching drills can help a pitcher to gain more control over her pitches and increase her speed. In fastpitch softball, the ball is thrown underhand in a very fast whirling motion. This can be modified by changing the delivery and adding spin to the ball. These different attributes should be practiced in order for a pitcher to gain skill in controlling her speed and placement of the ball. The pitcher should try to place the ball in a specific spot every pitch, or go ‘around the horn’ and place the ball in all of the corners. These different drills will allow for a girl to focus on the different aspects of the pitch in order to perfect it in games.

The combination of fastpitch softball hitting drills and other exercises can really help a team to prepare for their season and get ready to beat the competition. Repetition of drills allows girls to gain in strength and endurance, two things that are important in the long run, so run fastpitch softball drills in every practice.