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Types of softball

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Softball is a team sport in which a ball, eleven to twelve inches (or rarely, 16 inches) (28 to 30.5 centimeters) in circumference, is thrown (pitched) underhand by a player called a pitcher and hit by an offensive player called a batter with a round, smooth stick called a bat (usually wooden, metal or composite). Scoring is accomplished by the batter running and touching a series of three raised markers on the ground called bases, and then touching the final base, called home plate. Thus in the shape of a house facing away from the pitcher. Softball is a direct descendant of baseball, which is sometimes referred to as hardball to distinguish the two, but differs from it in several ways (see Comparison of baseball and softball). This article assumes no knowledge of baseball.



The sport's governing body, the International Softball Federation holds world championships, held every four years, in several categories.



There are two general forms of softball: slow pitch, and fast pitch, .



Fast Pitch softball is a very defensive, pitcher-oriented game. The pitcher delivers the ball at maximum speed with little to no arc. The ball is colored bright yellow. The pitch is very similar to that of one thrown by a baseball pitcher, but the two differ primarily in their throwing styles and release points: baseball pitchers release the ball from a point higher than the catcher's glove (overhand), whereas fast pitch softball pitchers release at a point that is lower than or equal to the height of the catcher's glove (underhand). Speeds of 70+mph are not uncommon at the professional level. Due to the increased difficulty in hitting the larger, less dense ball, fast pitch softball games are typically played on much smaller fields than their slow pitch counterparts (typically 200 feet from home plate to the center field fence).

Slow Pitch softball gives batters more dominance by making it easier for them to hit the ball. The ball type in women's and youth competition is usually smaller and more dense than that of the fast pitch variety, making for a harder hit ball to the defense. This type of ball is often referred to as a "Green Dot", due to the green dot on the ball that marks its size range. Men's slow pitch ball type is very similar to that of the fast pitch ball type. Men's slow pitch softballs are often referred to as "Blue Dot", due to the blue dot on the ball that marks its size range. Typically, slow pitch softball fields are much larger (300 feet from home plate to center field) due to the slow pitch batter's increased advantage of range and power over their fast pitch counterparts. The increased hitting advantage to the batter combined with new technology in softball bat manufacturing has forced many softball leagues to impose rules on the number of over-the-fence home runs that may be counted during a game.


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