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“If you have two strikes, usually you’re trying to drive the ball up the middle. Now you don’t do that because if you hit , you’re out.” In a recent game between Matt’s Athletics and Braddy Electric, the protective screen never came into play. For example, try to throw outside to guys that try to pull the ball constantly. But heads up, that may come back at you, so be sure to back up a few steps to get yourself into position.
Foul balls are called by extending both arms up in the air with a verbal call of “foul ball”, while fair balls are indicated only by pointing towards fair territory with no verbal call. No signal is given for balls that are obviously foul; for closer calls that are not borderline a signal is given. The number of umpires on a given game can range from a minimum of one to a maximum of seven. There is never more than one “plate umpire”; there can be up to three “base umpires”, and up to a further three umpires positioned in the outfield. While mandatory for the pitcher in some slow pitch leagues, there is an option to wear a face mask on the field.
In that year, a new, fluorescent optic yellow colored ball was first used in college softball. Yellow softballs have become the standard for all levels of play; white balls are also still allowed, but are very uncommon today. Near the center of the diamond is the pitching plate, or colloquially “rubber”. In fastpitch, a circle 16 feet (4.88 meters) in diameter known as the pitching circle is market around the pitching plate.
(In addition to “indoor baseball”, “kitten ball”, and “diamond ball”, names for the game included “mush ball”, and “pumpkin ball”.) The name softball had spread across the United States by 1930. By the 1930s, similar sports with different rules and names were being played all over the United States and Canada. A tournament held in 1933 at the Chicago World’s Fair spurred interest in the game.
Japan has had a long tradition of softball which is played at all levels in the country. Many high schools and colleges have sports programs which include softball. Like baseball, softball in Japan is intensely competitive. Japan’s win over the United States at the 2008 Olympics reflects the advanced level of play in this East Asian country. Once the ball is hit into fair territory, the runner must try to advance to first base or beyond. While running to first base, the batter is a “batter-runner”.
Gloves used in softball are typically larger than the ones used in baseball to account for the larger ball. No glove larger than 14 in can be used in ASA sanctioned play. Some leagues play with a reduced number of innings or with a time limit, rather than the traditional seven innings. The earliest known softball catchers thumb injury game was played in Chicago, Illinois, on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. It took place at the Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the outcome of the Yale University and Harvard University football game. When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter.