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How to Play Softball

You don’t have to be a super athlete to play softball, but you should know the rules to give your team a chance to win.


  • Step 1: Set out bases Set four bases, including home plate, at the corners of a softball field, first base at the right and moving counterclockwise.
  • Step 2: Choose teams Choose teams of nine players each. One team bats while the other plays the field, with station fielders at each base and a shortstop between second and third, a pitcher and catcher, and outfielders in the wide grassy areas beyond.
  • Step 3: Face the pitcher Hold the bat and wait for the opposing pitcher to pitch the ball from a mound in the center of the diamond.
  • TIP: When learning to catch, use two hands to clasp. Cover the ball with your bare hand when it hits the glove.
  • Step 4: Prepare yourself Bend your knees as the pitcher lofts the ball. The ball must cross over home plate while staying parallel to and between the straight lines of your shoulders and knees to be a strike.
  • Step 5: Hit the ball Hit the ball with the bat into fair territory, and run to first base. You are 'out' if a fielder catches the hit ball before it hits the ground, or if a fielder with the ball touches the base or your person before you reach base.
  • Step 6: Swing, strike out, walk Swing and miss for a strike; three strikes and you’re out, losing your turn. If the pitcher misses the "strike zone" four times, you get to "walk" to first base.
  • TIP: Wait for the ball to reach eye level as it falls before stepping into it and swinging.
  • Step 7: Advance as a runner; score! Advance around the bases if someone after you gets a "hit, " and score by advancing to home plate. Teams alternate hitting and fielding seven times, each round called an "inning. "
  • FACT: Did you know? Eddie Feigner, known as the "King of Softball," recorded 141,517 strikeouts and pitched 930 no hitters over 54 years of pitching.

You Will Need

  • A ball field
  • Bases
  • Two teams
  • Softball gloves
  • A bat
  • A softball

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