Softball Pitch techniques
Similar to the game of baseball, softball is differentiated by various aspects including softball pitch and variations in the game. Softball dates back to 1887 and is attributed to George Hancock. Originally designed as a way to play baseball indoors due to the inhospitable weather of the winter, softball quickly grew from these humble beginnings to be a complete and separate sport. The play of the game is the same as baseball, with two opposing teams taking turns at batting and fielding over the course of an inning. Runs are scored if players are able to make it through all of the bases and return home. The team with the most runs after all innings have been completed is determined to be the winner. Softball attracts the largest number of participants of any United States sport with an estimated 40 million Americans playing the game once each year.
One of the major differences between baseball and softball is with the ball itself. The term softball is actually a misnomer as the ball is not much softer than a baseball. A softball is larger than a baseball, close to the size of a small grapefruit. As of 2002, all official softballs sport a bright yellow leather covering that allows players to better see the ball. Another major difference is how the ball is pitched to batters. In softball there are two types of games: slow pitch and fast softball pitch. Both types of pitches are done in an underhand motion. A fast softball pitch involves the pitcher making a windmill maneuver that increases the speed of the ball. Soft pitch softball utilizes more corkscrew motions that cause the ball to curve and make it more difficult to effectively hit.
Players that would like to improve their softball skills can engage in regular practice of batting and fielding. Softball pitching machines are one way a person can improve their batting technique and ability. These machines simulate an underhand pitch and can help a player become familiar with the differences between slow pitch and fast pitch batting. Although these softball pitching machines can be expensive for home purchase, many recreational batting cages have machines that are capable of pitching in both softball and baseball styles. The best way to practice fielding and catching techniques is by being on a field and fielding hits. The combination of these two processes will help develop a player to their best potential.
Some specialized equipment is needed to play the game of softball. To begin with, the standard ball is a necessity as well as a playing field. In addition, bats will be needed. There are different bats associated with each type of the game. Slow pitch softball bats tend to have the weight distributed more to the end of the bat due to the fact that in this form of the game it is more beneficial to hit homeruns than to achieve base hits. Slow pitch softball bats are also generally made from aluminum or a composite substance as these materials allow for more powerful hits from a softball pitch.
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