A well-trained and active athlete is less likely to develop chronic illnesses and be affected by stress and fatigue, ultimately affecting the tactical and mental skills of the individual. Different skills are used and required to perform any physical activity or training. Softball is similar to baseball in terms of fundamental ideologies and directions. Softball is considered a sister sport to baseball, but the ball is not as soft as the name suggests. The ball used in softball is slightly more giant in size and more complex than baseball. The basic skills required in softball include cyclic and acyclic likely combined with cyclic. Softball players need to be active and well-versed in basic training, drawing, hitting, feeding, bathing, sliding, and running, how to fly a ball, and running to cover bases.
Softball is an exceptionally widely played and famous sport, particularly in the United States, and is now played in more than a hundred countries worldwide. The game was introduced in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1966 when women only played it. It received a setback and major criticism when the International Olympic Committee decided to remove it as an Olympic sport for the 2012 summer Olympic Games. Along with softball, they also dropped baseball as well. Baseball, along with softball, is considered America’s favorite pastime. It is ideal for working on skills such as throwing, striking, and running before being a softball player, and it tends to improve hand-eye coordination and mental stamina.
What Are The Sizes Of Softballs?
A softball can come in sizes ranging from 10 inches to 12 inches. Teams with players from ages ten and under naturally using an 11-inch softball with diameters of 3.5 inches, while teams with players 11 and up use a softball that is 12 inches with a diameter of 3.8 inches.
The size differences are implemented for various factors. For young players, the league may establish the use of a 10-inch softball that will allow a better grip for small hands and the different categories of a softball like slow-pitch softballs and fastpitch softball. The slow pitch softball players naturally use a 12-inch ball for slower travel when thrown, while the fastpitch softball players use an 11-inch ball for faster-throwing speed.
How Do They Determine Softball Age?
To determine a softball age will need the player’s birth age. A player’s age is established as of the 1st of January. Think of it like this: the player’s age as of January 1st will determine the roster age for the season. Let’s say a player turns 13 years old in March. The child will play 12U because the player was 12 years old as of January 1st.
12U is an abbreviation for 12 and under. There are other examples such as 11U, meaning 11 and under, 10U- meaning ten and under e.t.c
What Is A Good Overhand Throwing Velocity For Softball?
An excellent overhand throwing velocity for softball is about 58-60 MPH. Pitchers work on skills to develop effective, fast throws on the field; a pitcher looking to improve sets a throwing speed at 58-60 MPH. Simply because this is what coaches require, and this velocity is what the coaches look for. Of course, some factors may affect pitchers throwing velocity, like height, age, muscle mass, etc. but only if it is rigorous training. These factors may be looked into.
A player may have to train to earn a spot on the team—some primary training like arm coordination, footwork after fielding the ball, and throwing intensity. It is imperative to apply care when throwing a softball to reduce the risk of pitching injury because arm and wrist injuries may occur if a player does not use the correct throwing mechanism.
Different sanctioning bodies for Fastpitch softball have divided the significant scale competition into multiple age groups and classes. This classification and categorization also apply to league play and major tournaments. Authorizing groups at the primary level are the Amateur Softball Association of America, The United States of Specialty Sports Association, The American Fastpitch Association, The National Softball Association, and The United States Fastpitch Association. These national sanctioning bodies set a threshold and standard, divided into different age groups two years apart. This includes 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U. In addition to that, there are further classifications as well, which include 9U, 11U, 13U, and 15U. We should note that after the 10U category, the basic rules for fastpitch softball tend to change after this level. Hence, there is a difference in categorization and a rule amendment between 10U and 11U
The under ten category
To be qualified and eligible for the 10U category, the players must be less than ten years old on December 31 of the previous year as sanctioned nationally. These age guidelines are laid out to accommodate young players so that they can play on NSA, ESA, EFA, and USFA teams. These players can also play on USSSA for the current year on January 1. To be entitled to the 10U category, it may include players who have just turned 11 years old during the season. However, team managers and authorities do a meticulous background check to qualify for this category by collecting birth certificates as proof of age.
The 11U category
After the undertaken category, the fastball softball changes in basic format and guiding principles. However, the changes and amendments are not too significant,t but they can leave an evident impact compared to the under ten categories. The changes range from a transition in the pitching distance moves as in under 11 categories; it goes from 35 feet to 40 feet. The size of the ball also increases from 11 inches to 12 inches in the under 11 category. There is an addition of a new infield fly rule that comes into practice,e especially for the under 11 categories that weres not previously seen in the under ten categories and in even types younger than that. When the catcher drops the third strike in the under ten categories, the batter is out of the field. However, in under 11 categories, the batter is not disqualified and may try to reach the base on the third strike. The time limit for World Series elimination games minimizes up to 15 minutes in the under 11 category, making it about one hour and 30 minutes.
Fall ball qualifying tournaments
There are certain modifications and amendments for the leagues for different categories. The under ten teams are allowed to play in the fall leagues if they follow the same age guidelines; however, sanctioning establishments like the USSSA may label the fall competition at the start of the next season, defined from August 1-31 December. In this scenario, teams could be eligible to play for the 2013 national tournaments in the fall of 2013, but one would exercise each guideline and regulation for the following year. If this scenario is applied, under ten teams may have to rise to the under 11 or under 12 category to compete.
Young players and softball enthusiasts who are less than ten years old can play in the under ten softball categories. Competent players are sometimes eligible to play up and reach the next level in softball for fierce competition; however, they are not allowed to get down to the lower level. For example, an eight-year-old can play under the ten years in the category, which would not apply to a 12-year-old.
Softball may appear as a less violent game, but players are advised to prevent injury. This can be done if players are physically prepared and have the basic training and skills to avoid damage and diminish the risk of harm and multiple injuries. This includes pre-screening, skill and technique, physical fitness, and warm-up along with stretching and cool down, which allows the body to be physically prepared for the outdoor exertion placed on the players during softball training or the softball game. Softball is a sport where basic skills and techniques are imperative for optimum and efficient performance. Some essential skills involve throwing, catching, and batting the softball players. Other than that, they should be physically fit and develop muscular endurance, strength, and flexibility so that softball players can attain multiple ranges of motion and no pressure is put on the joint level.
The softball player should also have the ability to advance quickly on the field from one point to the other and should have the power, balance, and a well-versed reaction time. The players should also be equipped with hand-to-eye coordination, which will grant them integration of hand or foot movement with a sense of input essential for running, batting, pitching, throwing, and catching.