Softball is a game just like baseball, however, with few major differences. The main difference is that underhand bowling is used in the former. The field used in softball is a bit smaller than that of baseball. Slow pitch is one of the types of softball, along with fast pitch softball.
The batting in slow pitch softball is bound by rules which doesn't allow to take advantage of the slow pace of pitching. Chop swing is a trick used by batters to direct the ball towards the plate or just on the ground; slowing down of the ball resulting from the chop swing shot makes it difficult for the fielder to collect it. Thus, this trick is avoided.
Limitations on Home Runs
As per the rules specified by ASA, there is a certain restriction put on the number of home runs. This rule is used in order to prevent time delays and loss of balls.
Once the specified number of home runs are reached, a batter cannot hit over the fence. Any hit over the fence after reaching the limit is not counted. Depending on the class or type of league, this limit can vary.
Bunting Not Allowed
The practice of bunting is often used by batters in softball and baseball. It is banned in slow pitch softball. Bunting is basically an act of tapping the ball (not hitting) in order to keep it away from fielders.
This practice of bunting gives enough time for the batter to score runs; if the ball is hit hard as it is normally done, the time take to reach the fielder becomes lesser. The practice of bunting, therefore, proves to be advantageous for batters. It is therefore banned in this form of softball.
A moderate speed has to be used for pitching. There is no specified speed limit as such on pitching in the game of softball. The umpire determines what speed should be considered moderate. While pitching the ball, it forms an arc along its path. The arc formed by the ball should at least be 6 feet. However, it must not be greater than 10 feet.
The height of the ball in the air while traveling along its path needs to be between 6 and 10 feet. The ball should be in the strike-zone of the batter when it reaches the home plate. One of the pitcher's foot has to stay on the pitcher's plate at least until the ball is delivered. The pivotal foot should be maintained on the pitcher's plate.
Base running in slow pitch is regulated by the following rules. In this form of softball, pitching requires a greater amount of time for the ball to reach the batter than in the fast pitch game. Runners can take undue advantage of such situations by stealing runs even before the ball has reached the batter.
To avoid this malpractice, runners must start only after the ball released by the pitcher has reached the home plate. In the slow pitch softball games played by seniors, it is allowed to have courtesy runners. These courtesy runners are not allowed to field for their respective partners.
Slow pitch, a variation of softball, allows for playing this game in a newer, interesting manner. It makes this game suitable even for kids and senior citizens.