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 Definition A modified form of baseball, played on a smaller field and using a larger ball which is thrown with an underhanded motion; exists in two forms, slow pitch and fastpitch. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup category Sports [Categories OK]
 Subgroup category:  Softball
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An alien attempts to understand...

All's well, in fact seems just like baseball, until this sentence: "The batter attempts to put the ball in play in such a way that he/she is able to reach base without being put out, which can occur in a variety of ways as well, including exceeding the number of prescribed good pitches." So how is one 'put out?' 'In a variety of ways as well' is no help. Where do the prescribed 'good pitches' fit in? (It's an unfortunate coincidence that, to a cricket fan, 'good pitches' refers to the state of the ground.) Ro Thorpe 23:51, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

And I, myself, don't know what is meant by "exceeding the number of prescribed good pitches". The batter exceeds them? In what way? The pitcher exceeds them? In what way? I know that different versions of softball have various rules about the pitches, and I'm not an expert on softball, but I did play on an official league team a few years ago (as the pitcher, actually) and I'm not familiar with what you mean -- as far as I recall, the rules had three strikes and four balls, just like baseball, and that was it. And if I arced the ball too high, even if it went down through the strike zone, it was still called a ball....) Hayford Peirce 00:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to both of you for the feedback. Your points are both valid and I will do some work on clarifying the material. James F. Perry 02:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Pitching motion section

It should be made clear that all of this discussion is about "hard pitch", or whatever it's called (fast pitch?) -- top softball pitchers used to strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in exhibition games by pitching this fast at that distance. But *most* softball, or a lot of it, is "slow pitch" where, essentially, the pitcher is just *lobbing* the ball up to the plate so that the batter can hit it. Strike outs are rare. I drove other teams a little crazy by pitching as if I were lobbing a metal "boule" (petanque?) ball, backhanded, as it were, and it seemed to come in to batters a little differently with a different sort of spin on it. They could still hit it, but frequently not as successfully as with the usual American-type underhand toss. Hayford Peirce 00:29, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Again, good point. The material of which the article is currently composed is definitely concerned mainly with the fast pitch version of the game. The reason is simple - it is that with which I am mostly familiar. In a collaborative project such as this, it is to be hoped that eventually someone with more knowledge of the slow pitch version will step forward and fill out the article as needed. In point of fact, it is the slow pitch version which is immensly more popular (meaning widespread) as a participant activity.
Those poor (male) professional baseball players who step in against the top women pitchers don't really have much of a chance rigtht off. The underhand fast pitch delivery results in the ball having a different motion than they have ever seen in their previous experience and they don't get any more reaction time due to the closer distance to the pitcher's mound. James F. Perry 02:21, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Glad to read this -- I know that top *lady* softballers have been striking out the guys for years. What we *really* need is an article about the "King and his Court", or whatever it was called, the guy who had a 4-man team behind him and beat everyone for 40 years or so. I'm sure that WP has a long article about him, but I haven't checked. Hayford Peirce 03:21, 2 July 2009 (UTC)