The Men’s Softball World Championship is an international tournament of men’s national softball teams, held under the auspices of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) since 2014 (until 2012 under the control of the International Softball Federation).
Competitions have been held since 1966. A year earlier, the first women’s world championship was held. The number of participating teams ranged from 7 (in 1976) to 22 (in 1996). Since 2000, the maximum number of participants is limited to 16 teams. The final tournaments are preceded by continental qualifiers. The final tournament system includes a group round and a playoff.
In 1968-2004, the frequency of the competition was once every 4 years. Since 2013, the championships have been held every two years in odd years.
In total, the national teams of 8 countries became winners of the past 14 championships, and 4 of them won the championship title – New Zealand (6 times), USA (5), Canada (4), Australia (1).
6 countries hosted the world championship, with the USA and Canada – 4 times each, New Zealand – 3, the Philippines – twice, Mexico and South Africa – once each.
How to play softball
Softball is a fun game that can be played by all ages, regardless of gender. Learning how to play softball is pretty easy, and you don’t have to hire a top-notch coach.
The difference between softball and baseball. These are two types of the same game, with some differences. The main difference is in serving the ball: in baseball, the ball is served from above, and in softball from below. There is also a difference in the balls themselves.
Softballs are larger and slightly heavier, but less dense. In addition to being white, they can be neon green or yellow.
Softball fields are usually smaller and the game lasts 7 innings rather than 9.
Softball bats are slightly shorter and wider at the base.
Difference between slow and fast feed. There are 2 subspecies of softball, with an almost imperceptible difference. But the rules in both games are basically the same.
In the first version, the ball is fed into the air from below with a candle.
The second option is more common for women, where the pitch is similar to baseball: very fast and sweeping.
The game lasts 7 innings, each divided into two halves. In the first half, the away team stands at the bat, in the second – the home team. Each half lasts up to three outs for the field team.
The pitcher throws the ball to the batsman until one of the following three actions occurs. Either the pitcher will have three strikes (when the player did not swing the bat and the ball was in the strike zone), or four strikes when the ball was out of the strike zone, or when the batsman goes out.
To put a player out, the pitcher must throw a strike three times, or the fielder must catch the bat halfway through.
To put a running player out, either catch the ball and touch the player with it, or throw the ball to the base where the player is running (usually first base).
Batsmen go to home base, hit the ball and try to run a circle through all the bases and return to home. He gets a run or a point.
At the end of the 7th inning, the team with the most runs wins. If the score is early, extra innings are played.
For a team playing on the field, each player takes a certain position, which they do not leave without instructions from the coach. There are two parts of the field: external and internal.
An inside field is a piece of land that includes the catcher, pitcher, first, second, and third bases, and the player between second and third base.
The outer field is grassy and there are 3 positions on it: left, right and center. Depending on the league and the specifics of the game, the central position can also be divided into left and right.
Although the catcher and pitcher are in the inside field, their positions require additional preparation, often they train separately from the team.
Choice of glove. You should wear it when you are not standing with a bat. It is made of leather and is worn on the left hand for right-handers and on the right hand for left-handers.
When buying a new glove, break it in to soften the new leather. You can leave it in the sun, keep it in the oven, rubbing it with oil, or play it often by catching the ball.
The catcher wears a special glove, so be careful when buying.
Softball bats are not the same, each player must choose the size and length that suits him. When choosing, look at 3 main factors: length, weight and model.
To find the length, straighten up and lower the bat. If the bit touches the ground easily, the length is right for you. If you need to raise your elbow or reach for the ground, the bat is too long or too short.
There are two types of softball bats: aluminum and combination. Both types are good for both beginners and professionals. But aluminum is used more often.
Playing softball is very dangerous if you don’t follow the safety rules. All batsmen are required to wear a helmet.
For softball, boots with rubber or plastic soles are used. Metal boots are prohibited, because. they are dangerous for a sliding player and dangerous to fall on.
This includes batsman gloves, special uniforms, etc. If you are a catcher, you will also need chest and chin protection.
Learning to hit
We take a pose. When you’re at bat, just standing on base isn’t enough. You should always keep basic battering tips in mind when you go to hit the ball.
Straighten your shoulders, keep your legs at the same length.
Bend your knees and lean forward.
Shift your weight onto your back foot. When you hit, you will push off your back leg to give power to the punch.
Step back a certain distance from the base. Raise the bits directly perpendicular to the body, move closer or slightly back from the base so that the base of the bit is in the middle.
You must hold the bat on the bottom base.