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Softball Terminology

Recreational Softball Select/Travel Softball Umpire Signals Positions and Field Terminology

As with an other sport softball has special vocabulary that you must understand to play the game.  The terms that you will hear during any given softball game will include:  
Pitcher’s mound  

The raised area in the middle of the diamond from which the pitcher throws the ball.

 

Batter’s box  

Box marked with chalk near home plate that a batter must stay within while batting.

 

Force Out  

When a runner has to advance to the next base to make room for the following base runner.

 

Fly Ball/Pop Up  

A ball that is hit in the air to the infield

 

Grounder  

A ball that is hit on the ground.

 

Triple Play  

A play during which the defense records three outs.

 

Tag Out  

A base runner that is not on a base when she is tagged by a player with the ball. The defense must create three "outs" before it can switch to defense.  Outs can be by strike out, force out, fly out or tag out.

 

Hit  

A batted ball that allows a batter to safely reach base.

 

Home Run  

Fair ball hit over the outfield fence between the two foul poles.

 

Run  

An offensive player safely tags home plate.

 

Strike  

Term used when a ball is swung at and missed or is called when the ball enters the strike zone and is not swung at all.

 

Strike Zone  

The area above home plate between a batter’s knees and her armpits.

 

Strike Out:  

Occurs during an at-bat when a batter accumulates three strikes, at which point the at-bat ends and the player is called out.

 

Stolen base  

A play during which a runner advances a base when the pitcher releases the pitch.

 

Safe:  

Called when a base runner reaches a base without getting tagged out or avoids a force out.

 

Walk  

Player advances to 1st base when 4 consecutive pitches were called as balls.