FanDuel - WFBC

June 03, 2004

Softball: is not a game with which I am overly familiar - but it is a game that I have been roped into playing tonight for the first time. Any tips?

posted by JJ to other at 02:26 AM - 26 comments

From what I have gleaned thus far, it's a "mixed game of slow-pitch." I think I know what that means, but is there anything else I should know to avoid making some terrible social or (worse) sporting blunder?

posted by JJ at 02:28 AM on June 03

With mixed slo-pitch (usually no "w"), it is almost impossible to make a social blunder since it is one of the most informal, recreational sports there is. Usually (in Canada), the only slo-pitch blunder would be not having a case of beer on ice on hand at the field ... don't know if that would be standard where you are or not, but it couldn't hurt now, could it?? Swing for the fences!!

posted by smithers at 06:41 AM on June 03

Mimi: "I protect home plate like a Mormon girl on prom night." Drew: "If Mormon girls looked like you, they wouldn't need protection." from the best softball tv episode ever.

posted by jasonspaceman at 06:47 AM on June 03

It's likely that the only possible social blunder would be to take it too seriously. You don't want to be the guy wearing eye black and batting gloves who gets all pissed off when somebody misses the cutoff man. It's just a game! I have an IM softball game tonight too. We're 3-0 so far, but we're going up against the juggernaut ChemE's!

posted by mbd1 at 07:03 AM on June 03

Instant Messanger softball???

posted by danostuporstar at 07:16 AM on June 03

Do I have to catch it in the glove? Am I allowed to use my bare hands instead? What's the done thing if I hit the ball straight back at the pitcher and brain him/her? Do I use the confusion and concern of others to steal the odd base, or do I run to the mound and apologise? What happens if I catch the ball when someone has hit it? Is the ball now dead, or can I throw it to someone else so they can try to tag a different batter? Oh, and where do I get eye black? I'm not 100% sure what that is, but I'm fairly certain I'll be needing some. This team take it very seriously - my firends (who are on the roster) came round the other night to watch the last episode of Friends with us - they brought a friend who had just arrived from Columbus, Ohio. She has been brought over for the summer to play for their softball team - all expenses paid from what I can gather. That makes me feel a little bit like there won't be beer in the outfield.

posted by JJ at 07:56 AM on June 03

If they took it seriously, they'd be playing fast-pitch. If they're playing slo-pitch and taking it seriously, they're..um, well, they're your friends and all, but they're being a bit weenieish.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:11 AM on June 03

maybe they take their slo-pitch more seriously in the UK.

posted by goddam at 08:29 AM on June 03

Do I have to catch it in the glove? Am I allowed to use my bare hands instead? The ball is usually moving at speeds that can hurt your hand if you try to barehand it. Use your glove. What's the done thing if I hit the ball straight back at the pitcher and brain him/her? Do I use the confusion and concern of others to steal the odd base, or do I run to the mound and apologise? From what I can tell from your post and the league's Website, this looks like a fairly serious league. If you rope a liner at the pitcher's head, run to first. If it looks pretty serious, just stay there and let his/her teammate's take care of the situation. Apologize when it's appropriate, but realize that it's just part of the game. However, with slo-pitch softball, I don't know how screaming line-drives people will be hitting. What happens if I catch the ball when someone has hit it? Is the ball now dead, or can I throw it to someone else so they can try to tag a different batter? Are you talking about when you are a base runner? Don't catch it because that's runner's interference and you will be called out. If it's hit in your direction, duck! Oh, and where do I get eye black? I'm not 100% sure what that is, but I'm fairly certain I'll be needing some. This team take it very seriously - my firends (who are on the roster) came round the other night to watch the last episode of Friends with us - they brought a friend who had just arrived from Columbus, Ohio. She has been brought over for the summer to play for their softball team - all expenses paid from what I can gather. That makes me feel a little bit like there won't be beer in the outfield. I'm sure that your local sporting store will have some. Although, I have no idea what it is used for. Something about cutting down glare. Doesn't it rain 24/7 in Manchester? At least that's what Morrissey tells us. ;) If you're playing softball for the first time, it's kind of a bummer that you are playing on such a serious team. That is, unless you're a really good athlete and learn new things quickly. In that case, it should be fun. I play on a co-ed recreational league here in Raleigh and it's tons of fun. None of us take it too seriously so it's a good time. Our rules are a tad different in a few major instances: 1). A batter gets only 3 pitches, so the team on offence pitches to itself. There are no rules for pitch arc height. 2). No sliding! People can get hurt that way. If you slide, you're out. 3). We have "safety bases" at first and home. The safety base at first is right next to the real base. The safety base at home is a few feet away from the batting home plate. This is to avoid collisions at those bases. Also, every play at home is a force out. 4). There is a small orange pylon between third base and home plate. Once the runner passes that pylon, s/he has to run home. 5). a). Every team must have at least 3/4 women on it's roster. If you have 4 or more women, you get to have someone play the shortfield position. Shortfield plays in front of the centerfielder, but behind second base. If you only have 3 women, you don't forfeit the game, but you can't have a shortfielder. If you have 2 or less women, you forfeit the game. We always go ahead and play the game, but the team with not enough women will still get the Loss in the standings. We just play for fun in that situation. b). You must have at least 4 women in the field when on defence. If you only have 3 women in your line-up that day, then they all must be out there. 6). You can't bat more than 2 guys in a row. I think that's all of the rule differences. The only problem that I have with this league is that we play our games in the afternoon. Down here in North Carolina, that usually means that we are playing in 90+ degree heat and 80+ % humidity. Therefore, there's a few of us that are lobbying our teammates to switch to a city league 'cause they play at night. On Preview: What lil_brown_bat said. Man, I typed this for nothing, but I'm still posting it 'cause it took me forever.

posted by NoMich at 08:36 AM on June 03

from the best softball tv episode ever. I'm not sure....this one has to be right up there. JJ: make sure you wear your enchanted jockstrap to the game.

posted by smithers at 09:57 AM on June 03

Like I ever go anywhere withOUT my enchanted jockstrap. Thanks for the tips NoMich. I am that "really good athlete" thing you mentioned - at least, that's the lie I like to tell myself, right before I break yet another bone by falling over someone I didn't see. I'm not in Manchester, I'm in Oxford. That website was the first one I could find with tips for beginners! Morrissey is right. It does rain all the time in Manchester. Which makes the punctured bicycles rust as they sit on the hillsides, desolate. Or something. I'm looking forward to this now - I like the sound of a "line drive" - I might try one of those. I'll swing by tomorrow with an update of the score/details of how long I was in A&E.

posted by JJ at 10:13 AM on June 03

I like the sound of a "line drive" - I might try one of those. Everyone tries one of those. Succeeding is another matter.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:45 AM on June 03

from the best softball tv episode ever. I'm not sure....(Simpsons) has to be right up there. no way, dudes. the wkrp softball episode was THE seminal moment in small-screen softballiana. (2nd link warning: WAV) ANDY: Les, WPIG has a city league softball team. They're very good. Now, last year they beat the Baptists. on topic: JJ, softball rules are basically the same as baseball: basic rules, faqs i still wanna know what IM softball is, mbd1.

posted by danostuporstar at 11:50 AM on June 03

i still wanna know what IM softball is, mbd1. At a wild guess, intramural. Remember, from the days before people bragged about being good at computer-game "sports"...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:56 AM on June 03

The only rule you need to motivate your teammates to play well is this one, and my team in my old company league enforced it like it was etched in stone: If you strike out, you bring a case of beer to the next game.

posted by usfbull at 11:58 AM on June 03

Yeah, IM stands for intramural.

posted by mbd1 at 01:06 PM on June 03

as a veteran [13 years!] softball umpire here in the States, I must comment on the 'basic guide' linked - they blew one rule! Unless the rule in the UK is different, the base award on throws going into Dead Ball territory is ALWAYS two bases from from the last base the runner owned at the time of the throw ..this might be THE most misunderstood rule in softball....

posted by NYSSoftballBlue at 09:55 PM on June 03

The WKRP episode is the definitive moment. I don't know how many times I've seen a player lose track of a fly-ball in a softball game and then suddenly make a miraculous catch and think "He's pulled a Les Nesman!"

posted by grum@work at 06:13 AM on June 04

Well, JJ, how'd it go? We were engaged in a pitcher's duel with the ChemE's until we broke it open in the bottom of the 6th and went on to win 8-1. w00t!

posted by mbd1 at 07:24 AM on June 04

I didn't break any bones! I bruised my knee a bit with a clumsy slide, and I think I've stretched my groin a little further than it wanted to be stretched, but all in all, I'm still in one piece! I played 1st base. I caught everything that was thrown at me, and I also caught someone out when they popped one up over my head. I batted six times I think; I hit a few good ones and no one struck me out (in fact, I'm fairly sure I hit the first ball every time). My final flourish (we were "playing for stats" by then *shrug*) was a big one, but some asshole in the outfield ruinned my day by making the catch of his life. All my other hits went at about head height and slightly left. The only thing I made a complete mess of was running. After my first hit, I hurtled toward second thinking "Ha! I'm beating you there by a mile!" I only remembered that I had to stop dead on the base when I was about two steps from it. I ran straight through it and about forty feet past it. The fielder guy ran up to me like I was an escaped convict and hit me with the ball and then celebrated like he'd won the world series. I laughed at him and told him to grow up. I thought I'd mumbled enough that he'd not hear me, but I think he did. Next time around, I hit almost the same shot - this time, coming into second, things were looking a little tighter. In a split second I decided that if I slid in I would probably break the ankle of the guy I'd laughed at, so I bailed out at the last moment. By way of thanks, he ran after me and hit me with the ball again. My third hit was slightly worse, but a misfield let me attack second, and this time I just slid in there. He didn't hang around and got well out of the way when he saw me go to ground. It had rained a bit, so that was about as much fun as I've had since I was 12. I hurt my knee a bit, but no one else got injured and the pain has gone now. It's a cool game, but there's lots going on. It's easy to spot the people who've played it all their lives - they understand when to run and when to wait - they understand what the hell the base coach is talking about. It highlighted for me the difference between knowledge and understanding - I knew what I had to do, but I didn't understand it well enough to do it without thinking and free up my brain to actually "play". I had fun. Even if I didn't get to hit a line-drive.

posted by JJ at 07:25 AM on June 04

How's that for the promtest response to a question ever? The result - I'm not sure of - we won by a lot (twice we had to just stop batting cos we'd scored 10) but I'm not sure by how many. I know when they batted last they needed 27 to tie or something. I was playing for the Oxford Angels against the Oxford Angels B-team.

posted by JJ at 07:28 AM on June 04

mbd 1 - Nice work..... is that good?

posted by JJ at 07:28 AM on June 04

Yeah, that's good. And I'd call a hit at about head height a line drive.

posted by mbd1 at 08:12 AM on June 04

Oh is it? I thought you had to drive it out one or other of the lines, i.e. nearly decapitate whoever is on first or whoever is on third. If it just has to be dangerous, I hit a load of 'em.

posted by JJ at 10:34 AM on June 04

it is more to do with travelling in a line. or at least moreso than say a looper, blooper, blast, smash, dribbler, pop, or grounder.

posted by gspm at 11:25 AM on June 04

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