Softball Safety Guide

Softball Safety Guide

Both kids and adults often enjoy softball, but the sport is not without its dangers. Minor injuries are common, and many injuries might be prevented with better use of safety gear and by taking other safety measures. More serious injuries can happen when batting or running the bases, especially if batting helmets aren't worn. Softball safety is well worth the effort.

Overview of Softball

  • Softball is a variation of baseball, but pitching is underhand and the ball is larger. All genders can play softball.
  • Softball teams have nine players, and games last seven innings. The object of the game is to score the most runs.
  • Fielding positions are the same as baseball, and the object of the game is the same.

Softball Safety Equipment

  • Batting helmets protect both batters and runners during play. Helmets need to cover both ears, and a face guard should cover the face. A chin strap needs to be secured to keep the helmet from flying off.
  • Catchers need to wear full safety gear, including a helmet with face mask, throat guard, full-length chest protector, shin guards, and a padded catcher's mitt.
  • When boys play softball, they should wear an athletic cup.
  • Softball spikes with molded plastic cleats should be worn at all times.
  • Breakaway bases will detach when a runner slides into them, which helps prevent knee and ankle injuries.
  • Sliding pants help prevent abrasions from sliding. Sliding pads for knees and shins also offer protection.

Softball Safety

  • All softball players should warm up prior to playing by stretching. All players need to warm up their throwing arms, but pitchers need to take plenty of time to warm up their throwing arms. Start with soft throws to stretch muscles and loosen joints. Gradually increase throwing intensity.
  • Always wear all safety equipment when playing softball, both practicing and during games.
  • Stay alert during games, always knowing where the ball is. When the ball is in play, watch for it so you're not hit. Keep track of other players while playing to avoid collisions. Players should always call balls in the field so other players can stay out of the way.
  • On-deck hitters need to pay close attention to the play so they don't get hit by foul balls. Stand in the designated circle and watch both the pitcher and batter. Use only one bat for practice swings. If you choose to use a bat ring for extra weight, make sure it doesn't slide off of the bat. If no circle is available, stay behind the backstop, but don't wrap your fingers around the fencing.
  • Avoid getting hit by the ball by being watchful and ready to move out of the way. When you're batting and the ball is about to hit you, duck and turn away so it hits you in the back instead of in the front.
  • When base-running, watch where you're going, always looking out for other players and the ball.
  • If sliding is allowed, learn how to do it safely and properly. Always slide feet first, never hands or head first.
  • Pitchers shouldn't throw when they're tired. Teenage pitchers shouldn't pitch more than three days in a row to avoid fatigue. Take a two-day rest after pitching three consecutive games.
  • Different leagues have different rules about how many pitches pitchers can throw in one game. Generally, teenagers shouldn't throw more than 700 pitches in one week, including both games and practices.
  • If playing or pitching causes pain that doesn't go away, don't ignore it: See a doctor.
  • Take at least three months each year off from softball to rest your throwing arm. If you play other sports that also require overhead arm movements, watch for overuse injuries.
  • Always stay well-hydrated during games, especially when it's hot.
  • Wear water-resistant sunscreen to prevent sunburns.
  • Don't take play personally during a game. Be a good sport, and be respectful.