Fastpitch softball is an exciting way to exercise and be part of a team.
Safe Fastpitch Gear
Wearing and using the right gear can help prevent injuries. Safety rules for most
Batting helmets must be worn whenever a player is at bat, waiting to bat, running
the bases, or helping coaches at first or third base. Some leagues may even require
pitchers to wear them. Helmets should cover both ears and have an approved face guard
attached that fits comfortably. If the helmet has a chin strap, it should be fastened
Catchers should always wear helmets with face masks, throat guards, full-length
chest protectors, shinguards, and catchers' mitts. Guys who play catcher should wear
an athletic cup.
Softball spikes should have molded plastic cleats rather than metal ones. Most
youth leagues don't allow metal spikes.
Some players also like to wear:
sliding pads or sliding pants to protect against scrapes and cuts
batting gloves that can keep hands from getting sore while hitting
Check if your league has rules about which kinds of bats are OK to use.
Always warm up and stretch
before practice and games.
Use proper technique, especially when throwing or sliding.
Stop training if they get hurt or feel pain. Players must get checked by an athletic
trainer, coach, doctor, or nurse before going back on the field.
Stay hydrated, particularly
on hot, sunny days, by drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after games and
Knows the team plan for emergencies.
Too much pitching can lead to overuse
injuries. To protect your arm, don't throw when you're tired, and follow pitch
count guidelines. These are general guidelines for tournament play:
Teens should pitch no more than 3 days in a row. Pitchers of all ages should then
take 2 days off from throwing any pitches, in practices or games.
Different leagues might have different restrictions on how many pitches a pitcher
can throw in a game (including full-speed warm-up pitches). As a general rule:
pitchers 13 and 14 years old: no more than 80 pitches per game, no more than 115
pitches per day on days 1 and 2, and no more than 80 on day 3
pitchers 15 years and older: no more than 100 pitches per game, no more than 140
per day on days 1 and 2, and no more than 100 on day 3
Teens should throw no more than 700 pitches per week, including games and practices.
Pitchers who have pain that doesn't go away in their throwing arm should see a
doctor and hold off on pitching until the pain goes away.
All players should take at least 3 months off each year from sports that have
a lot of overhead arm motion. Athletes who play multiple sports that use a lot of
overhead arm movements — like softball, swimming, and volleyball — are
at increased risk for overuse injuries.
All coaches should emphasize safe, fair
play during games and practice. They need to make sure the field is in good condition
and has breakaway bases (bases that are not fixed).
During games, players should:
Follow all safety rules used during practice.
Know the rules of the game and follow them.
Be respectful of the referees and not argue with their calls.
Stay calm if an opposing player collides with them or does something they disagree
with. Don't take it personally. Let the referees handle the situation, and never start
a fight with another player.