Softball Bitcoin Sports Betting

A variant of the popular sport, Softball was first placed in the United States in 1887. It is played with an obviously larger ball on a smaller playing field. The game was invented as an indoor variant of Baseball. Today, the sport is not only huge in the United States but in different parts of the world as well played as a “lesser” version of Baseball. But don’t get yourself fooled by the common misinterpretation of the game since it is a different niche of its own! Bettors from around the world are now able to bet on the sport through betting websites on leagues and events listed below. We have also included betting odds for the available events and leagues under Softball.

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Softball is a variant of baseball and one of the most popular popular popular sports in the USA. In professional games, softball is mainly played by women, in contrast to the traditionally male-dominated baseball. In Germany, there is only an organized league game in the women’s area, while in the mass sports competitions mainly mixed-gender teams compete.

Basic rules

Two teams with nine players each face each other. One team plays in the field (‘Defense’) and tries to prevent the opponents from scoring points; the other team is on the stroke (‘Offense’) and can score the points. If the defense team has managed to make three of the opponents “out”, it is changed, i.e. the defense team goes now to the blow and the offense team must go into the field. A game usually consists of seven innings.

For a more detailed explanation of the rules and game principle, see Baseball.

Differences to Baseball

Softball pitch in Karlsruhe. A baseball field can be seen at the top right of the picture.
Except for the smaller size of the field, a different throwing technique and few other changes, the game resembles baseball.

These are:

  • Pitch movement: The thrower must throw the ball through an underhand throw from below the hip, with the wrist no further away from the body than the elbow.
  • Field dimensions: The size of a softball court is {\displaystyle {\tfrac {2}{3}}}} {\tfrac {2}{3}} the size of a baseball court:
    side length infield approx. 18 m (baseball: 27 m)
  • Outfield side length approx. 65 m (baseball: 80-100 m)
  • Distance pitcher battery approx. 13 m (baseball: 18 m).
  • Ball size: The softball has a diameter of approx. 11.5 cm (baseball: approx. 7 cm).
  • Basestealing/Lead: The runner may only leave Base with the pitch. In slowpitch softball (see below) no base stealing is allowed.
  • Shape: The softball rackets are usually thinner and lighter. The shape of the baseball bats is conical, while the softball bats get bottle-shaped thicker after the grip and then run straight on. In addition, even in the professional sector, no wooden bats are used.
  • DP: Unlike the Designated Hitter (DH), a Designated Player (DP) can be used for any player, not just for the pitcher.
    Safety base: At the first base there is a so-called safety base, which offers an extra surface for the battery runner in order to avoid collisions.

Further small regulations to adapt baseball as a softball to the smaller field. In general, a distinction is made between two game variants

  • Slowpitch-Softball: This variant is characterized by the rule addition that the pitch must fly through a highest point of at least 6 feet (approx. 1.83 m) on its trajectory. This leads to slow pitches and thus to an extremely punchy game. Slowpitch is above all a popular sport, but is also sometimes used in competition.
  • Fastpitch-Softball: With this variant there are no restrictions regarding the trajectory. The result is fast pitching that is rich in variations depending on the playing strength. Fastpitch is primarily the competitive sport for women and has been Olympic for women in Atlanta since 1996; however, softball (like baseball) was not played at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Risk of confusion

Softball sports have no resemblance to the tennis-like leisure and beach game known in Germany as “Softball”, which is played with plastic tennis rackets and a small, soft, yellow foam ball. The ball should also not be confused with the so-called “soft ball” used in kindergarten and school sports, which is the size of a football and is intended to make it easier for children to handle the ball.

The softball described in this article is played with a small leather ball consisting of cork and tightly wound thread on the inside and is only slightly larger, but by no means “softer” than a baseball, but even harder due to the compression. Because it is a little bigger, it can’t be thrown and hit as hard as a baseball. In addition, there is a baseball/softball racket that doesn’t resemble a tennis racket at all.

Softball in Germany

In Germany the DBV organizes only one ladies Fastpitch-Softball-League. Via the regional associations, softball association leagues are organized for women-only teams and partly also for mixed teams. The highest German league is the Softball Bundesliga, which is divided into a north and a south group.

Other leagues, such as a German university league, are usually independent of the associations and organise themselves.

Slowpitch-Softball is usually played in Germany independently of the federations. Ambitious leisure teams compete in regular tournaments and leagues such as the Rhein-Main or Rhein-Neckar leagues. However, there are also efforts to bring slowpitch softball under the umbrella of the associations. In 2011, for example, official German championships in the discipline, recognised by the DBV and won by BéBé’s Kidz, a US-American selection team living in Germany, were held for the first time. Slowpitch is also gaining regional importance. In 2012, a slowpitch tournament was held for the first time at the Baden-Württemberg Indoor Championships. The Neuenheim field champions from Heidelberg secured the title.

Softball in Austria

The highest fastpitch softball league in Austria is the Austrian Softball League with currently 6 teams. Among them is a 2nd league which is currently under construction. In 2009, the Dornbirn Sharx were the first team not to come from the Netherlands or Italy to win the European Cup. Further successes for Softball in Austria were 18th place at the 2016 World Cup and twice 6th (2007 and 2015) and once 7th place (2009) at the European Softball Championship.

Slowpitch softball has also become more and more important recently. It is mainly played in leagues organised by clubs; the highlight of the Slowpitch season every year is the Austrian Championship ‘Coed Slowpitch’ which takes place in autumn.

Softball in Switzerland

As in Germany, there is also a fastpitch women’s league in Switzerland. Since softball cannot be called a popular sport in Switzerland, there is only one national league A with eight teams (2007). These mainly come from the cities and their catchment areas.

Softball as an Olympic sport

Softball was represented as an Olympic sport for women four times between 1996 and 2008, but then had to take a break at the 2012 Summer Games in London and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. On 4 August 2016, the IOC decided to reintroduce softball at the 2020 Summer Games, as well as baseball for men.