The main difference in basic rules between slowpitch softball, fastpitch softball and baseball.
Fastpitch softball is often characterized by minimal numbers of runs, drag bunts and delayed steals. It is a game where pitching and defense truly wins games and the rules help contribute toward this style of play.
Pitchers have to be cognizant of their mechanics because the rules regarding fastpitch motions are very strict. All pitchers have to "present" or show the ball to a hitter before beginning their motion and they are not allowed to take a "crow-hop" or extra step off their back foot when following through on a pitch. This can be a difficult mechanic to teach young pitchers and many umpires let the rule slide at the lower age divisions but once a player advances to high school ball, the mechanics must be accurate.
In addition a chalked circle surrounds the pitching mound approximately 5 feet wide in diameter. Whenever a pitcher has control of the ball and is inside of that circle, any baserunners must either commit to a base or be standing on a base. If a baserunner begins to step off a base when a pitcher is in the circle, he or she is out. If a baserunner is between bases as a pitcher moves into the circle, that baserunner must make an immediate decision to commit to one base or he or she is called out.
Base stealing is also different from baseball. First of all, the distance between bases is less than regulation baseball. In fastpitch softball, runners cannot lead off a base until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand during a pitch. At that point, a runner can either attempt to steal or lead off a base.
In some leagues, there is a double first base that has been developed for safety purposes. One base is located in fair territory and one base is in foul territory. The base in foul territory is orange, and is the base a runner should touch when trying to beat out a close play at first. The white bag in fair territory is the base a fielder should touch when making a putout at first base.
This base is in place in softball in large part because of the number of bunting that occurs during the game. It helps to prevent collisions at first base.
The rest of the rules are very similar to baseball. Again, it depends on the type of league a player is participating in. Some leagues allow for a courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher. In addition some leagues allow for a 10th hitter in the lineup, which serves as a designated hitter, as long as both teams agree.
Slowpitch softball is definitely a hitter's game. There is no stealing or leadoffs, and pitches in most leagues that have an arc of below 6 feet or above 12 feet are considered illegal. If the illegal pitch is taken, it is automatically a ball, but a hitter does have the option of hitting an illegal pitch.
The strike zone is determined by where the ball crosses the plate in relation to the hitter and where it lands behind the plate. Generally if a pitch lands within the strike zone inside of the batter's box behind the plate, it is a strike. Leagues either use an umpire behind home plate to manually call balls and strikes, or a mat which measures whether or not a pitch is a strike by where it lands.
A few things to consider: - Some bats may be considered illegal in one league and legal in another for both fastpitch and slowpitch.
- The mercy rule or time limit varies from league to league. - Substitution rules can also vary based on the league. American Softball Association (ASA) rules stipulate that a player can be substituted only for an injury but there is a re-entry rule that affects both fastpitch and slowpitch.
Birdwatching advice: tips on buying the best birding binoculars
A pair of birding binoculars should be tried before purchase. You get what you pay for, so choose a good pair that will last you a lifetime.
Binoculars are very important to anyone who likes to watch birds. Buying binoculars can be very expensive, so you want to purchase the right ones for you. Everyone is different, and with just about anything, you get what you pay for. Don't settle for a cheaply made pair of binoculars. Save up to buy a pair that will last you a lifetime. It will be worth every penny spent. Most binoculars need to take heavy abuse. The best ones will be able to survive any kind of heavy use you can give them. The best binoculars will even withstand immersion in water. They can be dropped from a significant height and not be damaged at all. After being dropped, the best binoculars will most likely still be focused. A custom fit will make you happiest. Try a pair before you buy them. Ask the dealer if you can take them home, and if you are not happy with them ask if it is possible to return them. If you can do that, then you have a good dealer. Try out a pair to see just how it fits in your hands. See how much power you are comfortable with and try one out in a bird watching environment. Many binoculars are very heavy, so try one that is comfortable for you.
In most binoculars, the on axis resolution or the center of the image, will be the same. But in the more expensive binoculars, the off axis resolution or the resolution at the edge of the image will differ greatly. The off axis resolution is important in any binoculars. A more expensive pair of binoculars will have better brightness, contrast, and color accuracy. Do you wear glasses? If so, you will want a good pair of binoculars that will not affect the image while looking through them with your glasses. The width of the image is important for bird watchers also. Try an inexpensive pair and compare them to a more expensive pair and you will notice the difference right away. The more expensive binoculars will excel in all these areas.
Ask yourself just what you are wanting before buying a pair of binoculars. Do you want to mount them on a tripod? Does they have a good warranty? Is the image large and does it fill your eyes? Are they made from rugged and strong material? Do they have rubber on the outside for added protection? It is a good idea to have well made binoculars that will last a long time.
Remember, when bird watching, you will be carrying the binoculars for a long period of time. Are they too heavy? Is the strap comfortable around your neck? Do they have eyecups and are they attached or removable? The ease of using binoculars is important also. Can they be focused easily and do they stay focused? Be sure there is not too much play in the focus knob, as this will make it hard to keep focused. How close can you focus? Are there any unwanted internal reflections? Is there the bright high contrast you want? Are fine details resolved?
All these questions should be answered before buying a pair of binoculars. If you cannot afford the most expensive pair or you feel like you really don't need to spend that much, then go for a medium priced pair. These will most likely be what you will be happiest with. Remember that your eyes will tell you what will be the best birding binoculars. All brands of binoculars have different styles and only you can choose what is best for you.
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