Fastpitch Softball Rules For Base Running

Fastpitch softball is a competitive sport that is played all over the world. This is a sport that is mainly played by women.

Whilst it might not be the most famous sport in the world, fastpitch softball is a great sport to watch or participate in.

Fastpitch Softball Rules for Base Running

For those of you who are interested in playing fastpitch softball, there are some rules that you need to follow.

As with every sport there are countless rules and regulations, some to keep you safe while others are there to keep the game fair.

Most people get confused with the rules in fastpitch softball regarding base running. Well, we are here to clear up any misconceptions.

In this guide, we are going to walk you through the rules you need to know for base running in fastpitch softball.

We are going to inform you about other rules you should know when playing this sport.

What Is Fastpitch Softball?

If you are someone who is new to softball, you might not be entirely sure what it is. Well, don’t worry, we are here to guide you through.

Fastpitch softball is one version of softball. There is another version of softball called slowpitch softball.

In fastpitch softball the pitcher rotates their throwing arm 360 degrees until the ball is released. The way this movement is often described is like a windmill.

Fastpitch softball has been around for a long time. Although it might not be the most popular sport played today in America, it was very popular during the 1930s and 1940s.

Fastpitch softball has even been played at the Olympics.

Fastpitch softball is a sport that demands a lot of skill and accuracy for the game to be successful. Pitching accuracy is one of the most important aspects of fastpitch softball.

Those interested in fastpitch softball need to work on their stance, grip on the ball, windup, and release.

Base Running Rules

Base runners in fastpitch softball have freedom in some areas of the game but they are required to follow certain rules.

Although, depending on the age group the rules change slightly. We have listed the rule below and explained the details of each rule.

Look-back Rule

This rule is something that all base runners have to follow. This includes the batter runner.

Essentially, the look-back rule means that all of the base runners need to be on a base or trying to return to a base when the ball has been given back to the pitcher.

This rule applies when the pitch is 8 feet away from the pitcher’s rubber.

If a player is in between the bases, they are able to return to a previous base or try to move to the next base.

The idea behind this rule is that it is meant to stop players from moving between bases when the ball is back with the pitcher.

If the player leaves a base before the ball has left the pitcher’s hands, they are pitched out.

Uncaught Third Strike Rule

This rule applies when a batter is about to be out on the third strike. However, if the catcher drops the third strike ball, then the batter is not out straight away.

Instead, the batter then becomes a runner and can run to first base.

If the batter makes it to first base without being caught, they are not out. However, this rule only applies if first base is not occupied.

Touch The Bases

If base runners want to move to the home plate then they are required to touch all of the bases in the order they pass them. This applies to every situation as well as home runs.

Fastpitch Softball Rules for Base Running (1)

If a player does not touch all of the bases and returns to the home plate, they are out. The umpire of the game will indicate they are out.

Stealing The Bases

As mentioned above, runners are not allowed to move from the base they are on before the ball is out of the pitcher’s hand. However, runners are allowed to steal bases.

Stealing bases means the runner takes a base that they were not granted.

This usually happens when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. It should be noted that those at first and second base should not steal more than one base on a pitch.

Runners who steal bases should only do so if they have done a risk assessment. They might be caught out by the catcher.

Other Fastpitch Softball Rules

There are plenty of fastpitch softball rules to follow, here are a few of the most important ones.

Batting order is important in fastpitch softball. When the batting order has been decided it must be followed for the entire game.

Substituted players are to take the position of the player they are substituted for.

In most games, the team that is batting continues this role until three players are out. Then the team goes to the field.

Fastpitch Softball Rules For Little Leagues

As mentioned before, the rules for fastpitch softball changes depending on the age group. Those in little league games will have different rules. Here are some of the rules of little league games.

In terms of the field they are playing on, the bases are 60 feet apart in little league competitions. However, for minor leagues or those who are younger this distance might be shorter.

When it comes to the length of the game, there is a mercy rule in place for little league games. This mercy rule allows for the game to end if a team is behind by 10 runs or more.

Final Thoughts

There are many rules that runners need to keep in mind when playing fastpitch softball.

However, with a lot of practice these rules become like second nature to the runners and they aren’t that complicated.

We hope that this guide has helped you to understand and be aware of the fastpitch softball rules for base runners. Please share this guide with others who might be interested.

Thank you for reading.

Steven Anderson