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Softball has two main disciplines, fastpitch and slowpitch. Fastpitch is played in local, state, national and international competitions. Slowpitch, which is also played competitively, is very popular as a recreational or social sport.
The playing field is divided into fair territory and foul territory. Fair territory is further divided into the infield and the outfield and territory beyond the outfield fence.
The infield is a square called a diamond. There is a base at each corner: first base, second base, third base and home plate. The pitching distance is measured from the rear point of the home plate to the front edge of the pitchers plate.
The outfield is a grassed area beyond the infield and extends the entire width of the field and to the outfield fence. The table below outlines the distances relevant to the competition.Playing field layout and dimensions
Below is a table outlining the international standard distances. They are measured from the rear point of home plate to the first base and the front edge of the pitchers plate.
The following table is suggested distances for younger aged children.
The minimum length of the baselines vary depending on the competition played. For fastpitch and slowpitch the baselines are 18.29m. In wheelchair softball the baselines are 15.24m.
The backstop is the area behind the home plate.
At one corner of the diamond is the home plate with bases at each of the remaining corners. The bases are numbered counter clockwise as 1st base, 2nd base and 3rd base and securely fastened to the ground. Each base is a 38.1cm square and made of a white material. First base is a double base—76.2cm x 38.1cm.
Home plate is a five‑sided piece of white rubber located between the two batter’s boxes and the catcher’s box.
The batter’s boxes are the rectangular areas beside home plate and the catcher’s box is behind home plate.
A coaches box is located in foul territory outside both baselines.
The two foul lines meet at a right angle at home plate. These lines and the fence running between the baselines defines the limits of the field.
The pitching circle surrounds the pitching rubber.
The pitching rubber is located at the centre of the diamond. It is 61cm wide and 15.3cm deep.
Softball Field Guidelines. Updated January 2015. Softball Australia. http://www.softball.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Softball-Field-GuidelinesFINAL.pdf
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.
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