Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Recreation/Slow-Pitch Softball

Slow-Pitch Softball
North American Division
Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 2006

1. Know the basic rules of slow-pitch softball.


Slow Pitch Softball Rules

Slow pitch softball rules can vary significantly depending on the type of league or tournament you enter. On top of the various slowpitch softball associations like the ASA and NSA, there are also different rules by the USSSA and International Softball Federation.

Equipment is heavily controlled in all slowpitch softball leagues but there are also field differences including distance of the pitching mound and other similar changes. Slowpitch softball bats are heavily regulated in every association including length, weight, make, and modifications. Other rules govern actions on the field, safety gear, sportsmanship, and nearly anything else you can do in or around a softball field.

Bunting is illegal in slowpitch but not fastpitch and quick pitches being illegal are just a few regulations you'll find in some leagues but not others.

2. What is the meaning of Good Sportsmanship?


Good sportsmanship means having good conduct and attitude by sports participants, especially fair play, courtesy, striving spirit, and grace in losing. A good sport will not gloat when he wins, nor will he sulk when he loses. He will offer help to his opponent, even if doing so may cost him a win. He will understand that his opponent is more important than the contest.

3. Name and demonstrate your understanding of the skills required for the ten (10) softball playing positions.



first baseman
second baseman
third baseman


left fielder
center fielder
right fielder
In slow pitch softball there is an extra fielder, who is specified as a rover. Normally, the defensive team will play with four outfielders, meaning there is a left fielder, left-center fielder, right-center fielder, and right fielder.

4. Identify the following

A collection of bats
The bat used by the batter can be made of metal, wood, or composite materials (carbon fiber, etc.). Sizes may vary but they may be no more than 86 cm in length, 6 cm in diameter, or 38 oz. in weight. The Slowpitch softball bat barrel standard is 2 1/4 inches. Many players prefer a smaller barrel that lightens weight and provides more swing speed
Softball diamond
On deck circle
The "on deck circle" is a circle outside the field of play where the next batter stands while waiting for a turn to bat. The next player to bat is said to be "on deck."
Batter’s box
The batter's box is a rectangle in which the batter stands while at bat. There are two batter's boxes on a softball diamond, one on either side of home plate. This allows a hitter to stand on either side of home pate, a choice often made depending on the batter's handedness.
The outfield is the area of the softball diamond beyond the baselines (which are the lanes between the bases).
Coaches’ box
The coaches' box is a rectangular area outside the field of play. A softball diamond has two of them, with one situated near first base, and another near third base. The base coaches stand in these to offer instruction and advice to the runners.
Pitcher’s mound
The pitcher's mound is a raised area in the center of the infield. The pitcher stands on the mound when pitching.
Diamond Bags
Diamond bag is another word for base. There are three of them, designated first, second, and third base.
Pitching rubber
The pitching rubber is a strip of rubber located on the pitcher's mound. The pitcher's foot must be in contact with the pitching rubber when the pitch is made.
All defensive players wear fielding gloves, made of leather or similar material. Gloves have webbing between the thumb and forefinger, known as the "pocket". The first baseman and the catcher may wear mitts; mitts are distinguished from gloves in that they have extra padding, and no fingers. Gloves used in softball are generally larger than the ones used in baseball.
Right field
Home base
Left field

5. Define or explain the following game terms

Bases Loaded

This is when there are fewer than 3 outs and there are base runners on first, second, and third. In this situation, all runners are prepared to run when the ball is hit. If there are two outs, all runners will "run on contact," when the ball is hit by the hitter.

Home team

The home team is the team who is playing on their own field, and the other team is visiting from another school or town. Alternately, the home team is randomly chosen in some fashion. That is because, in many leagues, all teams are from one region and players have been randomly assigned by the league. In this second case, the home team is simply the team that bats in the bottom of the inning. In this case, home team is usually chosen by a coin toss at the beginning of the game or has been decided by the league scheduling office prior to the beginning of the season. On a scoreboard, the home team always appears second and bats in the bottom of each inning.


A bunt is not legal in most slow-pitch softball leagues. If allowed, it is performed by the batter moving his/her upper hand up the stock of the bat, bringing the bat parallel to the ground as it makes contact with the ball. The goal is for the ball to drop mere inches in front of the plate, thus forcing the fielders to make the "sure out" at first and advance the other base runners. It is a tactical move that is better suited to the expertise of players in fast-pitch leagues. Also, since most slow-pitch softball games require a 6' arc pitch, a bunt is nearly impossible.


An inning is composed of a top and a bottom of the inning. During the top of the inning the visiting team bats until they make three outs. In the bottom of the inning the home team bats until them make three outs. Most slow-pitch softball games have seven-innings. However, there are other rules (that are common to most leagues—check your local league's rules) that may limit the number of innings played such as: 1. No inning may begin after the one-hour of play has ended 2. If one team is leading by 15+ runs after 3 innings or 10+ runs after 5 innings, the game is called (ended). This is often called the "mercy rule."

Fielder’s choice

This term is used to calculate earned runs and the like. It means that the defense had a choice of whether to get the batter out at first, or to get another base-runner out on second, third or home, and chose to get the base-runner out rather than the batter. This term is not used much in slow-pitch softball.


This is a list of the players on a team and the ORDER in which they bat. In many slow-pitch softball leagues, all players on a team hit, regardless of whether they are part of the 10-man-field. In many leagues, a team is allowed to play the game with only 8 of their 10-person field players present. However, when there are less than 10 batters, an out is taken whenever those spots come up in the rotation. In most cases, if a player arrives late they can ONLY be inserted in the lineup at the bottom of the lineup. Thus, if your "#3 hitter" shows up after the game has started, he/she can't hit where you strategically like him/her to. Instead he/she bats at the bottom of the lineup.

Fly Ball

A fly ball or simply fly is a ball that is hit in the air, usually very high. Fielders attempt to catch fly balls on their descent.


A pop fly or pop-up is a specific type of fly ball that goes very high while not traveling very far laterally. From the perspective of the fielder, pop-ups seem to come straight down. A fly ball is usually caught in flight and thus results in an out, called a fly out or a pop out as the case may be.

Force Play

When a runner must advance to another base because the batter becomes a runner and, as such, must advance to first base. In this situation, the base the runner is being forced to needs to be touched by the fielder with the ball and is considered a "force out." A play when a fly ball is caught and a fielder touches a base prior to the runner tagging up is not a force play, but an appeal play.


A player who advances around all the bases to score is credited with a run. The team with the most runs wins the game. A manager "runs his players" when he calls on them to steal bases and to be generally aggressive in trying to advance extra bases when the ball is in play. A player or coach may be "run" by an umpire by being ejected from a game.

Foul tip

This occurs when the batter swings at a pitch and makes contact with the ball. However, the ball does not "land" between the lines (the field area), but instead flies far left, far right, or behind the batter, and thus not in the field of play. After the player has received a second strike, he/she is allowed a "courtesy foul" but if he/she fouls a second time (after the second strike), he/she is called out. If a foul tip is caught by a fielder (usually the catcher or infielder), he/she is called out.


The score is usually displayed on a scoreboard, but at least is recorded by each team and returned to the officials. The score is the summation of the number of runs scored by each team throughout the game. At the end of the game, the team with the highest score (the most runs scored) wins the game.

Grand Slam

A home run (HR) with runners on all three bases prior to the home run. Thus, the home run results in four RBIs for the hitter and 4 runs scored for the team.

Strike zone

The area between the shoulders and knees of the batter that is the width of the home plate (thus a rectangular area). A pitch delivered through this zone is considered a strike.

In most leagues, a player enters the batters box with one strike and one ball (to speed up the game), and thus, two more strikes either swung at or called strikes result in an out.


A ground ball or grounder is a batted ball that rolls or bounces on the ground. A line drive in the infield may become a hard grounder to an outfielder; these are usually called line drives regardless.

The count

The number of balls and strikes a batsman has in his current at bat. Usually announced as a pair of numbers, for instance "3–0" (pronounced "three and oh"), with the first number being the number of balls and the second being the number of strikes. A 3–2 count – one with the maximum number of balls and strikes in a given at bat – is referred to as a full count. A count of 1–1 or 2–2 is called even, although the pitcher is considered to have the advantage on a 2–2 pitch because he can still throw another ball without consequence, whereas another strike means the batter is out. A batter is said to be ahead in the count (and a pitcher behind in the count) if the count is 1–0, 2–0, 2–1, 3–0, or 3–1. A batter is said to be behind in the count (and a pitcher ahead in the count) if the count is 0–1, 0–2, or 1–2.

Home run

A home run (or homer) is a base hit in which the batter is able to circle all the bases, ending at home plate and scoring a run himself.


A base on balls (BB), also known as a walk, occurs in baseball when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls, and is then entitled to reach first base without the possibility of being put out.

6. Explain the following official’s calls or rules

Double Play

A play by the defense where two offensive players are put out as a result of continuous action resulting in two outs. The double play combination (or DP combo) on a team consists of the shortstop and the second baseman, because these players are the key players in a 6-4-3 or 4-6-3 double play. They are also sometimes called sack-mates because they play either side of second base (also known as second sack).


An error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or base-runner to reach one or more additional bases, when that advance could have been prevented by ordinary effort by the fielder. An error is also charged when a fielder fails to catch a foul fly ball that could have been caught with ordinary effort. The term error can also refer to the play in which an error was committed. Because the pitcher and catcher handle the ball so much, some misplays by them are called "wild pitch" and "passed ball", and are not counted as errors.

Fair ball

A fair ball is a batted ball that entitles the batter to attempt to reach first base. In order for a batted ball to be fair, it must be hit in such a way that it:

•settles on fair ground between home and first base, or
•between home and third base; or
•is on or over fair territory when bounding past first or third base; or
•touches first, second, or third base (which by rule are in fair territory); or
•touches the person of an umpire or player while the ball is on or over fair territory (unless it touches the batter in the batter's box, or bounces off the ground and immediately hits the bat); or
•passes out of the playing field in flight while over fair territory, or touches any part of the foul pole, including any attached screen, while in flight; or
•strikes any object for which the specific ballpark's ground rules specify that a batted ball striking that object is a fair ball (e.g., a roof if present).
Foul ball

A foul ball is a batted ball that:

•Settles on foul territory between home and first base or between home and third base, or
•Bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory, or
•First falls on foul territory beyond first or third base, or
•While on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.

A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on foul or fair territory at the time he touches the ball.

Ground rule double

An error is an act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or base-runner to reach one or more additional bases, when that advance could have been prevented by ordinary effort by the fielder. An error is also charged when a fielder fails to catch a foul fly ball that could have been caught with ordinary effort. The term error can also refer to the play in which an error was committed. Because the pitcher and catcher handle the ball so much, some misplays by them are called "wild pitch" and "passed ball", and are not counted as errors.

Infield fly rule

The umpire calls the batter out when (a) there are less than two outs in the inning, and (b) the batter hits a fly ball that can be caught with ordinary effort by an infielder in fair territory, and (c) there are runners on first and second or the bases are loaded. The batter is automatically called out in this situation whether or not a fielder attempts to catch the fly ball, but assuming that the ball stays in fair territory. The rule states that the umpire is supposed to announce, "Infield fly, if fair". If the ball will be almost certainly fair, the umpire will likely yell, "Infield fly, batter's out!" or just "Batter's out!"


An out occurs when the defensive, or fielding, team effects any of a number of different events, and the umpire rules a batter or base-runner out. When a player is called out, he is said to be retired. When three outs are recorded in an inning during a team's turn at offense, that team's half of the inning finishes, and it is said that "the side is retired." The most common ways batters or runners are put out are by strikeouts, fly outs, tag outs, and force outs.


A base-runner is safe when he reaches a base without being put out by various ways. While a runner is touching a base, he is usually not in jeopardy of being put out, and is thus "safe" from fielders actions. The runner is in jeopardy once again, negating this safety, when he ceases touching the base, when forced on a force play, or when the runner commits interference.

7. Demonstrate the ability to read a basic scorecard that was scored in a game you participated in.


8. List and describe five (5) responsibilities of an umpire.

  1. Call balls and strikes—The homebase umpire is responsible to indicate to the players how many balls and strikes the current batter has accumulated.
  2. Call foul/fair balls "down the lines"—The umpire is responsible to indicate with proper signaling whether a ball hit to the right or left is a "fair" ball (and thus playable) or "foul" ball (and thus cannot be run/scored upon).
  3. Call base-runners safe/out—Once the ball is in play, the umpire is responsible for determining whether the runners successfully tagged and maintained contact with the bases around the basepath ahead of the fielders play or whether the fielder was able to put the runner "out" by force or by tagging the non-forced runner.
  4. Call double plays and other fielding outs—Once the ball is in play, the umpire is responsible for determining whether a hit ball was caught by the fielder and whether he/she maintained control of that ball throughout the play. When calling double plays the umpire is responsible for seeing that the ball arrived at the first put out location (usually second) prior to the baserunner, then was relayed to the second put out location (usually first) and arrived prior to the baserunner.
  5. Call the start and end of the game—Umpires must make sure games begin and end on time
  6. Recording / tracking scorecards & Lineups—Umpires guard the integrity of the game by being sure that the scores recorded are valid and that the lineups were legitimate throughout the game's play.

9. Name 5 mental and physical attributes to be gained from slow-pitch softball.

  1. Eye-hand coordination
  2. Concentration
  3. Strategic play (both offensively and defensively)
  4. Teamwork (the ability to communicate with and work with other players for the common goal of winning the game and playing well)
  5. Placement and control (pitcher & catcher especially)
  1. Flexibility
  2. Good upper body strength
  3. Smart; can think fast
  4. Quick on their feet
  5. Quick hands; good reach

10. As a team or individual, develop a plan to practice outreach while completing the requirements for this honor. Possible options could include the following

a. Invite 3 friends not from your church to play a game.
b. Have prayer before each game.
c. Exhibit good sportsmanship and fair play.

11. Play three (3) slow-pitch official games with an umpire and demonstrate reasonable skills.


12. Write a one page report on a famous athlete. Discuss why they are or are not a good Christian role model.


We would encourage you to limiting your report to one page about a famous baseball/softball athlete. Olympic baseball, Olympic women's softball, Major League Baseball, the Negro Leagues (historical), Wikipedia List of Professional Baseball Leagues, and Baseball Hall of Fame may give you some ideas.

Remember that not all super stars are admirable Christian role models. Many have abused alcohol, performance enhancing drugs, etc. In addition, many have used sports as an excuse to live lives not in keeping with the 10 Commandments, especially commandments #7 and #10 ("Thou shalt not commit adultery" and "Thou shalt not covet.") However, as in most walks of life, there are heroes that not only stand out professionally as the best in their field, but who also live model lives that Christian young people can admire.

REMEMBER, this is ONLY a ONE PAGE report.

Please practice honesty by NOT simply cut-and-pasting a Wikipedia biography into a word document. Your paper should show thought and highlight the question asked in this requirement.

13. Discuss with your Pathfinder leader, pastor or teacher the problems facing a Seventh-day Adventist youth considering participating in sports in Jr. High, High School or college. What alternatives are there to allow for continued activity in sports?


The most obvious problem faced by a Seventh-day Adventist who wishes to participate in organized sports is the tendency for games to be scheduled during Sabbath hours. Competitive sports and Sabbath observance are not compatible with one another. An alternative would be to participate with a group of like-minded individuals. Many towns offer city leagues, and it may be possible to form a team with other members of your church, with the understanding that you will not compete on the Sabbath.

The Adventist athlete may also enjoy individual sports instead, or engage in informal pick-up games.



Mark O'Ffill is the author of the answers for the "Slow Pitch Softball Requirements" and also was responsible for taking several editions of differing proposed honor requirements and submitting one united honor proposal to the Honors Taskforce. At the time this article was written, Mark was a teacher at Hilltop Christian School in Antioch, CA, where he taught PE to grades 3-10, in addition to History and Bible classes for grades 7-10.