Starting Out

Starting out

Basic skills

Starting out

If you have decided that softball is the game for you and you want to join a team or if you are still undecided and want to watch a game or try-out, the best place to start is your local club or association. You can Find a Club near you or contact your State or Territory Association or Softball Australia for more information.

Once you decide to start playing softball, there are a few things you need to know or do:

  • You will need some basic skills, including the ability to throw, catch, field a ball, hit and move between bases. Information about these basic skills, as well as tips and training programs to help you develop your skills, are available in the Coaching section of this website.
  • You will need access to appropriate softball equipment and clothing
  • It's helpful to have an understanding of the basic Softball rules and terminology so you can confidently take to the diamond
  • You might want to build a team of friends, family members or work colleagues to play in an OzPitch orMasters competition
  • You might decide to participate in some of the softball programs and activities that are designed to help you get started

It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with health and wellbeing issues and playing policies and guidelines so your softball experience is a safe and positive one.

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Basic skills

To play softball competitively or recreationally, you need some basic skills, including the ability to:

  • Catch
  • Throw
  • Field a ball
  • Hit
  • Move between bases


Catching correctly not only keeps you from being hurt, it also makes it easier for you to get ready to throw the ball. Catching and throwing are the two fundamental defensive softball skills. In a game your ability to catch and throw quickly helps you throw out a baserunner attempting to advance to the next base. 


Throwing is the most important basic skill required of a good defensive player. The ability to throw accurately and quickly will make it hard for the opposition to score and advance runners. Having the correct throwing technique will allow you to hit your targets with greater consistency.


Good team fielding makes it difficult for the opposition to score runs and gives the pitcher and catcher extra confidence. It is important to practice the basic fundamentals of fielding a ball hit along the ground and in the air, as well as knowing where to throw the ball. A good fielder will rehearse specific plays so they know exactly where to throw the ball if it is hit to them.


Hitting is the most enjoyable part of the game. It is hard to hit a round ball with a round bat into a specified area, especially if you only have a split second to react, which is the case in fastpitch softball. A good hitter needs excellent hand-eye coordination, a fast reaction time, good technique and confidence.


Sharp aggressive base-running can put a lot of pressure on the defensive team. Good base-running is about being fast and smart. It is just as important to know and understand the current game situation at all times (including the number of outs and the defensive team's fielding placements) as it is to move around the bases quickly.

More information about these basic skills, as well as tips and training programs to help you develop your skills, are available in the Coaching section of this website.

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Updated 10 December 2014

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