Slow pitch softball is a fun sport for everyone to enjoy. The ball is somewhat bigger than a baseball and the rules can vary in different leagues (ASA, USSA or NSA). Some general nuances in softball, unlike baseball are: the bases are much closer, games are 7 innings instead of 9, 10 or 15 run rule is in effect, 10 players are on defense and you can have as many as 12 players in the offensive line-up. Most city recreation departments have softball leagues for men and women at different levels of competition (novice, D, C, B and A). B and A level are reserved for the most competitive players, normally composed of ex-college baseball players or individuals over 6í3 whereas novice and D are for the more inexperienced player. Beware, classification can vary from city to city (i.e. a C team in one city may be a A team in another city). As for tournaments, they are in abundance everywhere. Just call your city recreation department.
All you really need is softball glove (at least 13.5 inches), bat (there are many choices) and a ball (red dot - Worth...itís one of the best). The BAT however is one of the most important items you can own, since softball is strictly and offensive affair. Most softball bats are 34 inches and vary in weight up to 38 oz. The most popular weight for men though is about 28-29 oz. Bats can be balanced (even weighted) or end loaded (heavy at the end). Go to your local sporting goods store and swing one around (watch out for children). Most bats are made of C405 aluminum alloy or some other material that claim can give you more distance and velocity. I must admit these bats do work however their prices are quite steep for the result. A top of the line, double wall Demarini for example, could cost you up to $280! Personally I used this bat and I do not see a really HUGE difference compared with the TPS, Easton and Worth bats which run at half the price. If you want to hit homers over the 300 foot fence hit the weight room or work on your technique, it can do wonders for you. Prior to the weight room I could barely hit the fence. Now, Iíve hit as many as three dingers in a game! So there is hope for all you aspiring sluggers.