Sunday, 11 March 2012

Key Differences Between Softball and Baseball

Many would compare softball and baseball as extremely similar sports. While that is true, there are a few key differences. First, the actual balls are different sizes; a softball is much larger than a baseball. A softball is eleven to twelve inches in circumference and is less dense than the baseball, which is typically nine inches in circumference. Another key difference is the length of the bats used; baseball bats are often longer than their softball counterparts. A softball bat measures no longer than thirty four inches, where as a baseball bat must be no longer than 42 inches, and made of wood at the professional level (in softball, aluminum bats are used at every level).

The field used also differs in size; a baseball diamond has base paths that are ninety feet long, and softball diamonds have base paths that are thirty feet shorter at sixty feet. In softball there is what is called a "double first base" where the runner can run to in foul territory, baseball has no such base. The distance from home pate to the outfield walls also is different; in baseball, the distances vary, but in softball the distances must be constant and be no more than two hundred and fifty feet from home plate to the outfield wall.

The pitchers have different distances to work with as well; in baseball the distance from the rubber on the pitcher mound to home plate is sixty feet and 6 inches; in softball it is varied by level with amateur being forty feet, forty three feet for high school college and international, and forty six feet for men. In baseball, the mound is raised, however in softball the mound is flat, and is marked with white chalk to designate it. The pitching method is also different; in baseball an overhand motion is used, while in softball, an underhand method is generally used.

There are some similarities in the two sports, however. One of the similarities is the rules for bunting with two strikes, striking out, getting hit by a pitch, and the number of players on the field. Another very important similarity is the type of uniform, particularly the types of socks used.

A baseball sock and softball sock are very similar, and a sock that is worn in one sport can be worn while playing the other, however there is much more variety available to a consumer looking to purchase softball socks.

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Using Softball Jewelry As Incentives for Coaching Junior Softball

Softball Clubs often hand out weekly or end of season awards such as fast food vouchers, cans of soft drink or trophies. What about a more lasting reminder of the child's achievement such as a piece of softball jewelry.

Children can then wear the softball necklace or bracelet with pride and it will act as a constant reminder of what can be achieved and show the world what game they are playing and love. Other items of Jewelry that can be given out are softball earrings or charms to add to a Charm Bracelet or keyrings.

End of season trophies are often what are given out at the end of a softball season. These are generally hidden in a room and not looked at regularly. The end of the softball season should be a time to reflection on an enjoyable and fun time. Presenting players with softball jewelry in the form of say a charm bracelet will help to ensure everybody finishes the season feeling great and this will then also encourage players to play again the following season.

This is a list of coaching ideas for the timing of giving a piece of softball jewelry.

1. Set regular quizzes regarding the rules of the game. Try acting them out so the kids can see what not to do.

2. Try skills tests against the clock on who can be fastest to pick up the field ball and get it back to the pitcher. etc

3. Each week you should see an improvement in one of the children's abilities so a Most Improved award can be given. Make sure each child ends the season with an award.

4. End of Season award parties can be a great time to give awards for Best and Fairest, Most Improved, Most consistent and Best New Player.

The winner of each of these coaching ideas will receive a cute piece of softball jewelry.

Lots of kids love to play softball. They love the team environment and getting fit and healthy with their friends. Of course some kids are more competitive that others. They like to win and be rewarded for winning. This is all well and good but rewarding progress at a skill or fair play and sportsmanship is equally important. We all achieve in different ways so be very fair in handing out prizes because if not all kids get an award at some stage they may be upset and not want to play again.

Julie is a youth softball coach and also sells a great range of Sports Jewelry including Cricket, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Netball, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis or most other sports.
So if you require Softball Jewelry you can find it all here:

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Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Brief Introduction to Soccer Scholarships

ByMary J. Barras

All Colleges and Universities these days have various scholarship programs in place to help a multitude of students procure a quality education. Scholarships are a form of financial aid to help students from weak financial backgrounds to attain further education. Each scholarship is awarded based of different criteria. The most common types of scholarships are Merit-based, Need-based, Student-specific and Career-Specific. Merit-based scholarships are based on the student's superior skills in academic, athletic or artistic field. When the student's ability is recognized, scholarships are awarded by private organizations or by the college itself, to which the student has applied. Need-based scholarships are given to those students who are incapable of putting together the tuition fees and related expenses. Student-specific scholarship contenders are generally assessed on race, gender, medical history or religion. These scholarships are often given to students from minority groups. Career-based scholarships are given by the college or university to students pursuing a particular field of education. Some scholarships may even come with a "bond", stating that after he or she has finished the required study he or she must join the organization that provided the scholarship for a stipulated time period. The most common form of such scholarships is offered by the defense associations of various countries.

Sports scholarships or Athletic Scholarships are a form of Merit-based scholarship. They are awarded based entirely on the student's ability to play a sport. These scholarships are generally hard to come by because the competition is very fierce. A Soccer scholarship is an example of such a scholarship. Universities have in their employment scouts who assess the skill of players in various high schools and recommend players to the scholarship lists. These scouts are often approached by the high school coach who has noticed a rising star on his team. The scouts often come to important matches and judge the player's performance. If the performance is everything the coach promised, the player can expect a spectacular windfall. But not all scholarships cover the entire tuition cost. The reason for this is though the university offers a certain number of scholarships the scouts end up recruiting double the number of players and offering them half the scholarship.

Of course the player's expertise on the field is not the only factor towards a scholarship assessment. Being able to score the highest number of goals in a soccer game can only get you so far. His or her academic record also plays an important role in getting the scholarship. The player has to be able to keep up respectable grades so as to not side-track education altogether. Not only does a contender have to maintain at least a "B" to apply for the scholarship but must also be able to get those grades once he or she joins university as well. A continual drop in grades can be grounds for revoking the scholarship. Though the soccer scholarship is awarded to the next soccer superstar out there, equal stress is placed on an overall growth of the student. These scholarships literally push you to be all that you can.

Sports Scholarships for girls and boys like Golf, Track & Field, Swimming, Tennis & Soccer Scholarships. At United Sports USA we are committed to helping talented boys and girls continue their sporting career in an American university environment.

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Teaching Children How To Play Softball Effectively

ByGreg Pierce

Children at a very young age are very adventurous, playful and full of vitality and energy. They have the stamina that adults cannot level up. For this reason, it would be best for us to train or expose our children into sport while they are at their best. As children are very flexible and easy to teach, they will absorb anything that is being taught to them.

If your kid is a boy, baseball or softball can be a good sport to start up with although girls can play with softball as there are women athletes playing this game. At a very young age you must introduce this game to your kids as a child play. Not as a serious game so that they will learn to love it as well as enjoy playing the game. You can already inculcate in them the basic principles of softball without them knowing that you are already teaching the basics of softball in a way that they will not get bored. Children have very short attention span, therefore, when you try to teach a child you must make your mentoring as interesting and enjoyable as possible.

When you can attain this, you are sure enough that the thing you have instilled in them will be deeply rooted, as it will become a habit. A follow up when they will mature will make their movement perfect. Constant training will make them competitive and endurance will soon build up. Not to mention the skills they will be forming with them, as they grow older.

Another thing that will be a benefit for them is that they will grow up to be strong and healthy kids as they already have develop their stamina and endurance to stress and other physical activities. Therefore training them while they are still young will give them the potential to become an expert or an ace in their field of sport when they become adults.

The only thing teachers must do is to make the training enjoyable and worthwhile, avoid strenuous and rigorous training at their early age. Since excessive training is only intended for adults. Children should be handled with since our purpose is to make them love the game and enjoy it while they are learning the basic movement and techniques of softball. To inspire them to learn more you should appreciate their little deeds, as it will boost up their morale thus yearning to play more will be the result.

You do not have to go through the hassle of going out to buy soccer socks, you can do it online! check out for more choices of girl soccer socks here.

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Monday, 5 March 2012

Softball Training Equipment - Tips to Improve Game Performance

If you're a serious softball enthusiast, or even if you're just helping your son or daughter develop some strength and accuracy for little league, then you're probably on the lookout for softball training equipment.

There are actually many items available to help you improve your performance as a softball player. This article will discuss some of the softball training equipment that's out there in order to help you decide what may be of benefit to you or your kids.

Softball Training Equipment Starts With the Basics - Balls and Bats

Every softball game needs a ball. And since every softball player will handle the ball at some point, there are weighted softballs that can help to increase strength as well as improve accuracy.

Imagine training with a ball that is 9, 10, 12 ounces or more. The heavier ball allows players to develop a strong arm and increase pitch speed. As the player gets accustomed to the heavier ball, he also learns to throw with greater accuracy. A set of 4 weighted training softballs will have an approximate price of $25.

Whether you're an outfielder or a pitcher, weighted training softballs can help you throw better, faster, and get the ball to your intended target - not overthrown or underthrown. When you get into the game and throw the regulation 6.5 ounce softball, it will feel like you're throwing a ball made of styrofoam!

The next piece of softball training equipment that you'll want to consider is the training bat.

Some training bats come with adjustable weights that hang on the end of the bat. They look like a bat that has a ring stuck on the end.

These weights allow the player to increase swing strength and encourages "muscle memory," which is where the muscles involved in the swing become used to the initial short swing to hit the ball, and then the long follow-through after the hit.

This type of training bat can also be used to warm up, helping the muscles to loosen up before the player's at-bat. Training bats typically run from $35 to about $70.

Batting Tees and Pitching Machines

Of course, most of us are familiar with the batting tee and pitching machines.

Batting tees basically hold the ball off the ground so that the player can practice hits and home runs. They typically run $25 to $200 or more, depending upon their level of sophistication.

Pitching machines are the next piece of softball training equipment we'll discuss. These have come a long way since the expensive machines of a few years ago. Today, you can get a nice pitching machine that will throw 30 mph balls at regular intervals for as little as $40!

Reaction Balls and Soft Mitts

A newer piece of softball training equipment is the reaction ball. This is a ball with "bumps" on it. It can be used for fielding practice or just tossed between two players. When the reaction ball hits the ground, it will bounce in unpredictable manners, allowing players to improve reaction time and hand-and-eye coordination.

Soft mitts are flat, foam mitts that train the player to improve the relationship between his two hands. The mitt encourages "quick hands," or the transition from catching the ball to throwing. It fits on the hand with three small elastic loops, and works well for honing fielding skills.

These run $15 to $20 and can fit on either hand.

Softball Training Equipment for Strength and Conditioning

There are additional softball training aids that can increase strength and condition of specific areas of your body.

For example, there is the wrist roller, which uses different weighted plates to develop strength in forearms. Reviewers have indicated that you can really feel the burn in your forearms!

Another aid is the power chute, which is a small parachute attached to your waist to increase wind resistance as he jogs. This allows the player to build up stronger thigh muscles as he runs trailing the power chute behind. This piece of softball training equipment can also increase stamina and acceleration.

Many baseball players are using titanium necklaces and bracelets, stating that titanium increases blood circulation and helps to relieve stiff muscles. Titanium is also available in a "power sleeve," which is said to concentrate the titanium in your arms to increase power and reduce any muscle fatigue.

One final piece of softball training equipment that has received good reviews is a drill mat. The mat absorbs the impact of jumping jacks and other up-and-down type motions to reduce impact on joints. While this has been encouraged as a softball training aid, it can also be used by athletes of all disciplines.

Softball training equipment can significantly improve game performance for the little league player as well as the serious athlete.

Olivia loves family and home, and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. She has been writing for more than 25 years about topics that she finds interesting. To see more of her material, please go to Softball Sales and Softball Training Equipment.

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Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Many Mixed Netball Benefits For the Individuals Participating

ByClare C Heasly

Netball represents an incredibly popular game which has developed in popularity throughout the world as the quick paced game getting the interests of men, women, children and even companies. With it you will discover a high energy game where each person participates equally for the interest of achieving the common objective of victory. As it continues to grow there is a fast demand related to the institution of mixed netball where men and women have the opportunity to play together for the chance to take part in the sport with friends, family and even co workers.

So what is the key reason why several people are interested in the thrilling game of netball? For men, normally the most vital trait of any sporting activity is found with the idea of high energy contest. Men are competitive by nature and with this game you unlock the opportunity to take part in one of the most highly competitive sports around.

The high intensity and fast pace of the sport prevents any individual stars to dominate the sport, therefore creating the chance for all players to take part equally, ensuring the satisfaction of that high competition requirement is from team work. In addition to the satisfaction of their competitive nature, the male players will even enjoy it as a full contact sport, though played in a safe environment. This chance to express yourself through contact competition could be quite exhilarating for the male participant.

There are many reasons why women are attracted to the game of netball, although the main reason why men are attracted is the competitive nature of the game. Netball isn't just a fast paced game, but the three second rule of possession with the ball forces individuals to work in a team environment where every player can make an impression when properly positioned. The sport is normally referred to as competitive chess as players are needed to participate in a quick thinking environment where each player position is significant to scoring while they are all spatially restricted on the court.

Most women enjoy the high demand for intellectual thinking that is associated with the sport, playing a game that isn't solely based on physical condition but on intelligence. Furthermore, the game of introduces an amazing aerobic workout for any women trying to stay in shape without the stationary need for aerobic equipment.

Even businesses have recognized the great opportunities introduced through the support of netball as lessons such as team work and social networking become key. Several companies have generated programs that encourage all associates to take part in the sport of netball as a key training tool for their associates.

If you, your friends or your business are looking to take advantage of the mixed netball opportunities, ensure to seek the resources which could be found at

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Friday, 2 March 2012

Composite Softball Bats

ByJeremy Baldridge

The main topic for today is regulations and I hope you're as thrilled reading about this as I was writing about this! I'm joking. Actually, you'll going to like this article because I took the most boring facts for you and summarized them into tiny bits of digestible information nuggets. Well, let's begin shall we...

The first thing you may want to know about is: the ASA or Amateur Softball Association.

This association is responsible for the most accepted playing rules, which they formally wrote in 2000. Since, 2000 the rules have been officially updated in 2004, so make sure whatever bat you purchase complies with the 2004 regulations. Although their standards apply to national softball leagues and championship games, other non-professional leagues use their guidelines as well.

Here's something useful. Bats produced before 2004 may not comply with ASA standards and thus may not be allowed on a softball field if an umpire says so. Most bats usually have a certification mark somewhere on them, which lets players and rule officials know that the bat has been tested and inspected for play. After 2000, most bats were stamped with certification marks. Without these marks, bats must be listed on the 2004 ASA approved list of bats in order to be used in championship games.

Usually should not be able to hit a ball faster than 98 mph (Controlled studies are usually performed with identical bats before they are manufactured.) This is known as the BESR rule, or batted Ball Exit Speed Regulation.

Moreover, under controlled studies the ASA has concluded that the speed of the batted ball should not be able to exceed 1.2 times that of the pitchers ball throw (BPF or Bat Performance Factor)

The longer you use a composite bat the better they become. This is what they mean by "breaking a bat in". Because of this, the BESR and BPF rules apply after a bat has been "broken in" and thoroughly used.

Finally, bats cannot be altered or enhanced in any way. If suspicious of foul play (sorry for the pun), bats are subject to confiscation and testing by officials. Fines can include being barred from games for as long as one year, or longer.

Well, that was short and sweet wasn't it? I hope you learned as much about and their regulations by reading as I did by writing this article. Until next time.

Jeremy Baldridge is a slowpitch softball enthusiast and writer. Throughout the year, Jeremy enjoys playing in several different slowpitch softball leagues where he gets to test out many of the latest on the market.