Softball Positions Explained

Softball positions may seem like a complicated matter to someone just learning the sport, but it’s actually quite simple once you learn them. Below are some of the most important attributes to the 9 players on the field for a softball team (including their positions on the field), and how they contribute to the team’s success.

Just don’t forget the importance of wearing the proper softball equipment (like RIP-IT Softball Helmets and Softball Face Masks) without sacrificing your signature style.


Softball Field Positions


Outfielders (CF, RF, and LF):

Positioned beyond the infield, three outfielders are tasked with catching and fielding fly balls, line drives, and ground balls hit into the outfield. The outfielders are positioned and named according to their position outside the area designated by the four bases. LF (left field) outfielder stands closest to third base; RF (right field) outfielder stands closest to first base; CF (center field) outfielder is positioned in between the other two outfielders. Outfielders are also often the strongest throwers on a softball team due to their distance from the rest of the position players. (source)

A group of softball outfielders Photo: UWire

Second Basemen (2B)

Plays in the gap between the first baseman and the bag at second, which is positioned directly opposite of home plate. The second baseman receives throws from fielders attempting to make outs at 2nd base and fields “grounders” and “pop ups” hit to this side of the infield. Depending on where a ball is hit, the second baseman can even throw balls to the pitcher in order to get the out. Due to their position on the field, second basemen are often right-handed. (source)
Softball 2nd baseman tagging runner out

Short Stop (SS)

The shortstop catches and fields balls hit to the infield between second and third base. She covers second base (along with the second baseman) and is often involved in force plays and “double plays” with the second baseman. Due to their many responsibilities and difficulty of the position, the shortstop is often the most versatile and agile player on the softball field.(source)

Softball shortstop throwing a ball

Pitcher (P)

The pitcher throws (or pitches) the softball from the center of the diamond (pitcher's mound) to the catcher. The pitcher uses a underarm motion to pitch the ball toward the "strike zone," an imaginary area from the just below the knee to the chest of the batter. After making a pitch, the pitcher gets ready to field balls hit up the middle. The height, as well as strength and agility, is an advantage for a softball pitcher.(source)
Softball pitcher winding for a pitch

Third Basemen (3B)

Softball third baseman fielding a ball in play

The third baseman is typically positioned to the left of third base, which is diagonally opposite of first base. She fields any balls hit into this area and receives throws from other fielders attempting to make outs at 3rd base. The third baseman must also be able to throw the ball to the catcher during plays in which a baserunner is running to home plate.(source)

First Basemen (1B)

Softball first baseman stretching out for an out

Positioned just to the left of the first base, the first baseman’s main role is to make fielding plays on balls hit toward first base. She may have to stretch to keep her foot on first base while receiving a ball from a teammate in order to record an out.(source)

Catcher (C)

The catcher plays in a semi-crouched position behind home plate and receives pitches thrown by the pitcher. She also helps to throw balls ahead of a batter or baserunner before they can reach a base, and receives throws from fielders attempting to make outs at home plate. Lastly, the catcher communicate with teammates on the number of outs and strikes and call individual pitches (that are interpreted by the pitcher) using finger signals. (source)

Softball catcher at home plate receiving a pitch

Map of Field:


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