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Strategy: Softball Terminology

Coach Strategy

We often use words in softball that mean something to those of us using them all the time, but that are almost impossible to find in any rulebook or dictionary. So here’s what a few softball terms mean:

Fungo: This is what they call it when you toss the ball up to yourself and then hit the ball out to either your teammates or to your team. Don’t ask me why they call it fungo? Fungo is often used by coaches to hit groundballs and flyballs before games and during practice. It’s also a GREAT way for players to learn to hit better.

Presenting the Ball: When does a pitcher "present the ball"? It’s at the very beginning of the motion when she pauses for a full second and gets the signal. Now, most rules require that the pitcher present the ball with both hands together, but your rules may allow her to have her hands either together or apart. The reason for the term "presenting the ball" is because the pitcher is actually presenting the ball to the batter to avoid quick-pitching when the batter isn't ready. It simply means the pitcher must come to a pause (with hands either together or apart - based on the rules of your league/association) before starting her pitching motion.

Pulling the Ball: This term refers to a batter that hits the ball on the same side of the field as the batter's box she's standing in. So, for instance, if a right handed batter comes up and she's standing in the box on the left side of the plate (looking at the batter's box from the catcher's view) then any ball she hits on the LEFT side of the field, either to the infield or outfield.

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