The Slow-Pitch Softball Ten Commandments

Spring is in the air! If there’s one thing Spring is synonymous with, it’s baseball.  However, most men my age have long since given up on their boyhood dreams of playing professional baseball.  Lack of athletic ability, combined with unwillingness to work hard has put an end to that dream.  Instead, men (me included) have decided to live out their dying boyhood fantasies by playing slow-pitch softball.

As someone who has been playing for about seven years now, I have learned a lot and I am ready to pass on my knowledge to you.  With leagues beginning to start up, it’s important that all men follow these important rules.  These are 10 commandments that all men who play softball must abide by. 

10.  Thou Shall not Argue with the Opposing Umpire
If you argue with the umpire for more than two consecutive seconds you should be banned from all softball leagues across the country.  Most softball umpires are 60 year-old men who are just trying to get away from their wives and make a few extra bucks.  These guys aren’t professionals and neither are you, so don’t make an ass out of yourself by getting into a screaming match with the ump. 

9.  Thou Shall not Wear Baseball Pants to Play Softball
The only acceptable attire for a softball game is sweatpants or shorts.   Wearing baseball pants is one of many signs you take softball too seriously.  You’re not on your high school travel team anymore.  There’s no need to wear baseball pants.  Wear shorts and a knee pad if you’re worried about cutting your knees up.

8.  Thou Shall not Play More than Twice a Week
I love playing softball but I will not play more than twice in a given week and neither should you.  If you’re playing softball, you’re probably in your 30′s and 40′s and therefore have lots of responsibilities (job, wife, kids etc).   Don’t neglect those responsibilities because you’re playing a 162- game schedule.

7. Thou Shall not Wear Batting Gloves to Play Softball
Anyone who plays baseball knows you wear batting gloves for two reasons:  The first is to keep your hands from getting blisters and the second is to reduce the sting in your hands after getting jammed.  Neither applies when playing softball.

You don’t need to worry about getting blisters.  It’s not like you’re going to be taking a 100 cuts off the tee and three rounds of batting practice in the cage before the game.  You’re going to stroll your fat ass to the plate, take four hacks a game and then sit your ass back on the bench.

You also don’t need to worry about getting jammed because…it’s FUCKING SOFTBALL. If you can’t get around on a pitch playing softball than you shouldn’t be playing—and even if you did get jammed, it won’t hurt.  So stop being such a pussy and take the batting gloves off.

6.  Thou Shall Avoid Pitching if Possible
I’ve been playing softball for a while now and I’m pretty amazed that I haven’t seen someone DIE.  An out of shape, aging pitcher stands from 45 feet away and lobs the ball to a large man who is swinging an aluminum club as hard as he can.  I’ve seen batted balls nearly take a pitcher’s head off.  I myself once broke a guy’s nose on a hard ground ball…to THIRD BASE!  So imagine the danger the pitcher faces.  If you can avoid pitching, do so. Let someone else get killed.

5. The Worst Player on the Team Shall Play Catcher
If you just joined the team and the coach asks you to play catcher, then I’ve got some bad new for you—you’re the worst player on the team. The catcher is essentially useless in slow-pitch softball.  Runners can’t steal and they can’t advance on wild pitches or passed balls.  The only time the catcher does anything is on a play at the plate.  I can say first-hand this can be frustrating from an outfielder’s perspective. There’s nothing more annoying than throwing a perfect strike from the outfield to nail a runner at home, only to see the catcher make a futile attempt to catch the ball.  

4. Thou Shall not Play with Clinchers
For those of you that don’t know, clinchers are softballs designed to reduce the speed of the ball off the bat. They are used in senior citizen leagues so old people don’t get killed by rocket line drives.  These balls SUCK.  There’s nothing more frustrating than hitting the crap out of the ball only to see it die in the shallow outfield.  If you’re under 50 years old, you have no excuse for using this ball.

3. Love Thy Teammate
This should really apply to sports at all levels, but especially with softball.  Any softball team is likely to have a wide range of skilled players on the team.  Don’t be overly critically of a player if he boots a ball or pops up with the bases loaded.  Yelling at another player on your own team is likely to get you punched in the face. Just remember that it’s SOFTBALL, this isn’t the World Series. No one will care about the outcome five minutes after the completion of the game.  So don’t be a dick.  Just keep the comments to yourself.

2. Honor Thy Commitment to Softball
I keep saying that its softball and you shouldn’t take it too seriously. On the other hand, it’s important to stay committed to the team.  Your team is there to have fun but they also want to win.  Ditching your team because you got too drunk last night is NOT COOL.  I didn’t wake up at 8:00 am on a Sunday only to find out the game is cancelled because we didn’t have enough people show up.  If you’re hung over, TOO BAD—Suck it up.  There’s a good chance half the people playing are hung over also, so it should make for an even playing field.

1. Thou Shall Not Take Softball so Seriously
I know I have reiterated this point to death but it’s FUCKING SOFTBALL.  Do not take it so seriously!  This is the GOLDEN RULE of softball and it sums up all the other commandments. You are NOT allowed to throw gloves, kick bats, use profanity, yell at umps and teammates or start brawls.  This isn’t your high school division championship game or a college tryout.  There are no scouts or parents in the stands. There is no media and no statistics.  This is an OLD MAN SOFTBALL LEAGUE.  You’re here to have fun! Just keep that in mind the next time you boot a ground ball.

I myself have been guilty of a lot of these commandments over the years.  However, I have since found my way and repented for my softball sins.  If you have any other rules, feel free to share it in the comments section.

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  1. Jeff says:

    You forgot to mention the the thing that should be the most important to middle-aged male softball players. I used to recite this to my teammates when I played washed up ball: The post game beer is cold and refreshing… no matter whether we win or lose.

    Could there really be anything more important?

  2. Charles Arcella says:

    Don’t play the outfield in a softball game with a Baseball infielder’s mitt. It’s way too small.
    Unless, you do use it and then it’s a viable excuse when you don’t catch the ball.

  3. John says:

    Good point Jeff. Consider that the 11th commandment!

  4. PuppyJuice says:

    Good rules to go by, especially number 1, Thou Shall Not Take Softball So Seriously. It’s all about having a little fun with the guys and family, and like Jeff said, there’s beer and food whether we win or lose.

  5. Keith says:

    Man…..I am the catcher on my team.

  6. Dan says:

    glad to read this because i am guilty of taking it too serious sometimes. it is just softball and im 30, its not like its the mlb or anything!! love drinking that cold beer during and afterwards for sure

  7. Hitman_Cardino says:

    Dude! I’m the pitcher! I think my team mates are trying to kill me and have more post game beer for themselves!

  8. Mandy says:

    Well, I was excited that I didnt seem to be the worst woman on the team, until I read this…..I am the catcher.

  9. Tonya says:

    Catcher is worst player on the team? Lol respectfully disagree..
    Who can slow down the pitcher when he gets to excited to pitcher a good ball?
    Who can show the pitcher where to put the ball with the position of the glove?
    Who can stand in front of home with a wide open target only to have the shortstop overthrow the ball?
    Who can catch a tipped ball for an easy out?

    Played all positions except pitcher(which takes a certain kind if crazy I don’t have) and 3rd bases..Catching is one of my favorites closely followed by 1st.

  10. ^^What? We have a kid with a broken arm playing catcher. Legit…in a cast…broken arm. No issues.

  11. Jason says:

    I want a pair of those yellow baseball pants!!!

  12. Sal says:

    You’re a fucking idiot. “Thy shall not wear baseball pants?” But sweatpants are ok? Fucking idiot plain and simple.

  13. Johnny Sacks says:

    Sal…I did not make the rules. They were passed along to me from a higher power on two stone tablets.

  14. Peter says:

    I just started today and I got one inning at First, only to be sent to catcher the rest of the game. I guess I’ve got nowhere but up to go from here. Thanks for the chuckles.

  15. mike f says:

    Sal – get a clue you sissy – damn straight you shouldnt wear baseball pants – i have seen one guy wear them and he was definitely made fun of lol. Dont be a douche

  16. Bud Sheerin says:

    He who is without error may throw the first softball

  17. The Crusher says:

    I wear gloves & pants. My hands sweat, and I slide.

    People in sweatpants look like idiots. Right gear for the game!

    And I take it serious (to a point). People who say to not take it so seriously, generally suck, in my experience, and use this as their excuse for their poor ability.

    Sound familiar?

    • Johnny Sacks says:

      I take it serious to a point as well. One of my main points was basically to not be an asshole when playing softball, by yelling at teammates or cursing out umpires. That’s what I meant by taking it seriously. Everyone should be giving a strong effort when they play, they just shouldn’t treat the game like the end of the world.

  18. Scott says:

    In all fairness, I did get a good laugh at these “commandments”. However, to make it perfectly clear, they only apply to lower level beer leagues. I go to great lengths to stay in shape now that I’m into my 30′s (to prevent injury while playing). I am able to play competive softball without acting like a douche. I disagree about the pants though; they are an absolute must to prevent skinned shins/knees. Over the course of the game you might find yourself in a situation where you need to slide (on defense) to stop/knock down a ball. Sweatpants/shorts won’t get the job done. If you are not willing to put in the effort to slide during a game then you should not be playing. Otherwise you are just out on the field wasting everyone else’s time with your lack of effort.

  19. serhilde says:

    Number 7: bollocks. I have blisters… or did until I wore gloves. Maybe you don’t love this game enough to play more than twice a week… but if my husband can watch tv 24/7, I should be able to play softball as much as I please. “I wish I’d stayed on the couch more” said no one, ever.

  20. RJ S says:

    Man, I got offered to play catcher. Ima jump on it though. haha Hey Im gonna use gloves. I’m a musician and a cop so I need my hands. Quick question though, “What about jeans?” I’ve during “pick up” games. They work. ;)

  21. RJ S says:

    *used them

  22. Jay says:

    RJ S, jeans are no good. They’re too restricting and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up leaving the game with torn jeans after a play at 1st. I like shorts the best.

  23. DK says:

    Quick points
    -PLEASE, for your own sake, do not wear jeans or sweatpants to play softball.
    -Anyone that says the catcher is useless is a moron. I catch a lot, we have outstanding outfielders that can gun someone at the plate and there needs to be an able body to make the catch and make the tag. Also, nothing like a 5-2-3 double play.
    -If you are going to slide into a base, dive for a ball, or slide on your knees in the outfield to make a catch, you better have some baseball/softball pants on. I have seen some serious skin taken off guys legs that say “pants are for guys that take it too seriously”

  24. joe says:

    softball is for losers who couldnt play baseball ..especially funny is the fat guys who think it makes them athletes lol

  25. Mike h says:

    Your an idiot !! You must be the league dick that bitches at every player but u probably suck – you look to fat to slide guess u don’t need baseball pants – and all members of any team are equally important u dick that’s why it’s a team – learn how to use players – anyone who plays sports are competitive they may not all be great – but to be a fat-ass like u and talk shit about others makes me laugh

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