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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