Sports Information: Softball

BACKGROUND TO SOFTBALL

 

Softball was first established in 1887 and has become the most popular participant sport in the USA. It is similar to baseball but played on a smaller pitch and with a larger ball. Matches take place between two teams of nine players. Today it is popular in the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and China. It has not been taken up within Europe to any great extent.

 

THE SPORT TODAY

 

There is a well established league system in the USA and there are some international fixtures. The sport is equally popular with men and women and some leagues play mixed matches. Softball is governed by the International Softball Federation (ISF). It's surprising that, despite the sport's popularity in the USA, New Zealand have won five out of the last six world championships. The sport is growing fast in China, a team to watch in future World Championships.

 

TOP TIPS FOR BETTING ON SOFTBALL

 

Analyse recent matches via softball magazines, websites and online posts

If you can, watch tournaments to see which teams and players are in form

Compare prices from various bookmakers and exchanges to secure the best value

Consider betting in-running during matches

Most large UK and Australian bookmakers offer betting markets on major softball markets both ante post and fixed odds on individual matches. Sportsbooks in the USA will also quote prices.

 

ANTE POST BETTING

 

ANTE-POST

Most ante-post markets involve winning and each-way bets. Terms may differ by bookmaker so make sure you check them out. Many of the golf markets are also offered in-play.

 

OUTRIGHT WIN OR PLACE

Here you select a player to win the tournament or you can back each way for a finish within a stipulated range of places. The range varies by bookmaker and tournament, but generally the player needs to finish in the top five.

 

PLACE ONLY

Here you select a player in a single bet for a finish within a stipulated range of places. The range varies by bookmaker and tournament, but generally the player needs to finish in the top five.

TOURNAMENT FINISH IN TOP FIVE/TOP TEN

In a single bet, you select a player to finish in the range of positions specified above.

 

TOP TIPS FOR ANTE POST BETTING

  • Compare prices between bookmakers and exchanges before placing your bet

  • Think about hedging if things are going well

  • Check out whether the course favours long drivers or players with a good short game

  • Look up putting statistics to see who's hot and who's not

 

FIXED ODDS BETTING

Play-off

A single win bet selecting Yes or No in a tournament play-off.

 

 

 

TOP TIPS FOR FIXED ODDS BETTING

  • Compare prices in advance

  • Watch for changing wheather conditions

  • Use hedge bets to lock-in profits

  • For in-play betting, track down a live TV feed to give you an advantage of several seconds over any terrestrial broadcast

 

SPREAD BETTING

 

The following are popular markets offered by spread betting firms for bettors to buy or sell -

  • Total strokes in the tournament

  • Strokes taken by the winner or a group of players

  • Total number of yards driven

  • Total number of putts taken

  • total number of bunker shots

 

TOP TIPS FOR SPREAD BETTING

 

  • Compare spreads on offer to get the best odds to suit your strategy

  • Hedge if your spread bet is going well

  • Look for escape in running trades if your spread bet is going badly

  • Consider stop-loss options

 

IN PLAY BETTING

 

Most fixed odds are also offered for in-play betting, but additional bets include -

  • Predicting a nominated player's score at the next hole

  • Predicting the winner of the next hole (two-ball and three-ball competitions)