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
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.
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
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
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)