Here it comes, an extremely trite sentence: baseball and softball are very different sports.
Hey, we warned you. We all know the most common difference between the two of these sports, which is that men typically play baseball and women usually play softball (take note of the “typically” and “usually” in the previous sentence because women occasionally play baseball and there are men’s softball leagues).
Regardless, that is what we all generally know about the two famed sports. However, there are countless other differences to be aware of that not everyone may realize! Here are just seven interesting differences between baseball and softball.
1. There Is One Type of Baseball and Two Types of Softball
There is really one single type of baseball that we all know and love (think of the game played in MLB). Yet, in the case of softball, there are two types: fast pitch and slow pitch softball. Even these two types of softball differ in various ways, like pitching techniques, pitching speeds, and even between fastpitch and slow pitch bats!
2. Baseballs and Softballs Differ in Several Ways
Baseballs are significantly smaller than softballs in circumference, are lighter, and even vary in colors:
|Regulation Baseballs||Regulation Softballs|
|Circumference: 9.00 and 9.25 inches||Circumference: 11.88 and 12.13 inches|
|Weight: 5.00 and 5.25 ounces||Weight: 6.25 and 7.00 ounces|
|Color: white with red laces||Color: yellow (competitive play) or white (recreational leagues and slow pitch)|
3. Softball Pitchers Toss Underhand and Baseball Pitcher Toss Overhand
When softball pitchers pitch the ball towards home plate for the offensive team, they always toss the ball underhand. For fastpitch, pitchers throw the ball using a windmill technique while slow pitch pitchers throw the ball with an underhand arc. Baseball pitchers, on the other hand, throw the ball overhand.
4. The Pitches Come In Faster In Baseball
This means that the pitching speeds must vary as well. Baseball pitchers throw the ball generally around 90 mph. Fastpitch softball pitches come in around 50-60 mph and slowpitch pitches come in at about 10 mph.
5. …But the Distances Between Home Plate and the Pitcher’s Mounds Aren’t the Same
The distance between where the pitcher throws the ball to home plate isn’t the same either. In baseball, the pitching mound is 60 feet 6 inches away, and in fastpitch softball, the pitcher and batter are 43 feet apart. Lastly, slowpitch pitchers are 50 feet away from the batter.
6. Baseball Infields Have Grass While Softball Infields Are Dirt
Not even the infields are the same. Baseball infields have grass while softball infields (both for fastpitch and slowpitch) have no grass at all.
7. Baseball Pitcher’s Mounds Are Raised, but Softball Pitching Circles Aren’t
In baseball, the pitcher’s rubber within the pitcher’s mound needs to be 10 inches higher than home plate. Meanwhile, softball pitching circles aren’t raised.
Baseball and softball may be different, but they certainly have one thing in common: they are both thrilling sports to both play and spectate!
If you are a softball or baseball fan or player, be sure to head on over to HB Sports to find some of the most quality equipment and gear, from slow pitch bats and baseball gloves to coolers and batting gloves. Head on over to their website and discover their impressive options for yourself today!