Softball is a game that has descended directly from baseball. Many people may find the two games more or less similar. They are played with similar bats, similar balls, and similar gloves. Both
the games are based on innings. If you are not well acquainted with these games, you will barely be able to tell one from the other. However, on taking a close look, can point out that there are slight differences in the rules and playing styles of the game. talking about softball, the games that are played in colleges and tournaments is the fast pitch softball. Slowpitch softball is often played for recreational purposes.
- Pitching area
In baseball, the pitchers throw the ball from an elevated mound. Younger players throw the ball from a tee. The pitchers can choose any style including freehand, open arm and down motion. When it comes to baseball, the pitches are made from a level height both during the younger and the advanced levels. Also, softball pitchers can only throw underhand motion. They may, however, throw drop balls.
- Distance between the pitching area and the home plate
The pitching area for fast pace softball is much closer to the home plate as compared to baseball. At the younger levels, softball pitchers deliver from a distance of 35 feet from the home plate and during the advanced levels, the distance is increased to 40 feet.
- Base path
The base path in softball is shorter as compared to baseball. When the pitch is made from 35 feet, the bases are 55 feet apart and when it is delivered from 40 feet, the bases are 60 feet apart. So, the base path between the two games can differ by several feet. The closer bases in softball games means a small infield area for defense and this can make the game more intense.
- Field size
Although both baseball and softball are played in diamond shaped fields, the field sizes vary greatly between the two games. In baseball, the bases are at a distance of 90 feet, whereas in softball, the bases are 60 ft apart. The distance between the base and the outfield fence is 150 ft in young level softball games and this increases to 225ft to 250ft at the advanced levels.
- Balls used
The balls used in a softball game are slightly larger than those used in the baseball games. A softball measures around 11 inches in circumference and weighs around 9 ounces while a baseball weighs 6 ounces and has a circumference of 9 inches.
At the younger levels, there is not much difference between the baseball bats used for these two games. They may even be interchanged and used. However, at the advanced level, players are required to use game-specific bats.
A baseball game has 9 innings and a runner is allowed to leave the base at any time. In the case of a tie, the game will commence until and unless there is a winner. A softball game ends at 7 innings, except for some college games which are played for 5 innings. If you are looking to train yourself getting a pitching machine can be useful.