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Baseball and softball are similar in many ways, but it cannot be denied that there are also differences between the two. They are the same in the sense that they basically make use of the same things, but there are variations, such as in terms of size and length. To have a better understanding of the difference between softball and baseball, keep on reading!
To begin with, you should know that baseball came first. According to several historical accounts, baseball was invented in 1839. On the other hand, softball was introduced only in the Thanksgiving Day of 1887. It was initially dubbed as an indoor version of baseball and involved mostly women. Through the years, it evolved and became almost the same as baseball.
Difference between Softball and Baseball Bats
|Bat Type||Barrel Diameter|
|Youth (Little League)||2-1/4″|
Among other things, the two sports are different in terms of the bat that is used in the game. If the game is for youth, the bats can be interchanged. Nonetheless, for adults and professional leagues, there are key differences.
In the case of softball, the bat has a maximum length of 34 inches and the maximum diameter 2.25 inches. It is generally wider.
On the other hand, in baseball, the maximum length of the bat is 42 inches, making it longer. The maximum diameter of a baseball bat is 2.75 inches. Compared to baseball bats, the shape also tends to be slenderer.
More so, the bats are also different in terms of the materials that are used. If it is to be used for softball or amateur baseball, wood and metal are common, among other materials. However, for professional games in baseball, the bat is made only of wood.
Difference between Softball and Baseball Ball
Does a baseball weigh the same as a softball? Is softball harder than baseball? These are some of the questions that you might have as you try to figure out the difference between the two. Let me break this out for you.
Softballs and baseballs are also different in terms of their physical appearance. A baseball is white and has red stitching. Meanwhile, the official color of softball is yellow.
When it comes to their size, the circumference of softball is 12 inches, which makes it larger than a baseball, which has an average circumference of 9 inches.
Lastly, regarding their weight, a baseball ranges from 5 to 5.25 ounces while a softball ranges from 6.25 to 7 ounces. The latter can be even heavier, specifically in the case of weighted softballs
Difference between Softball and Baseball Gloves
A lot of you are probably wondering – can you use a baseball glove for softball? Yes, most can be used, but in professional games, use one that is specific to the sport. However, softball gloves are usually wider and deeper. Baseball gloves, on the other hand, are longer.
To add, in discussing softball mitt vs baseball mitt, it should also be mentioned that they differ based on the position of the player. The catcher’s mitts, for instance, are larger.
As you try to figure out the difference between softball and baseball, it is also worth looking at their field sizes as they are not the same. For baseball fields, the distance of the bases is 90 feet away from each other. Meanwhile, with softball, the bases are only 60 feet apart.
The exact size of the field, on the other hand, can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the skills of those who are playing or the location of the game.
Rules of the Game
Now, let us become more technical and look at how the two are different in terms of the rules of the game and how it is played.
One of the key differences is with pitching the ball. If you are playing baseball, the pitch is done sidearm or overhand. On the other hand, if you are playing softball, you need to pitch it only underhand.
Also, there is a difference between where the ball is pitched. It is thrown from an elevated mound in a baseball game and from a surface level in the case of softball.
When playing softball, one of the important rules is to not leave the base until the ball has been pitched. This is because of the shorter softball distance of bases, as against baseball.
In terms of the length of the game, softball is usually shorter since it commonly only has seven innings as against the nine innings in baseball.
In sum, while softball and baseball are siblings, they are different in several ways. As noted in this post about the difference between softball and baseball, they vary in terms of rules and equipment. They may be different in some ways, but one thing is the same – they are both fun to play!