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I used to think that there was no difference between softball and baseball until I took my time to find out the subtle differences between them. If you are in a dilemma about this whole thing, this is the right place to be because every single difference between these two sports will be trashed out in this article. Take your time to go through the differences as you emancipate yourself from this ignorance.
Unlike softball, baseball is a common sport that is known by virtually everybody.Most times, people assume that softball is the female version of baseball, and they think the only difference is just the gender stuff – baseball for males while softball for females. But this is totally wrong.
Softball was created by George Hancock in 1887, and it was referred to as indoor baseball then. Its rules and regulations were structured in way so that it be in-line with baseball. However, evolution took place over the years, and today, softball now stand as a recognized sport on its own.
Checkout The Difference Between Softball And Baseball
As a casual viewer of softball and baseball, you can easily spot a difference between these two sports through their pitching techniques. Here are the difference:
- In softball, underarm throwing technique is employed by the pitcher, while in baseball, the pitcher uses overarm technique to throw the ball.
- In softball, pitching involves standing on a plane circle of about 8-foot radius,and the pitching distance is 60ft 6in. While for baseball, pitching is done on a high pitching mound of 9-foot radius, and the pitching distance is between 35ft and 45ft.
Both sports make use of bats, gloves and balls, but the difference is seen in the sizes and textures of these materials.
- Softball is bigger than baseball. The circumference of softball is 12 inches while that of baseball is 9 inches.
- Since softball is bigger than baseball, it invariably means that bigger gloves are worn by the players.
- You can also spot a difference between softball and baseball in the shape of the bats. Due to the thin nature of softball bat, it is referred to as bottle bat. You can spot slight difference in the diameter of both bats- a maximum diameter of 9/4 inches for softball, while a maximum diameter of 11/4 inches for baseball.
- Just as the name implies, softball is softer compared to baseball, thus making the weight of both to vary greatly (baseball is heavier).
- Baseball is usually white, while softball turns yellow once it hits the 12-inch circumference
The rules governing baseball and softball are very similar, but there are some slight tweaks that differentiate them. The baseline is the first. In softball, the standard measurement of all bases is 60 feet, while for baseball, it measures 90 feet. This difference in length of baselines makes the fields to differ in size also.
250 feet is the least home run fence for baseball (although in modern stadiums, the fence sits a minimum of 400 feet away from centre field and 250-feet away from the foul lines). For softball, the least is 220-feet in center field, and it is rare for teams to build much bigger fields.
You can spot a difference between softball and baseball from the number of innings in each game. In baseball, there are nine innings per game while softball has a total of seven per game.
There are mercy rules in both baseball and softball. According to the rules by NCAA,mercy rule can be used to end a game if any of the teams lead by 10 runs after completing seven innings out of nine innings in a game.
In softball, it is quite different. Mercy rule can be employed to end a game if any of the teams lead by 8 runs after completing five innings. In high school, softball and baseball are ended according to mercy rule if the leading team is ahead by either 15 runs after four complete innings or 10 after five.
There is also a great difference between softball and baseball in this area. In softball, it is not allowed for the runner to leave the bag until the pitcher releases the ball from his hand. In baseball, the runner can steal or lead off any time the ball is alive.
Softball and baseball also differ in terms of how games are tied. In baseball, if there is a tied score for both teams after the ninth inning, the game is played on until a team leads after a completed inning.
The same approach is employed in softball except for an additional feature that does not take place in baseball- there is a runner in softball. If there is a tied score after the eighth completed inning, the offensive side starts its turn at bat with the scheduled player for the ninth bat in that half inning placed on second base.
According to the substitution rule, the runner can be substituted. Until a team emerge as winner, every subsequent inning will start with a runner on second base.
With all these points stated about softball and baseball, it is now easier for you to spot the difference between softball and baseball. I believe you now see beyond just the gender tag attached to both games. Although they are similar in some ways, the differences between both sports is what makes them unique.