What is the Difference Between Baseball and Softball? 5 Facts

The size of the field and the kind of equipment used are the biggest differences between baseball and softball. In softball, the pitcher must throw with their underhand, but the rest of the rules are very similar to those of baseball.

Softball is a sport that almost anyone of any age can play. Baseball, on the other hand, has always been thought of as a sport only for boys and men. There are also differences between these sports based on who can play and what the rules are.

Size of the Field

One of the most obvious differences between these sports is the size of the field. In general, softball fields are smaller than baseball fields for players of the same age, but the actual sizes may vary depending on the group.

On a regulation softball field, the bases are 60 feet (18.29 m) apart for a fastpitch game and 65 feet (19.81 m) apart for a slowpitch game. In a regulation baseball game, the bases are 90 feet (27.43 m) apart.

What is the Difference Between Baseball and Softball

Softball outfield fences are often less than 250 feet (76.2 m) away, but baseball outfield fences are typically over 300 feet (91.44 m) away.

Size of the Ball

A second difference is that baseballs are smaller than softballs. Baseballs played by players of all ages are always 9 inches (22.86 cm) in circumference and 5 ounces (14.35 grams) in weight (141.75 g).

Standard fastpitch softballs have a circumference of around 12 inches (30.48 g) and weigh about 6.5 ounces, but this might vary based on the age group and the type of softball being played (184.27 g) (184.27 g).

A slow-pitch softball that meets the rules has a diameter of 11 inches (27.94 cm) and weighs about 6 ounces (170.1 g).

Also, many softball leagues use balls that are bright yellow, while baseball leagues usually use balls that are white.

What is the Difference Between Baseball and Softball


There are rules about how a pitch can be made in both baseball and softball. In softball, the pitch has to be thrown underhand, but there is no such rule in baseball.

Even though a baseball pitcher could technically throw underhand, they almost never do because throwing overhand or sidearm gives the ball much more speed.

A “submarine-style” pitcher may throw the ball from below the waist, but this is not a legal “underhand” pitch in softball because the hand is farther from the body than the elbow

In both sports, the distance between home plate and the pitcher’s rubber depends on the player’s age. However, on a regulation baseball field, the rubber is 60 feet, 6 inches (18.44 m) from the plate, while in softball, it can’t be more than 46 feet, 14 inches (14.02 m) away.

In baseball, the pitcher stands on a mound that is raised 10 inches (25.4 cm) above the field. In softball, the pitcher stands on level ground inside the circle for the pitcher.

In baseball and softball, pitchers must follow different rules when they are on the mound, in the circle, and before and during each pitch.

A softball pitcher, for instance, needs to square her shoulders before each delivery and confront the batter head-on.

On the other hand, baseball pitchers can take the field in a position called “the stretch position” instead of facing home plate. Both pitchers start in the stretch, but a right-handed pitcher will start facing third base and a left-handed pitcher will start facing first.


Different sports have different rules about how big a bat can be. These rules set limits on how long, wide, and heavy the bats can be.

Even when players are the same age, the bats used in baseball are often longer, heavier, and wider than those used in softball.

Bats are used in both games. Bats can be made of wood, metal, fiberglass, or ceramic, but professional baseball players must use wood bats.

What is the Difference Between Baseball and Softball

Other Differences

There are other differences between the sports, and many of them depend on the rules that are in place.

Some baseball leagues play a full nine innings, but softball games are usually only seven innings long. Nine defensive players are used in both sports, although in certain softball leagues, ten players are allowed.

Rule changes could affect things like stealing bases, leading off, the number of batters allowed, and what happens if you get hit by a pitch.

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