Difference Between Baseball and Softball
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Difference Between Baseball and Softball

While observing these two games, typically, they do look and feel similar, but certain differences make them

individual sports. What is better? Softball or baseball? Let's find out.

Difference Between Baseball and Softball

It is important to note that much of the difference between the two games is dependent on the instructions and the materials used in the game.

Baseball was a prevalent sport even before softball was invented.

Softball is a subtler version of baseball that was first regarded as an indoor sport but was soon turned into an outdoor one with its own independent set of rules and regulations.

Here is what you will come across in this article-

  • Where does Softball come from?
  • Differences between the two games are highlighted.
  • Lengthy and Comprehensive FAQ session.

Seems engaging right?

Keep reading, because we are just getting started.

Where does Softball come from?

Softball was developed as an indoor sport and as a version of baseball.

Whereas baseball is a more sturdy game played by toughies and not suitable as a breezy recreational game.

For this purpose, softball was created as a more delicate sport with delicate and easily usable materials, so that the children can also have a hand at it. Moreover, softball was created as a more recreational, family time game.

Since baseball and softball seem very similar in most aspects, softball can be said to be used as a base game to learn the basic rules of baseball.

Even though the rules in the two games seem very similar to each other, they are but two different individual sports with a separate set of individual rules.

Hence, baseball and softball are considered as two separate due to their underlying differences. Let us look at what these differences are in detail.

Minute Differences between baseball and softball

If we are to look at the differences underlying softball and baseball rules, we need to review the minutest details that there is.

Bats- The first and primary thing we are going to look at is baseball bats. There is a difference between bats used in baseball and bats used in softball.

The baseball bat is usually longer and wider and is heavy. It takes a lot of strength to lift the bat up to hit a home run. Baseball bats are predominantly made up of wood, a heavier kind of wood.

Ever heard that 'CRACK!' sound that you come across every time a baseball bat hits the ball? The bat used in baseball needs to be that strong to sustain that noise.

Looking at softball, on the other hand, we can say that since the game was created for recreational activities so that children and families could play it, the bat was crafted in a way that was light to lift and has an easy grip to hold. The players use bats made of various light composites so that it is easily operational.

Balls used - The balls used in baseball are sturdy and are white with red stitching around them. When you hear the word 'stitching' on a ball, you know how hard and heavy it is. They are only 9 inches.

Hence the balls used in baseball are typically really heavy and sturdy. You'll get a black eye if they come your way, so watch out.

On the other hand, the balls that are used in softball are bigger and 'softer', hence the word 'softball.'

The balls used in softball are designed to not be a threat to the players since it is considered a recreational sport. The ball is usually around 12 inches and is feasible for safe-play.

Pitching- The most startling difference between the two is demonstrated by the pitching difference between the two.

What does that mean? Let us find out!

In a baseball game, the pitching is mounted 60 feet away from the plate. This gives out the impression that the field encompassing the baseball game is much

larger, entailing more and more people at the end.

However, when it comes to softball, we can say that the field per se is much smaller than the baseball one. It is pitched at only 43 feet away from the plate. That makes it easier for the players to score a home run.

However, there is a significant difference in the way the home run is scored.

In softball, the ball is usually thrown underhand and in baseball, the ball is thrown overhand. However, there is no written rule per se. It is just a rule, which baseballers and softballers are used to following. It just establishes a definitive difference between the two.

The Field of Play

When it comes to differentiating between the two, the way and the distance by which the bases are placed, is very crucial.

When it comes to baseball, the bases are placed at about 90 feet apart from each other. This makes it challenging gameplay.

Now, when it comes to softball, the bases are placed about 60 feet away from each other, which makes it a more feasible and shorter place to play the game.

Comparing Professional Salaries

Another mode of differentiating between the two games is by comparing the salaries of professional baseball and softball players.

When it comes to baseball, the National League

Baseball is the real gameplay. This is where all the professional players get to show their talents. On playing matches here, professional baseball players earn up to 4 Million dollars a year.

However, when it comes to softball, the professional tournament that people opt for is called National Pro Fastpitch. Here the yearly salary roughly mounts up to


Now that we have learned about the differences surrounding the two games, we are going to answer a few of your most asked questions regarding the two.

Let's Bring on the FAQs

  1. Is Baseball harder than softball?

    Ans. Even though you might think that on a professional level, baseball may be a lot more difficult than softball is, it is scientifically proven otherwise.

    Judging by the length, the placement of the bases, the timings, and most importantly the gameplay, softball is proven to be a lot harder than baseball is.

    It is a shame that professional softball players do not earn as much.
  2. Why do girls opt for softball more than baseball?

    Ans. This answer is popularized based on the placement of the field bases and the diameter of the ball.

    For starters, the field used in softball is a lot smaller than the one used in baseball. Since softball is considered to be more of a recreational game, the girls and women usually opt for softball, given the short distance between the bases.

    Another point that can be taken into consideration is the width of the ball. It is a lot bigger and softer but is harder to throw at a long distance.

    For this reason, girls prefer softball over baseball.
  3. What hurts more a baseball or a softball?

    Technically, baseball should hurt more, but softball is proven by science to hurt sometimes more than baseball.

    It depends a lot on the way a baseball and a softball is designed. If it is designed with sturdy and hard materials, it is going to hurt more.

    You should keep this in mind that all baseballs might not be created as a sturdy one. Some baseballs are created delicately to suit a soft, friendly match to avoid complications and injuries.
  4. Is it more difficult to score a home run in softball or baseball?

    Ans. Your natural affinity to answer this question will be on baseball since the bases are placed further apart and the ball is crafted sturdily.

    On the contrary, scientific research and lots of data analysis have proven that softball is a much difficult sport and it is harder to score a home run in softball, despite the short distance placement of the bases.

    So, in conclusion, it is more difficult to score a home run in softball than in baseball.
  5. What is the concept of an illegal pitch in softball?

    Ans. An illegal pitch occurs when the pitcher in a softball game does not follow the rules as stated.

    This foul usually takes place when the pitcher commits a foul while making their pitch. In this case, the umpire is a judge of this and calls out the illegal pitch.

    Here there is a runner on the pitch while the illegal pitch is being committed. So, in this case, an extra-base is provided to him.

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  6. Why is a softball so big?

    Ans. As mentioned above, the diameter of a softball is around 10 to 12 inches and is made up of a softer material than a baseball.

    Since the softball is usually, wider in diameter, the bat used for softball should be a little smaller than the ball for a further hit and a home run.

    To compensate for the width of the softball, the bat used in the game must not be more than 34 inches long, otherwise, it will be a difficult task to hit the ball hard enough.
  7. Why is a softball yellow?

    Ans. The primary reason why a softball is made to be yellow is that it has to be easily visible.

    The color of the ball is very crucial to be noticed because in a softball match, the pitch is closer to the base and once the ball is thrown, the player gets less time to react to it.

    This is why he or she needs to see the ball coming to score a home run.
  8. Is Softball an Olympic sport?

    Ans. This is a rather pressing question given the lack of funding and professionalism of the game.

    However, softball was included in the Olympics as a sport between the years 1996 to 2008 and was removed thereafter in the year 2012 and 2016.

    However, it was again added in the year 2020 as a professional Olympic sport.

Final Words

So as we have observed from the extensive FAQ section in this article, softball generally seems to be a lot tougher than baseball as a sport.

However, this is not reflected in either the salaries of professional softball players or in the adequate representation of the game.

However, with the guided representation of softball as an Olympic Sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics, we

might finally be able to expect an official and professional representation of the sport.


Hopefully, this lengthy article has been of use to you who have had extensive doubts regarding the paradoxes and comparisons between the two sports.

In case you have come this far, make sure to leave a comment below, either stating an interesting fact that you learned about softball and baseball, or leaving any further questions in the comment section below.

We will revert back to you as soon as possible.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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