Softball and baseball are not the same thing. You've probably found yourself trying to explain that at one point or other. But did you know how to do it?
As a softball player or coach, you've likely been approached about the game. In order to defend your point that baseball isn't the same thing, you've got to have some info to back up your story.
The differences go beyond ball size. So prepare yourself for the next softball vs. baseball conversation by reading up on the differences.
Are you ready to rock your next conversation? Then keep reading!
Similarities between Baseball and Softball
First off, you shouldn't be arguing that baseball and softball are totally different, because they're not. It's important to note that there are some major similarities between the two sports.
The first of similarity is that both sports are played by males and females! Many people think that softball is only played by girls and women, but this isn't the case.
The games themselves are also similar. You have hitters, pitchers, basemen, and outfielders, and runners run around three bases trying to make it back to home plate. That's about where the similarities end, though.
Softballs are different than baseballs in both size and makeup. Softballs are larger than and not as dense as baseballs. The coloring is also different.
At youth levels, the bats used in softball and baseball are the same. Though a bat may be designated for one sport it can be used for either one. Once a player gets into more advanced play, though, softball and baseball-specific bats are used.
In baseball, the pitcher throws the ball from an elevated mound with an overhand or side-armed motion. Softball pitches are thrown from an area that's level with the hitter and the ball is thrown underhand. In fast-pitch softball, the pitcher throws from a spot much closer to the hitter than in baseball.
While players run around bases in both games, the distances are different. Baseball players have to run farther between bases. And, the home run fences are shorter, so the field is smaller, overall.
The game is shorter too, with softball only having seven innings as compared to baseball's nine.
If there's a tie at the end, more innings will be played in both games. But in softball, the offensive team gets to start the inning with a runner on second base.
Softball vs. Baseball: Comparable but Different
Softball and baseball are comparable, there's no denying it, but in the end, they are different sports. From the equipment used to the size of the field, a softball player would be out of place in a baseball game.
That softball vs. baseball conversation will probably turn up again. But now, thanks to your research, you'll be prepared because you know the difference.
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Softball vs Baseball: Which is Harder?
The ball used in softball is much bigger, so it's easier, right? The answer isn't that simple! Read this softball vs baseball guide to learn more.
Can anyone name a former Olympic sport where the US won 75% of appearances and even had a winning streak that lasted 22 games? The answer is softball.
Softball is often thought of as baseball's little sister, and this argument makes sense, seeing as softball was officially invented forty-two years after baseball, and was originally named indoor baseball.
Softball also has a smaller diamond, and a larger ball in most cases.
These subtle changes may actually make softball harder. So who wins when we compare softball vs baseball. Read on to find out.
Softball Vs Baseball: The Beginning
Despite having 'official' dates of founding, which are usually the dates rules are first written down, pinpointing the origin of any bat-and-ball sport is nearly impossible.
You probably won't be surprised to learn that baseball, softball, and cricket all have the same origins. However, did you know that those origins date back to before 1066?
As time went on, England began sending colonists to North America, who brought the game with them and began playing their own variations of it.
Two-hundred years later, the something-resembling-cricket that the colonists first brought with them officially evolved into baseball, and then into softball forty years after that.
A few rules had to be changed to create the game of softball:
- The distance between bases was shortened from 90 feet to 60 feet.
- A much larger ball was substituted for the baseball.
- The distance between the batter and pitcher was also lowered.
- The back wall was brought in closer to the diamond. The smaller size may have been because softball started as an indoor game.
- An underhanded style of pitching was used instead of the usual overhand. This slowed the pitches, making the game safer.
- A smaller field meant that fewer players were needed, so team sizes were lowered to seven instead of nine.
The Uniqueness of Softball
Let's jump ahead to modern times, where baseball is a juggernaut of an industry, the American answer to Rome's bread and circuses, except with less violence and the bread now has a hot dog inside of it.
Softball is also far bigger than anyone could have expected. Softball is a giant in its own right, with a professional league made up of five teams, one of which, the Bandits, calls the sport's founding city its home.
Despite its professional success, the true draw of softball may be the amateur leagues that can be found in small communities from California to Maine, where parents gather after school to watch their kids laugh, play, and ultimately develop as people.
It doesn't end with children, either. Have you ever been on a company retreat where the highlight of the day was splitting off into teams and playing a game of softball?
At times like that, everything seemed to melt away. Suddenly, the office rivalries and the water cooler talk seemed unimportant, and everybody was drawn together, if only for a few hours.
At its heart, softball is a community sport. It can be played at any age and can bring together people of all ages.
Though there's no doubt that softball and baseball are both complex sports that take a lot of skill to play, and games that will always have a place in our hearts and minds, the question remains...which is harder?
Softball Vs Baseball: Skills
Scientifically speaking, softball is a lot harder than baseball...in some ways.
The truth is that it's hard to say for sure. While softball players have less time to react, they also have a shorter distance to hit and to run.
The ball is bigger and the batting averages tend to be higher in softball, but the shorter distances to run also mean a shorter distance to throw. So, when it comes to running bases, the ball can get there that much faster.
Softball favors faster players because of the short distances. In baseball, longer fields mean players can be slower if there's power behind their hits and throws.
The smaller diamond in softball means that speed is important, whereas the 90-foot distance between bases in baseball means that endurance plays more of a role.
In the end, the difference isn't about difficulty so much as it is play style.
Comparing baseball and softball is like trying to compare Jenga and Ker-Plunk, or Checkers and Chinese Checkers. The games are similar, but even small differences can create an entirely different play style and offer new ways to win.
With any game, we have to think about the players themselves.
Sure, you have shorter reaction times when hitting or throwing in softball, but so does the other team.
The same challenges you face are also faced by other players on the other side of the field. You have to hit faster, but they have to catch and throw faster.
Does that mean a softball vs baseball comparison has no answer?
Of course, it has an answer. In fact, it has millions.
A Matter of Perspective
Baseball and softball have a lot in common, like a shared history. Both sports can build a sense of community, and both sports offer their own way to play. Who wins when it comes to softball vs baseball. It all depends on the player. If you want a game that focuses on raw strength and endurance, choose baseball.
Maybe quick reflexes are more your thing. Maybe you enjoy a game that tests your speed. Maybe the mad dash along the baseline is the part you look forward to the most. If this is the case, choose softball.
If anyone out there fancies themselves a thrill-seeker and wants to learn more about the exciting world of softball you can find great info, and even greater merchandise, at our website, softballtradingpins.net.
Also, feel free to call us at 1-888-574-6118. Or, check out our resources page for a list of organizations that can teach you about the sport. Who knows, maybe you'll find some new teams to root for or even one to join.