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Growing up, you probably played either softball or baseball in your town’s youth leagues. Heck, also as adult you’ve most likely played in a neighborhood baseball organization or slow-pitch, bar league softball tournament at part point. According to Statista, about 30 million american play at least one video game of either soft ball or baseball every solitary year. Both sports do not take it the physical toll on our bodies like football or basketball can, which renders them an ext popular among all eras than any type of other team sport.

You are watching: Is a softball harder than a baseball

Both games may look comparable at an initial glance, but they couldn’t be more different. Sure, the an easy concept is the same ? fight a ball and score an ext runs 보다 the various other team ? however each sport uses its own collection of challenges. Everybody loves a an excellent debate, yet the feud in between fast-pitch soft ball supporters and baseball die-hards is one that never ever seems to it is in answered. I’m walk to take you v each page of this wildly well-known games and determine, once and for all, which sports is really harder come play. Let’s dig into the battle of baseball vs. Softball.


Did softball or Baseball Come First?

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If you’ve heard the surname Abner Doubleday floating around, you could remember that he’s often attributed with inventing baseball in Cooperstown, new York earlier in 1839. It transforms out, that’s not totally true, however the Cooperstown businessmen heralded the story as a fact when establishing the National Baseball room of Fame.

As History.com tells us, the genuine story is lot simpler:

“References to games resembling baseball in the United says date ago to the 18th century. The most direct ancestors appear to be two English games: rounders (a children?s game brought to brand-new England by the more quickly colonists) and also cricket.

“In September 1845, a group of new York City men founded the brand-new York Knickerbocker Baseball Club. Among them?volunteer firefighter and also bank salesperson Alexander joy Cartwright?would codify a new set the rules that would form the communication for modern baseball, calling because that a diamond-shaped infield, foul lines and also the three-strike rule.”

Baseball is widely well-known as America’s Pastime also though it’s played all over the world and has been because that over 100 years. Only recently have rule changes started to modernize the game, but baseball quiet remains among our country’s most well-known sports come play.

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AP Photo

Many people think softball is a direct descendant of baseball. In fact, it was actually a college soccer game that an initial created softball. ~ above Thanksgiving work 1887, several world awaited the outcome of the Yale versus Harvard football video game at Chicago’s Farragut boat Club. ~ Yale to be announced the winner, the celebration that ensued inadvertently produced a brand new sport.


The civilization Baseball soft ball Confederation explains:

“During the merriment, a reporter indigenous the Chicago plank of Trade, George Hancock, tied increase a boxing glove (with its own strings) into a sphere, take it a broomstick handle, and, utilizing chalk, marked lines on the floor. That night a video game took location with 80 operation scored, and from there the sport had been born. The first rulebook is stated to have actually been authorize (by Hancock) in 1889.”

Although originally played indoors, softball relocated outside and evolved into a large amateur sports played by American servicemen during world War II. In 1952, the International softball Federation came to be the sport’s governing body and still is today. In 1991, women’s fast-pitch soft ball was added to the 1996 Olympic Games, i m sorry is considered its crowning moment as the game lastly arrived on the international stage.

Throwing a softball vs. Baseball

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The most evident difference is the pitching format of both sports ? Baseball pitchers litter overhand and softball pitchers litter underhand. Both deliveries offer advantages and disadvantages, yet the most notable are the wide variety of ways a pitcher litter the round in baseball as opposed to softball.

In softball, there are a few popular pitches most softball pitchers start with, favor the fastball, changeup, autumn ball, curveball and rise ball. Pitchers use these with various grips and releases, which offers them a differed arsenal, as CoachUp.com explains.


When it concerns baseball pitching, the story is much different.

? Four-Seam Fastball? Two-Seam Fastball? Changeup? Cutter? Curveball? 12-6 curveball? Eephus (check this point out)? Forkball? Gyroball? Knuckleball? Knuckle Curve? Palmball? Screwball? Sinker? Slider? Slurve? Splitter

When it concerns variety, baseball wins this category. A smaller sized ball and various arm angle ? from standard overhand deliveries to sidearm and submarine experts ? a baseball pitcher’s distribution adds so many possibilities to what a batter could see once the sphere leaves the pitcher’s hand. However, also though there room a lot of of different pitches, that doesn’t median a fastball in baseball is have to harder to hit 보다 a fastball in softball.

Don’t worry, I’ll touch on that comparison later.

Softball ar vs. Baseball Field

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Credit: MLB.com

It doesn’t take lengthy to realize that, while castle look similar, softball and also baseball fields are considerably different.

Major organization Baseball field sizes differ follow me the outfield fence depending upon the style of every ballpark, yet everything inside the lines remain the same. A baseball pitchers mound is raised 10 inch in the air and is 60 feet, 6 inches far from house plate. The street from house to very first base is 90 feet and also is the exact same at each stop roughly a baseball diamond.


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Credit: iSport.com

Softball pitching mounds, or pitching circles, are unlike baseball mounds in that they’re not elevated off the ground. Softball pitchers remain within a designated pitching area on their release, and pitching street is only about 35 come 43 feet native the mound to house plate. Also, the base paths in softball are just 60 feet far from every other, which space actually identical to tiny League baseball fields.

This distinction in the base paths enables baseball players to lead turn off while top top base, while softball players cannot.

Softball fields are much an ext compact, which renders it way more difficult to obtain on base, though the doesn’t necessarily do it any easier ~ above the fielders. This is evidenced by the huge numbers the no-hitters and also complete gamings thrown by softball pitchers at every level contrasted to the relatively small number of baseball pitchers gift able to do it.

Since 1983, there have actually been 331 no-hitters in ALL the NCAA division I university baseball. End that very same time, girlfriend only need the peak 25 pitchers on division I university softball’s all-time perform to surpass the number. Those 25 girl threw 333 no-hitters.

Score this one for soft ball by a landslide.

Softball vs. Baseball Equipment

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By design, softballs are bigger than baseballs. The first softballs were actually 16 inch around, but today, the dimension of the ball is about 11 or 12 customs in circumference and also weigh around seven ounces. This distinction is comprised in both gloves. Regulation soft ball gloves have a deeper pocket while baseball gloves are more shallow but are slightly longer.


Baseball fields are normally bigger than softball due to the fact that the dimensions of the baseball, i m sorry weighs around five ounces and is nine inches around, cause it to fly farther. Isn’t physics fun?

Softball bats are typically longer, however baseball bats have a bigger diameter to strike the sphere with. When MLB football player strictly usage wooden bats, all soft ball teams, university baseball teams, all high institution levels, and also on down through youth baseball commonly use some form of composite or alloy bats.

The the bat each sports uses, add to the gloves that players usage to catch, comprise for the difference in size between a softball and also baseball. This one’s a wash.

No benefit here through equipment. We’ll contact it a tie.

Does soft ball or Baseball key Faster?

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If you ever look in ~ a radar gun measuring pitch speeds at the highest possible level that both games, baseball pitches are commonly 15 to 20 miles every hour faster than softball pitches. However when you take into account the baseball piles are farther away (and greater up) contrasted to softball mounds, the gap in between these two games gets even further apart.

ESPN’s sports Science damaged down the speed of both games, mentioning that a 70 mph softball pitch ? from the much shorter distance ? reaches residence plate much faster than a 100 mph baseball pitch. That way a soft ball player has less than fifty percent the time (.025 seconds) to decision to swing contrasted to a baseball player (.055 seconds).


Need even an ext proof? on average, a softball shortstop has less time to reaction to a softball hit their way (.61 seconds) 보다 a tennis player has reacting come a offer from Serena Williams (.65 seconds).

Do you yourself a favor and also watch USA softball gold medalist Jennie Finch do MLB slugger Albert Pujols ? a three-time MVP v over 600 career home runs ? look favor a finish fool.

Sorry, Albert. Soft ball goes increase on baseball, 2 come 1.

Game Length

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Softball games are most frequently only seven innings, just like college and also high school baseball gamings are. One of the greatest knocks on the MLB and college baseball is that gamings are SO cursed LONG. They’re the only level of either sports where gamings are nine innings.

Even with major League Baseball doing every little thing it deserve to to shorten its games in recent years, professional baseball games are getting longer every decade and also today are frequently at the very least three hrs long.

Not only are softball games shorter in length, but fewer innings method less methods to score and, obviously, win. International soft ball rules even start extra innings v a runner on 2nd base in an effort to keep gamings from going as well long. MLB has not adopted this dominion as well.

Chalk up another win for softball.

The final Tally: Which sport Is Harder?

Traditional baseball gurus will take the game as it is remained in 1845 to your graves, yet the fact of the issue is that softball is harder to play, requires faster reaction time, and is much more fun because that fans to watch. The days of 400-foot house runs in significant League Baseball aren’t walking anywhere, yet home run distance and also gaudy number does no equal a more an overwhelming sport.

Overall, fast-pitch soft ball is harder come play and, honestly, a lot much more fun to watch 보다 baseball.

See more: What Happens When You Catch All The Unown In Pokémon Go, How To Catch All The Unown

This post was initially published April 3, 2019.

MORE: The ?Slip Pitch? is Softball?s most Deceitful Trick


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About the author: john Duffley
John join the ptcouncil.net team with 5 years of experience freelancing together a sports writer because that TheDupes.net and also Football.com. A graduate of pen State University, John at this time lives and also works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member that the Football authors Association of America (FWAA).