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Growing up, you probably played either softball or baseball in her town’s youth leagues. Heck, also as adults you’ve likely played in a neighborhood baseball league or slow-pitch, bar organization softball competition at part point. Follow to Statista, around 30 million americans play at least one video game of either soft ball or baseball every single year. Both sports perform not take the physical toll on our bodies prefer football or basketball can, which renders them an ext popular among all ages than any other team sport.

You are watching: Which is harder softball or baseball

Both games may look similar at very first glance, however they couldn’t be more different. Sure, the basic concept is the very same ? fight a ball and also score much more runs 보다 the other team ? but each sport uses its own collection of challenges. Everybody loves a good debate, however the feud between fast-pitch softball supporters and also baseball die-hards is one that never ever seems to it is in answered. I’m going to take you v each page of these wildly popular games and determine, once and also for all, which sport is yes, really harder to play. Let’s dig into the battle of baseball vs. Softball.


Did soft ball or Baseball Come First?

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If you’ve heard the name Abner Doubleday floating around, you might remember the he’s often attributed with inventing baseball in Cooperstown, new York ago in 1839. It transforms out, that’s not entirely true, however the Cooperstown businessmen heralded the story as a truth when developing the National Baseball room of Fame.

As History.com tells us, the actual story is much simpler:

“References to games resembling baseball in the United states date ago to the 18th century. Its most straight ancestors show up to be two English games: rounders (a children?s game brought to new England through the more quickly colonists) and cricket.

“In September 1845, a team of new York City men established the new York Knickerbocker Baseball Club. One of them?volunteer firefighter and bank salesperson Alexander delight Cartwright?would codify a new set that rules that would form the communication for contemporary baseball, calling because that a diamond-shaped infield, foul lines and the three-strike rule.”

Baseball is widely recognized as America’s Pastime also though it’s played anywhere the world and also has been for over 100 years. Only recently have rule changes started to modernize the game, however baseball tho remains one of our country’s most well-known sports come play.

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AP Photo

Many people think softball is a direct descendant that baseball. In fact, that was in reality a college soccer game that first created softball. Top top Thanksgiving work 1887, several world awaited the result of the Yale versus Harvard football video game at Chicago’s Farragut watercraft Club. After Yale was announced the winner, the celebration that ensued inadvertently created a brand new sport.


The people Baseball softball Confederation explains:

“During the merriment, a reporter from the Chicago plank of Trade, George Hancock, tied up a boxing glove (with its own strings) right into a sphere, took a broomstick handle, and, utilizing chalk, significant lines ~ above the floor. The night a video game took ar with 80 operation scored, and from over there the sport had actually been born. The an initial rulebook is said to have been authorize (by Hancock) in 1889.”

Although originally played indoors, softball moved outside and evolved into a large amateur sport played by American servicemen during civilization War II. In 1952, the International softball Federation became the sport’s administrate body and also still is today. In 1991, women’s fast-pitch soft ball was added to the 1996 Olympic Games, which is thought about its crowning moment as the game finally arrived ~ above the international stage.

Throwing a softball vs. Baseball

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The most noticeable difference is the pitching format of both sports ? Baseball pitchers litter overhand and softball pitchers throw underhand. Both deliveries offer advantages and disadvantages, yet the most notable room the wide selection of ways a pitcher litter the ball in baseball as opposed come softball.

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


When it involves 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 involves variety, baseball wins this category. A smaller sized ball and also various arm angles ? from classic overhand deliveries come sidearm and also submarine professionals ? a baseball pitcher’s delivery adds so numerous possibilities to what a batter might see as soon as the round leaves the pitcher’s hand. However, even though there space a lot of various pitches, that doesn’t median a fastball in baseball is necessarily harder come hit 보다 a fastball in softball.

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

Softball ar vs. Baseball Field

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Credit: MLB.com

It doesn’t take long to realize that, while they look similar, softball and baseball areas are significantly different.

Major organization Baseball ar sizes differ along the outfield fence depending on the style of every ballpark, yet everything within the lines stay the same. A baseball pitchers mound is elevated 10 inches in the air and is 60 feet, 6 inches far from house plate. The street from residence to very first base is 90 feet and also is the exact same at each stop about a baseball diamond.


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Credit: iSport.com

Softball pitching mounds, or pitching circles, are unlike baseball mounds in the they’re not elevated off the ground. Soft ball pitchers continue to be within a designated pitching area on their release, and pitching street is only around 35 to 43 feet from the mound to home plate. Also, the base courses in softball are simply 60 feet away from each other, which are actually identical to small League baseball fields.

This distinction in the basic paths permits baseball football player to lead turn off while on base, while softball players cannot.

Softball fields are much an ext compact, which makes it method more complicated to gain on base, though that doesn’t necessarily make it any kind of easier on the fielders. This is evidenced by the big numbers that no-hitters and also complete gamings thrown by softball pitchers in ~ every level compared to the fairly small variety of baseball pitchers gift able to carry out it.

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

Score this one for softball by a landslide.

Softball vs. Baseball Equipment

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By design, softballs are larger than baseballs. The very first softballs were in reality 16 customs around, but today, the size of the sphere is around 11 or 12 customs in circumference and weigh around seven ounces. This distinction is comprised in both gloves. Regulation softball gloves have actually a deeper bag while baseball gloves are more shallow yet are contempt longer.


Baseball areas are naturally bigger 보다 softball due to the fact that the size of the baseball, i m sorry weighs around five ounces and is ripe inches around, reason it to paris farther. Isn’t physics fun?

Softball bats are generally longer, but baseball bats have actually a larger diameter to strike the round with. When MLB players strictly usage wooden bats, all soft ball teams, university baseball teams, all high school levels, and also on down v youth baseball commonly use some kind of composite or alloy bats.

The the bat each sport uses, to add the gloves that players use to catch, make up for the difference in size in between a softball and baseball. This one’s a wash.

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

Does softball or Baseball pitch Faster?

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If you ever before look at a radar gun measuring key speeds at the highest possible level the both games, baseball pitches are generally 15 to 20 miles per hour quicker than softball pitches. Yet when you take right into account the baseball piles are farther far (and higher up) compared to soft ball mounds, the gap between these two games gets even further apart.

ESPN’s sports Science broke down the rate of both games, discussing that a 70 mph soft ball pitch ? indigenous the much shorter distance ? reaches home plate quicker than a 100 mph baseball pitch. That method 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 react to a soft ball hit their method (.61 seconds) than a tennis player has actually reacting to a offer from Serena Williams (.65 seconds).

Do you yourself a favor and watch USA softball gold medalist Jennie Finch make MLB slugger Albert Pujols ? a three-time MVP through over 600 career home runs ? look prefer a complete fool.

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

Game Length

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Softball gamings are most typically only 7 innings, similar to college and also high school baseball gamings are. One of the best knocks top top the MLB and college baseball is that gamings are SO cursed LONG. They’re the only level the either sport where gamings are ripe innings.

Even with significant League Baseball doing every little thing it deserve to to shorten its games in current years, skilled baseball gamings are getting much longer every decade and also today are generally at the very least three hours long.

Not only are softball games much shorter in length, however fewer innings means less avenues to score and, obviously, win. International soft ball rules even start extra innings through a runner on second base in an initiative to keep gamings from going also long. MLB has actually not adopted this dominion as well.

Chalk up another win because that softball.

The final Tally: Which sport Is Harder?

Traditional baseball gurus will certainly take the video game as the is was in 1845 to their graves, but the reality of the issue is the softball is harder to play, requires much faster reaction time, and also is much an ext fun because that fans come watch. The work of 400-foot residence runs in significant League Baseball aren’t going anywhere, but home run distance and also gaudy numbers does no equal a more complicated sport.

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

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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: man Duffley
John joins the chrischona2015.org team with five years of endure freelancing together a sporting activities writer because that TheDupes.net and Football.com. A graduate of pen State University, John right now lives and works in Austin, Texas. That is also a member that the Football authors Association of America (FWAA).