Difference Between Softball and Baseball [Complete Guide]

Baseball vs Softball


If you’re someone who’s been catching a lot of baseball games this summer but haven’t really paid attention to what it all means, you might be feeling kind of lost. Softball and Baseball are two vastly different sports with a number of significant differences — things like, how the ball is pitched, where the bases are set, and even how many players on either team there are.

Of course, the main difference between these two sports is the name. Softball is called softball, and baseball is called baseball.

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For the uninitiated, one of the most confusing things about softball is that it looks like a baseball, but it isn’t at all. The similarities are striking: both sports take place on a diamond-shaped field with bases at opposite corners. There are three outs per inning, just like in baseball. A pitcher throws a ball to a hitter who then swings at it and hopefully sends it flying over an outfield fence for a home run. But there’s also an important difference between the two games.

Records & History


The game of softball originated on Easter Sunday 1887 at Fair Play Park in New Orleans by women who were out for a game of “catch”.

Level Pitching Mound


While softball is played on a field whose dimensions are 60 feet, 60 feet, and 65 feet (60’, 60’ & 65’) Baseball is played on a field whose dimensions are 90 feet between bases, with a 55-foot pitching distance.

Batting & Pitching


Softball uses bats with flat-faced, round-lobed softballs and the same rules apply to both left- and right-handed hitters. The pitcher in softball has no choice but to throw from the waist up and cannot hurl from a downward angle. The softball pitcher can only pitch a maximum of four innings during the nine-inning game.

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Ball Size


Baseball bats are 3 inches longer than softball bats. Softball balls are also 1 inch larger in diameter than baseballs and weigh 8 ounces, while baseballs are 6 ounces



Softball balls have a diameter of between .42 inches and .45 inches and weight between 8 ounces and 11 ounces, whereas baseballs are .400 inches in diameter

Fielders & Bases


In softball, the pitcher’s mound is 60 feet away from home plate and the bases are located at the opposite corners, just like in baseball. The pitcher cannot throw across his body but must pitch directly to the batter.



In the infield, all players must be square at all times and stand flat-footed. There are six positions: coolest catcher’s gear, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, and left fielder. The batter is also allowed to tag out runners.

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Strikes & Outs


The pitcher will throw one pitch at a time and a batter can call for the next pitch only after the previous pitch has been struck. The first baseman and right fielder must tip pitches, but otherwise, they are not allowed to interfere with the pitcher.

Shorter Base Lines


The bases on a softball diamond are 90 feet apart while the bases in baseball are 105 feet apart.

Home Pate


Softball’s home plate sits 20 inches off the ground and is 8 inches in diameter, whereas baseball’s home plate sits 3 inches from the ground and is 7.5 inches in diameter.

Other Differences between softball and Baseball


1. Field size
2. Bases set-up
3. Teammates on the field
4. Type of ball used
5. Additional Rules

1. Field size


In baseball, the field is much larger, as compared to softball. The field length of a baseball infield is from 90 feet to 120 feet, and the outfield ranges from 270 feet to 400 feet. As for the softball, it ranges from about 46 feet to 60 feet around the bases, and from 275 feet to 350 feet in the outfield.
Base set-up: In baseball, bases are only 40 – 90 feet apart. Softball has bases set from 51 to 61 feet apart.

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2. Teammates on the field


There are only nine players on a baseball team at any one time during a game. There is a max of 10 players on a softball team during any game.

3. Type of ball used


In both baseball and softball, the ball is a round, hard rubber disc about ten inches in diameter. But softballs are made of vulcanized rubber, while baseball balls are made from aluminized pig skin.

4. Additional Rules


Baseball players use a strike zone that goes from the top of their knees down to their ankles. Softball also has a box that goes with it but it is much smaller than the strike zone for softball.

In sports like basketball and softball, you always have ten players on the field at once. With baseball, you can only get nine on the field at any one time.

However, baseball is quite a more competitive game than softball as it includes much more strategy and tactical planning while softball is just a lot of fun and relaxation.

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How long are softball and baseball games?

Baseball games are of around 3 and a half hours in duration. Softball games differ based on the league but generally, they last for 2 hours.

How many players in a softball and baseball team?


In softball, there are a maximum of ten players in any one team whereas baseball has only nine at any given time during the game. There are no such restrictions on the number of players per team in baseball while softball places such restrictions.

How big are the diamond and fields?


In softball, the baseball field uses a 90 by 54-foot diamond. The baseball infield is about 100 feet long, and the outfield is about 95 feet wide.  In softball, the field is much smaller and it is between 59 and 66 feet wide, depending on which league you are playing in.

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Who uses bigger balls?


Both baseball and softball players use the same types of balls. However, the softball is larger than the baseball with a diameter of 10 inches. The baseball ball has a diameter of 9 inches. Baseballs have softer coverings and tend to be lighter than softballs.

How many bases are in each game?


In baseball, there are four bases on which players need to run around. In softball, there are six. In both games, each base is 90 feet apart from the other.

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Who uses bigger bats?


In baseball, the bats are 9 inches in length. The softball bats are 8 and a half inches long while the baseball bat is around 10 and a half inches long.

Who uses bigger balls?


Both baseball and softball players use the same types of balls. However, the softball is larger than the baseball with a diameter of 10 inches. The baseball ball has a diameter of 9 inches. Baseballs have softer coverings and tend to be lighter than softballs.

Is the ball pitched overhand or underhand?


In baseball, the pitcher throws his or her arm over the shoulder. This is called an overhand pitch, so it is an overhanded curveball. In softball, the pitcher’s arm is hidden by shoulder and elbow pads. This is called a sidearm pitch, so it comes from the side of their body.

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Why do baseball players wear gloves?


Baseball players wear mitts because it keep their hands protected when they throw.

Has Canada won an Olympic medal in softball or baseball?


Canada has never won a medal in softball at the Olympics. Canada did win a gold medal in baseball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was its first-ever medal. The team beat Cuba 10-5 to win Canada’s first-ever gold medal at an Olympic Games held in Asia.

Canada has never won a medal in baseball at any Olympic Games. Canada finished fourth in baseball in 2000, but that was before the sport became an official event at the Summer Games.

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Professional Salaries for Softball and Baseball?


The value of a professional softball player is usually $25,000 or even more, while the value of a pro baseball player can range from $30,000 to $80,000. The major reason for that is that the salary of a softball player is much lower than that of a professional baseball player.

Hopefully, by reading this post you will know the differences between Softball and Baseball easily.

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