Differences In The Game Of Softball vs Baseball
Quite often, softball and baseball terms are used interchangeably; to the novice observer, both games look identical. However, each game has its differences which are staked mainly in the equipment choices, player positioning, and field orientation. Both games have the same basic goal: to bring batters from home plate, across each of the three outfield bases, and back to home for a score. Let's take a look at the key components of this game.
When an observer first looks at the softball field, they may see that the spacing between bases is much shorter. In fact, the bases will only have 55 feet of space between them. This shortening of the base distances is due to the reduced area that a pitcher throws the ball; the pitcher is normally about 35 to 40 feet in front of home plate.
Along with shorter base distances, the outfield is also smaller. As a result, players have a shorter reaction time to the balls that fly out past the bases. The entire game field is effectively shrunken to keep the batting and running distances fair, as compared to a standard baseball field.
Naturally, one of the biggest differences between softball and baseball is the ball size. Most standardized softballs are approximately 12 inches around, whereas a baseball is substantially smaller at about 9 inches around. In relation to the ball is this games' bat; this specialized bat is enlarged, much like a bottle shape, so that it can strike the wider ball size. Unlike baseball equipment, soft-ball bats, like ones manufactured by Demarini, have many different material choices, from liquid metal to Kevlar.
Player uniforms are relatively the same between both sports, but the cleats are typically different in material. Baseball players have a choice between either metal or plastic materials, but many professional softball teams forbid the use of metal cleats. Many coaches believe that the metal is harmful to other players if the cleat accidentally impales someone, such as during a slide into a base.
Fastpitch soft-ball has the obvious difference of pitching style; pitchers throw the ball with an underhand arc rather than overhand. In addition to the pitching strategy, there is no pitcher's mound in this game. Pitchers stand on the same level ground as the batter. Since the throw is underhand, using a mound can cause the ball to fly too low to the ground, effectively causing a ball or strike for the batter.
Gloves and mitts are certainly larger in softball. The large circumference of these balls requires players to have special designated gloves; using baseball gloves during a softball game can easily harm the hands and arms since there will not be enough material to cushion the catch.
In this game players have a different throwing strategy, coaches must use a special designated pitching machine for practice. If players use baseball pitching machines, they can acquire an incorrect muscle memory for the upcoming game. Specialized softball pitching machines will provide the simulated underhand motion that players need to create a long lasting batting skill.
Many baseball players believe that softball is a much harder sport in regards to striking the ball. The close proximity of the pitcher to the batter creates less reaction time to hit the moving ball. In addition, both the bat and ball are curved; striking a curved object with another curved item is difficult to execute without generating a foul ball. Although many people see softball as a female sport, the differences in physics between the two games makes it difficult for either gender.
This ball game has become extremely popular for both children and adults. It is an alternative to the standard baseball game; players can try to strike the large ball and compare the difficulty with hitting a baseball. In the end, softball coaches and players will find themselves addicted to the exciting sport.