Is Baseball Harder Than Softball? (8 Key Differences You Need To Know For Better Judgement)

Is Baseball Harder Than Softball

The discussion of “is baseball harder than softball” is very common among the fans and players of each game. The two games may seem very similar to anyone at a glance, but there’s more to it.

Before answering the question, “is baseball harder than softball” one must be completely aware of the basics of each game.

Baseball is a game played between two teams having 9 players each on a diamond-shaped field. Softball is very similar to baseball and was initially named indoor baseball.

It is scientifically proven that softball is physically harder than baseball because the player’s reaction time is less than that in baseball. But that’s not it. You need to know much more about both games to answer, “is baseball harder than softball.”

Difference between Baseball and Softball

Before discussing the topic “is baseball harder than a softball,” let us look at the key differences between the two:

Size of the field400ft diamond-shaped field200ft diamond-shaped field
Distance between bases90ft60ft
Distance of pitcher’s mound60ft from home plate43ft from home plate
Color of the ballWhiteYellow
Circumference of the ball9.00-9.23inches11.88-12.13inches
Weight of the ball5.00-5.25ounches6.25-7.00ounches
Length of bats42inches34inches
Innings in the game9 innings, can go extra if tied7 innings can end early if one
team has a large lead
Pitching StyleOverhandUnderhand
Baseball vs. Softball

By looking at these differences, you might think that you can now answer the question, “is baseball harder than softball” but that’s not all you need to know to compare the two thoroughly.

Is Baseball Harder Than Softball?

The simple and direct answer to the question “is baseball harder than softball” is no, a baseball is not harder than a softball, but it is the opposite, that is, a softball is harder than a baseball. The significant differences between the two that raise the question in the minds of the audience are:

Is Baseball Harder Than Softball?
Baseball field vs. Softball field

Field Size: A softball field is smaller in size, with less distance between the bases, and has closer fences, whereas a baseball field is much larger, has a considerable distance between the bases, and the fences are spread out.

The baseball field size is more significant, so they can steal more time than a softball with a smaller field.

On the other hand, as the softball fields are smaller, the players have to cover less distance than baseball players. So, the players need to be fast.

Ball Size

Ball Size: A softball is a yellow-colored ball the size of a grapefruit. A baseball is a white-colored ball the size of an apple.

Because of the large size of the softball, it is easier to make contact with the bat, whereas in baseball, due to its small size, it becomes harder to make solid contact with the bat.

Distance between mound and pitch: The distance between the mound and pitch of a softball field is lesser than the baseball field, so the hitters have lesser time to react to the ball and hit accordingly.

Softball pitchers pitch the ball underhand, and baseball pitchers pitch balls overhand. This difference of having lesser reaction time for the players makes softball a bit harder than baseball.

Baseball gloves

Gloves: Baseball gloves have a more shallow and longer pocket (because the ball is smaller), whereas softball gloves have a deeper and shorter pocket (because the ball is large).

Gender Differences: Baseball is mainly a male-dominated sport, whereas softball is generally a female-dominated sport.

After learning about all these differences, we cannot say that one sport is harder than the other. Though softball, due to its smaller field size and heavier ball, and requires quick reaction time, is considered a harder sport, baseball also has its challenges.

For one player, softball may be an easier sport due to their quick reflexes, and for another player, baseball may be an easier sport due to their raw strength and endurance.

So now, to answer the question of ” is baseball harder than softball” is simply that both sports are equally challenging to play; it is just a matter of choice and comfort as to which one a player prefers.

Similarities Between Baseball And Softball

After discussing “is baseball harder than softball,” let’s look into some of the similarities between the two sports:

  • Both games are played on a diamond-shaped field.
  • Both involve the same number of players on the field.
  • Both involve 6 main activities: throwing, pitching, fielding, catching, batting, and base-running.
  • Both have the same onfield positions.
  • Both games require the same equipment, like balls, gloves, and bats, though different.

Skills Required In Baseball And Softball

As both sports are pretty similar, they share a standard number of basic skills required for the players to learn, which are,

  • Hitting: For any softball or baseball player, hitting is the most critical skill they need to master.
  • Throwing: Throwing is the key skill the players need to learn to master their defense.
  • Catching: Like throwing, catching is also an important defense skill for the players, as no matter where they are on the field, they should be able to catch high-fly balls.
  • Pitching: Another important skill set for the players to know is pitching. It is the most technically sound skill one can learn on the field. It requires a lot of practice.
  • Base Running: Base running is the last of the main 5 skills and the easiest one. Base running does not only require speed; it requires understanding the game situation and running according to that.

Some of the other skills except these 5 required by baseball and softball players are:

Pitch Framing is a technique of catching the ball in a way that the umpire will most likely call a strike.Slap Hitting: This is a specific batting technique in softball when the batter hits the ball targeting a particular spot of the infield.
Pitch Blocking: Another skill the catchers use is blocking a ball pitched in the dirt.Bunting is an important offensive technique in softball, in which the batter loosely holds the bat and taps the ball.
Skills Required in Baseball and Softball

Baseball Swing vs. Softball Swing

Attack AngleThe attack angle should be between +4 to +21 degrees to match the plane and hit the ball harder.The attack angle should be between +3 to +12 degrees to match the plane and hit the ball harder.
Launch AngleIf the player’s peak exit velocity is 105mph, their launch range should be around 10 to 20 degrees.If the player’s peak exit velocity is 80mph, their launch range should be around 20 to 35 degrees.
RiseballIn a baseball swing, the ball goes down because of an overhand throw.In softball swing, the ball goes up because of an underhand throw.
Reaction TimeThe average reaction time in baseball is 0.45 secondsThe average reaction time in fastpitch softball is 0.40 seconds
Baseball Swing vs. Softball Swing


Which is faster, baseball or softball?

A softball is thrown from a distance of 43ft, whereas a baseball is thrown from a distance of 60ft. As the distance traveled by a baseball is more hence, it reaches a speed of 90mph, whereas a softball reaches a speed of 60mph.
Therefore, we can say that baseball is faster than softball.

Do baseball and softball use the same cleats?

Softball cleats are made of rubber or plastic to protect them while running and sliding.
Baseball cleats are made of metal to provide more durability and easier maneuverability and have high traction to prevent injuries.

Can I use the same gloves for baseball and softball?

Yes, one can use the same gloves for baseball and softball. The main difference between a baseball glove and a softball glove is that a softball glove has a deeper pocket than a baseball glove.

Is fastpitch softball harder than baseball?

A fastpitch softball is considered harder than baseball as the reaction time offered to the hitter in softball is less. The speed of a fastpitch softball is much higher than that of a baseball.

Is hitting a baseball harder than hitting a softball?

Even though a baseball is thrown at a higher speed, the shorter reaction time and small field distance make it harder to hit a softball.

Does a baseball hurt more than a softball?

A softball is much bigger and heavier than a baseball; hence when compared with a baseball, a softball hurts more to get hit by.

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