Softball Is Physically Harder Than Baseball

The debate of if baseball is physically harder than softball is over, scientifically-speaking

Credit: Sequoit Media

Credit: Sequoit Media

With the softball and baseball season starting up for high school, collegiate and professional ball there comes the question of debate: is baseball physically harder than softball? As a person who played softball and baseball I can personally say I think softball is physically harder than baseball. Both have their own challenges but it is proven scientifically that softball is physically harder than baseball.  

One major difference between how softball and baseball pitchers pitch makes a world of difference for hitters.While baseball has fastballs and curveballs, softball has riseballs. Riseballs are a hard pitch to hit because they can start low out of the strike zone and end up in the zone. Or it can start at the top of the strike zone and climb higher and higher. It’s harder to hit a ball rising than it is dropping or going side to side because as a hitter it’s more difficult to track a ball coming up at you and moving/adjusting your body enough to hit the rise ball just right. 

Madison Hughes, Sayre Student Anthology, said, “A pitcher has a motion of low to high and is only 43 feet away from the hitter, which is harder for a batter to react to the changing pitch.” It is also proven by ESPN that hitting a softball is physically harder than a baseball. “A softball pitcher can’t throw topping around 70 mile-per-hour from 37 feet with the softball reaching the plate in .035 seconds. That’s actually faster than it takes a 100 mile-per-hour major-league fastball to reach the plate.” 

Although it might seem logical that a smaller field means there is less ground to cover, it actually makes it physically harder because the smaller field size gives less reaction time to the ball when hit. The 17-foot difference from home plate to the mound for softball and baseball makes a significant impact because the speed the softball it gets hit at with such a small field leaves the players on the field with less reaction time and more room for error. While for baseball it has a larger field than softball by 30 feet which also gives baseball players about 1.45 seconds more reaction as fielders than softball players. 

Playing both sports are challenging but scientifically proven, softball is physically harder than baseball. Experiencing the differences between baseball and softball as a player is a notable difference. Some things I had to adapt to were the different pitching styles and learning how to have quicker reaction times as a softball player than a baseball player. Hughes sums up, “Softball is definitely harder than baseball due to differences in hitting, pitching, and the distance of the field.”