It isn’t easier, it is just different


I have spent my entire life trying out different sports. From the age of four, I have tried basketball, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse, dance, and so many more, but the one that really stuck with me was softball. I love softball because it gives me a family and is fun to play no matter what mood I’m in, but what I don’t love is when people shut me down and attack the sport just because it’s different.

One of the biggest arguments softball players get into is usually with baseball players who like to fight and claim that their sport is more difficult. They like to point out how the softball field is smaller, the balls are bigger, and the pitchers are slower. While all of those things may be true, it doesn’t mean that the sport is easier, it just means it’s different.

The entire game of softball is essentially a smaller version of baseball. While the typical collegiate baseball field is 400 feet from home plate to center field, a collegiate softball field is only a little more than half the size, usually maxing out at 235 feet. Since the field as a whole is shorter, that means the base paths are significantly shorter as well which makes sense if you stop and think about it. Along with this, the distance from the plate to the pitching mound has a difference of about seventeen feet. So yes, the size of the field is a lot smaller, but that isn’t our fault and there is nothing we can do to change it.

The ball itself is one of the reasons the field is smaller. Since it is a bigger ball, it means that it weighs more. A softball can weigh up to two ounces more than a baseball does which weighs it down more once hit. The bats used in baseball have different weight distribution than a softball bat which can provide baseball players with more momentum to hit the ball harder instead of using actual strength. Again, it’s not our fault the bats and balls are made the way they are.

Although some people hate softball because they claim it is “easier”, it is actually way more entertaining to watch. The smaller field means quicker and closer plays which will leave you anxiously watching at the end of your seat. The higher level of softball you watch, the more intense the games are. Even taking just one extra second on what many people would call a “routine ground ball” can make or break whether you get the out. The speed of the players, the balls off of the bats, and the throws all keep your eyes glued to the game. If you look away even for a second, you could miss an incredible play.

So, the next time you encounter a softball player, instead of arguing with her about what sport is more difficult, listen and talk about the differences. It isn’t her fault the sport is set up the way it is, but there is a reason it is played the way it is. Softball isn’t easier than baseball, it is just different.