Is Softball or Baseball Harder to Play?
There has long been a debate in the bat and ball sport world, which sport is harder to play: softball or baseball? Baseball and softball are both very difficult sports and have significant differences that make them difficult for seperate reasons.
In baseball, pitching is done overhand while in softball the motion is underhand. While underhand pitching is a natural motion for the human arm, pitching overhand is actually heavily damaging to the elbow and shoulder of baseball players. In the long term, baseball pitchers will face more injuries and have more problems related to pitching.
Additionally, playing the field throws are longer, a baseball diamond is 90 feet to each base and 60 foot 6 inches from the pitching mound to home plate. In softball it is 60 feet between bases and 43 feet between the pitching mound and the plate. Longer throws means more damage to fielders, despite both baseball and softball fielders throwing overhand.
In the short term, softball is the more difficult sport. The underhand pitching of softball means that pitches rise before reaching the batter. The human eye has trouble tracking motion down to up, making a "rise ball" very difficult to hit and softball batting harder than baseball batting. Additionally, softball pitchers, who stand closer to the batter, can reach speeds of 70 miles per hour. Comparing that to a 90 mph fastball in baseball, a hitter only has 0.44 seconds to react to a softball as opposed to 0.55 seconds for a baseball. This makes hitting a softball more difficult, despite the increased size of the ball. Overall, baseball and softball are both very difficult and many will have different opinions about which is harder.