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Thread: Baseball vs. Softball

  1. #1
    NotAboutEgo Guest

    Baseball vs. Softball

    Why are there STILL people who say women should play softball and shouldn't play baseball? Why is baseball perceived differently than any other sport... in the way that NO OTHER sport has a second-hand game that people push females to play? Why do people think women are incapable of playing baseball but are capable of playing other sports?

  2. #2

    Cool women's sports is an evolution.....

    Softball was originally invented as an indoor winter game by men looking to train during the off-season. Keep in mind that not long ago colleges weren't even offering fastpitch softball to the girls, but slow pitch softball. It took some time to convert to that.

    When I was in high school, women's basketball only started being offered in 1992.

    They are two totally different sports and IMHO its very immature of participants in either sport to bash each other. Its the same BS between skateboarders and aggressive skaters.

    I recently asked a member on another board whether his daughter would continue playing baseball after little league. Dad's answer "Probably not, but there is still a possibility. She is the smallest player on both teams."

    Also read an article on ESPN insider about a thirteen year old baseball pitcher in upstate New York and her dream is to play softball for some college. Kid throws about 70 MPH according to the article.

    Unfortunately I can not give your question the answer it deserves. They are totally different sports. Why american society assumes that fastpitch is just another version of baseball is beyond me.

  3. #3
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    Softball was originally invented as an indoor winter game by men looking to train during the off-season. Keep in mind that not long ago colleges weren't even offering fastpitch softball to the girls, but slow pitch softball. It took some time to convert to that.

    When I was in high school, women's basketball only started being offered in 1992.

    They are two totally different sports and IMHO its very immature of participants in either sport to bash each other. Its the same BS between skateboarders and aggressive skaters.

    I recently asked a member on another board whether his daughter would continue playing baseball after little league. Dad's answer "Probably not, but there is still a possibility. She is the smallest player on both teams."

    Also read an article on ESPN insider about a thirteen year old baseball pitcher in upstate New York and her dream is to play softball for some college. Kid throws about 70 MPH according to the article.

    Unfortunately I can not give your question the answer it deserves. They are totally different sports. Why american society assumes that fastpitch is just another version of baseball is beyond me.
    Exactly... and thus, they should be seen as 2 completely different sports, regardless of which gender plays them... and softball should NOT be seen as the fair substitute for females who want to play baseball. There are similarities between the 2, but they are completely different games.

    We can fairly say that basketball and hockey are similar sports... they both have nets at each end of the playing surface, each team "defends" the net on their end trying to keep the opponent from scoring into that net, both sports are played by time, both have intermissions, both have referees, in both sports they switch sides after each intermission, points are scored by putting the object that is played with (ball/puck) into the net on the other end, the object of each game is the same (score more points than the opposing team), etc... but, we can also fairly say that they are 2 different sports.

    I went to a collegiate fast pitch game a couple of years ago in which my women's team was recruiting softball players at to play baseball. It was the first fast pitch game I had been to since the ones I played when I was in high school. I started playing organized baseball in 1999... 7 years of baseball experience. I could not believe how foreign the game of fast pitch softball was to me after that amount of time and after playing hardball for so long. I didn't even know all the rules anymore, and it seemed so weird to me. I felt very much like a fish out of water just watching the game. Along with that, I knew that I would never be able to play fast pitch again, because I don't like the game at all, and I love baseball.

    Tell me that fast pitch and baseball are the same game... !!!
    Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 04-17-2007 at 12:46 PM.

  4. #4

    Other "female" sports

    Hey, there's netball (similar to basketball) and rinkette (similar to hockey) that is also predominantly played by females....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    Hey, there's netball (similar to basketball) and rinkette (similar to hockey) that is also predominantly played by females....
    Netball was originally known as "Womens Basketball", though I have no idea when the name changed.

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    I thought Netball was more of an Australian thing, with a seperate set of rules?

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    It was actually invented in the United States I believe, but played more elsewhere.

  8. #8
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    I had never heard of netball until I saw a poster for it at the YMCA where I used to workout. It sounds like fun and looks competitive. I don't know anything about it besides seeing the poster. Without knowing anything about it, I'd say it's similar to basketball but is not the same sport.
    Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 04-18-2007 at 05:59 AM.

  9. #9
    Yes, netball and basketball are similar to each other, but are very different games. For one, there's no dribbling in netball, and travelling is out. Only 2 people can shoot a goal too, and the offside rules vary depending on what position you're playing. If you ever get to see Australia and New Zealand play against each other you'll see what an incredibly fast and extremely competitive game it is.

    Softball and baseball are likewise, similar, but quite distinctly different. They are, though, a little closer together than netball and basketball.

    Netball is generally a girls game, but there are mixed comps and some mens comps. More men are becoming involved. The thing is that here in Australia, where it is THE most played sport of ANY in our country, (that includes football, everything, played by anybody, male or female, child or adult), nobody would think of telling a girl she had to play netball if what she was interested in was basketball or visa versa. Some boys might get it the other way if they wanted to play netball, but that is changing.

  10. #10
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball Mum View Post
    Yes, netball and basketball are similar to each other, but are very different games. For one, there's no dribbling in netball, and travelling is out. Only 2 people can shoot a goal too, and the offside rules vary depending on what position you're playing. If you ever get to see Australia and New Zealand play against each other you'll see what an incredibly fast and extremely competitive game it is.

    Softball and baseball are likewise, similar, but quite distinctly different. They are, though, a little closer together than netball and basketball.

    Netball is generally a girls game, but there are mixed comps and some mens comps. More men are becoming involved. The thing is that here in Australia, where it is THE most played sport of ANY in our country, (that includes football, everything, played by anybody, male or female, child or adult), nobody would think of telling a girl she had to play netball if what she was interested in was basketball or visa versa. Some boys might get it the other way if they wanted to play netball, but that is changing.
    It seems like it would be a lot more challenging than basketball, since there's no dribbling at all and it has a lot more rules, like only two players being able to score. It sounds like a really fun game that I'd like to try someday.

  11. #11

    Cool Not concerned about the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo View Post
    Why are there STILL people who say women should play softball and shouldn't play baseball? Why is baseball perceived differently than any other sport... in the way that NO OTHER sport has a second-hand game that people push females to play? Why do people think women are incapable of playing baseball but are capable of playing other sports?
    The biggest obstacle is how to convince women themselves that baseball is not something beyond their abilities once taught the finer points of the game. Including the adjustments needed to transition from softball.
    I am trying to think of strategies on how to approach women who have reservations about playing baseball. So far I am stuck on the "its fun" part.

  12. #12
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    The biggest obstacle is how to convince women themselves that baseball is not something beyond their abilities once taught the finer points of the game. Including the adjustments needed to transition from softball.
    I am trying to think of strategies on how to approach women who have reservations about playing baseball. So far I am stuck on the "its fun" part.
    An approach we've been using which seems to work well is to tell them, "Just come out and try it at one of our workouts. You don't have to commit or anything... just try it and see how it is for you." Also, tell them that if they've played competitive fast pitch softball, they probably won't have a problem with it at all. If they've played only slow pitch and are pretty athletic, it shouldn't be a problem, either. We had a player who had only played slow pitch before, and she was probably the best athlete on the team hands down... is a very fast runner, is very athletic and in shape, has terrific bat speed and torque when swinging, has a great arm, is a great hitter, has a great attitude, etc. She had absolutley no problem with hitting the ball even though she'd never played fast pitch before.

    The biggest thing is to encourage them to try it and not feel intimidated by it. Don't tell them they are trying out, and let them know they can try it casually without having to commit. State it like it's a casual workout. We've done a women's baseball open house where we invited women to come just to try it. It was successful for us. Perhaps you could do something like that rather than stating it as a workout. Set up something that is festive and at the same time gives women an opportunity to try hitting, pitching, fielding, etc. You could also try bribing them with having snacks and/or food there!
    Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 05-01-2007 at 01:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo View Post
    You could also try bribing them with having snacks and/or food there!
    That so works for college students especially! Tell them "free food" and they start flocking.

  14. #14
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    How many women's HS or college teams play softball or baseball?

    From what I remember during my elementary school years during recess and gym (outdoors), softball used a very large ball that was much softer than a typical rock-hard baseball. It feld kind of like a big heavy sponge.

    What I don't remember was the type of bats they'd used. In whiffleball, they'd used plastic bats, but I'm unsure what a softball bat was like.

    Now then, how many women (or girls) actually prefer playing baseball to softball? For those playing baseball, is all the equipment, such as the ball, bats and helmet types very similar to men's or boy's teams in similar age groups?
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    i actually went to a the local ballpark where the county has several women's softball teams as well as co-ed softball teams. ALOT of men's softball teams as well.

    And I just noticed something.... how come softball players dont wear protection of any kind? They all play in shorts, no one wears a batting helmet, and the catcher doesnt wear any equipment. And a softball isnt soft by any stretch of the imagination. Why are they putting themselves in such potential risks? meanwhile, the umpires were the strictest umpires I ever seen. Ejected players for using the wrong bat, wearing spikes, and so on. One guy hit the ball to the wall, ran all around to score home and the ump declared it a no run after inspecting his shoes at home plate. Threw the run and the player right out of the game. He inspected everyone. And there's no stealing bases in softball??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattingly View Post
    Now then, how many women (or girls) actually prefer playing baseball to softball?
    I know that I wanted to play baseball. When I was in grade school the only team we had was softball, so I had no choice, and I didn't like it. Then in junior high, girls weren't allowed to play baseball, so I was going to reluctantly try for softball but other circumstances prevented even that.

    All in all, if given my druthers, I would have played baseball.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattingly View Post
    Now then, how many women (or girls) actually prefer playing baseball to softball? For those playing baseball, is all the equipment, such as the ball, bats and helmet types very similar to men's or boy's teams in similar age groups?
    Women's baseball is played on the same regulation diamonds as everyone else plays in every tournament I have ever been in. Metal spikes are allowed as long as the field owners allow them. OBR is used with provisions for some liberal substitutions and bats are not required to be drop -3. For girls 14 and up there are not any age splits in most lf the country because of the lack of players. NotAboutEgo can probably tell you more about the younger than 14 crowd. I will assume most girls under 13 play in little league or pony and play under those rulesets.
    There is a large girls youth league somewhere in Rhode Island that's been around for a long while, think its called the Pawtucket Slaterettes.

    I would love to know the answer to your question about how many girls prefer baseball to softball, unfortunately little league did not even give me a straight answer on how many girls play in their program.

  18. #18

    To answer your question

    Quote Originally Posted by JeepingBaseball View Post

    And I just noticed something.... how come softball players dont wear protection of any kind? They all play in shorts, no one wears a batting helmet, and the catcher doesnt wear any equipment. And a softball isnt soft by any stretch of the imagination. Why are they putting themselves in such potential risks? And there's no stealing bases in softball??
    There are three different versions of softball. Fastpitch, Slowpitch, and Modified. Fastpitch is the one that alllows, bunting, stealing, windmill or slingshot pitching. The catcher definetly wears full protection in that game, unless its men's fastpitch and the dude behind the plate is absolutely crazy!
    Batting helmets are also worn. Last I checked Dudley's weigh more than a baseball and are much harder too.

    Slowpitch and Modified rarely allow bunting or stealing and both dont allow windmill pitching. Some independant leagues do allow stealing though to prevent catchers from being lazy. The catcher usually only wears a mask and the players dont wear batting helmets.

    About the shoes, some leagues have strict rules on what type of footwear is allowed to be worn. Some dont allow even rubber cleats, some of them insist on it etc... local rules and all.

    There are also different types of softballs used in the various games. About the bats, maybe someone else can help me here, but the aluminum bats can be modified to make the ball go even faster off of them, just not sure how. This is prevalent mostly in Slowpitch.

    Some leagues also use a safety base on 1st and at home. (Was really surprised to see this in one league.) Never really enjoyed the co-ed leagues in my area cause the guys tend to think if you are a girl you cant play for crap and they treat you as that. Some leagues even have a rule saying that if a guy gets walked and there's a girl behind him in the batting order she gets a free pass too.

    My passion lies with baseball.

  19. #19
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    Women's baseball is played on the same regulation diamonds as everyone else plays in every tournament I have ever been in. Metal spikes are allowed as long as the field owners allow them. OBR is used with provisions for some liberal substitutions and bats are not required to be drop -3. For girls 14 and up there are not any age splits in most lf the country because of the lack of players. NotAboutEgo can probably tell you more about the younger than 14 crowd. I will assume most girls under 13 play in little league or pony and play under those rulesets.
    There is a large girls youth league somewhere in Rhode Island that's been around for a long while, think its called the Pawtucket Slaterettes.

    I would love to know the answer to your question about how many girls prefer baseball to softball, unfortunately little league did not even give me a straight answer on how many girls play in their program.
    Women's baseball is played with the same everything that men's baseball uses... bats, balls, helmets, bases, metal or rubber spikes (it's up to each player what they use... I have never seen any women's games that haven't allowed metal spikes)... 60' 6" pitching mound, 90 ft. bases, regulation outfields, etc. There have been a few competitions where the base paths are modified to 80 feet, but that usually only happens if there's a tournament with an upper and lower division... the lower division being for the inexperienced teams that are just starting out. I have seen that happen only a couple of times, and the majority of the women don't prefer to use modified base path distances. I would say, only players who aren't very experienced at all would prefer that, until they get used to the game. I'm not for it at all.

    For girls' leagues that are for ages 15 and under or 14 and under (however the league is structured), they use little league/pony league fields... the same ones the boys use for the age groups. Several girls who are 13-15 and who play in girls' leagues (or in boys' leagues) and who are really good play on women's teams as well. They play on the smaller fields when in the girls' leagues, and they are on the larger fields when playing in the women's leagues and have no problem doing it. I've seen several 13-15 year olds and 16 and 17 year olds who have tremendous talent. Sometimes, it's not about the age but rather is about individual talent and skills.

    My sister and I and cousins on my mom's side of the family played sports together all the time. My sister and I are the oldest, and then there are 2 guys and one girl (my aunt's kids) who are a little younger. We played baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, football, tennis, etc. In the summer, we played sports all day long and swam in the lake. In the winter, we played ice hockey all the time. No one in our family ever told my sister and I and our female cousin we shouldn't be playing sports and they are for boys.

    When my sister, one of our other cousins on our dad's side, and I were kids, we played baseball all the time and we played some football. Our grandpa played ice hockey and baseball as a kid, and he would always show us how to throw a curve ball and other pitches. He was good. He was in his 70's and still could throw a mean curve and other pitches. He never once told my sister and I we shouldn't play baseball because we're girls. He was always playing with us and treated my sister and I like he would treat anyone else playing the game. He's my baseball hero.

    Baseball has always been my game and always will be. I played fast pitch growing up, but only because that was the only thing available to me and my sister. We lived in a rural area during this time, and there wasn't much there. If I would have had the chance to play baseball, I would have and never would have played softball. My dad once mentioned to the high school baseball coach that we were going to try out for baseball, and the coach said, "Girls don't play baseball." I think he has choked on his words many times now with what he said and with the baseball experiences I've had... because I have a LOT more baseball playing experience than fast pitch playing experience. It's sort of ironic that the coach said that, because his daughter played fast pitch with me in high school, and she was very good. I'd think he'd have a more open mind about sports since his daughter is a really good athlete. Goes to show that ego overrides that sort of thing with some people.
    Last edited by NotAboutEgo; 05-05-2007 at 09:39 AM.

  20. #20

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by NotAboutEgo View Post
    There have been a few competitions where the base paths are modified to 80 feet, but that usually only happens if there's a tournament with an upper and lower division... the lower division being for the inexperienced teams that are just starting out. I have seen that happen only a couple of times, and the majority of the women don't prefer to use modified base path distances. I would say, only players who aren't very experienced at all would prefer that, until they get used to the game. I'm not for it at all.
    Totally agreed. Never have seen that though and would not want to play on it either. Too close to the batter using them high tech aluminum bats.

    What size fields do the 13-15 girls in the girls leagues play on? I assumed they just play on 90/60'6 as soon as they hit thirteen.

    Baseball has always been my game and always will be. I played fast pitch growing up, but only because that was the only thing available to me and my sister. We lived in a rural area during this time, and there wasn't much there. If I would have had the chance to play baseball, I would have and never would have played softball. My dad once mentioned to the high school baseball coach that we were going to try out for baseball, and the coach said, "Girls don't play baseball." I think he has choked on his words many times now with what he said and with the baseball experiences I've had... because I have a LOT more baseball playing experience than fast pitch playing experience. It's sort of ironic that the coach siad that, because his daughter played fast pitch with me in high school, and she was very good. I'd think he'd have a more open mind about sports since his daughter is a really good athlete. Goes to show that ego overrides that sort of thing with some people.
    I never saw a softball until the age of 15 when I joined the fastpitch high school team. The only reason our fastpitch coach discouraged us from playing baseball was because he was afraid that the high school baseball coach would raid our team for its best players.

  21. #21
    NotAboutEgo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    Totally agreed. Never have seen that though and would not want to play on it either. Too close to the batter using them high tech aluminum bats.

    What size fields do the 13-15 girls in the girls leagues play on? I assumed they just play on 90/60'6 as soon as they hit thirteen.



    I never saw a softball until the age of 15 when I joined the fastpitch high school team. The only reason our fastpitch coach discouraged us from playing baseball was because he was afraid that the high school baseball coach would raid our team for its best players.
    I'm not sure about the size of fields for 13-15 year olds. I've heard that some use the smaller fields... 54' mound or whatever it is. I think it depends on the league and the availability in the areas. Some may use the larger fields.

    Funny about your HS fast pitch coach!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepingBaseball View Post

    And I just noticed something.... how come softball players dont wear protection of any kind? They all play in shorts, no one wears a batting helmet, and the catcher doesnt wear any equipment. And a softball isnt soft by any stretch of the imagination. Why are they putting themselves in such potential risks? .... And there's no stealing bases in softball??
    You must have been watching some adult rec league. My daughter plays college softball. She played ASA through high school. Batting helmets are a requirement. ASA requires facemasks. You will see some college players with masks and some without. My daughter never liked them so she took her's off in college. Her team has two uniforms. One is with long pants. This is the trend now. If they where shorts, they wear sliders. Sliders protect shins. They wear sliding shorts under the pants that are padded.

    I coached travel softball through 18U. I've coached plenty of players now in college ball. I doubt one of them would want to play baseball. Most consider it slow and boring.

    There is stealing in softball. Runners can leave on the pitcher's release. But between how quick the pitchers are to the plate and catcher's POP time, only the fleet can steal successfully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    ... the aluminum bats can be modified to make the ball go even faster off of them, just not sure how.
    Fastpitch bats are manuactured to specification mandated by ASA and the NCAA. Modifying a bat can get a player tossed and possibly suspended. Bats not stamped with ASA or NCAA approval are not allowed. The bats have a rating for how hard the ball can propel off it, just like LL through college metal baseball bats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captlid View Post
    Totally agreed. Never have seen that though and would not want to play on it either. Too close to the batter using them high tech aluminum bats.

    What size fields do the 13-15 girls in the girls leagues play on? I assumed they just play on 90/60'6 as soon as they hit thirteen.



    I never saw a softball until the age of 15 when I joined the fastpitch high school team. The only reason our fastpitch coach discouraged us from playing baseball was because he was afraid that the high school baseball coach would raid our team for its best players.
    It must have been a weak baseball program. All five seniors from my daughter's senior year played on four consecutive conference champions and made states twice. They're all playing college sotball now. Not one of them could have made the baseball team.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by TG Coach View Post
    I coached travel softball through 18U. I've coached plenty of players now in college ball. I doubt one of them would want to play baseball. Most consider it slow and boring.
    Why did the players that you interact with consider baseball slow and boring? Any specific reasons?

    It must have been a weak baseball program. All five seniors from my daughter's senior year played on four consecutive conference champions and made states twice. They're all playing college sotball now. Not one of them could have made the baseball team.
    The two girls that the high school baseball coach would have considered were both excellent hitters and had speed to burn in the outfield. Dont assume anything.

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