Whether your youngster is looking to play for the first time or you’re a college student looking to join a recreation league, the game of softball is a popular choice for many people.
Unlike many other sports, there are two ways to play the game. These are the four ways slow- and fast-pitch softball differ.
The most notable difference between the two sports is obviously in the name of the game. Slow-pitch softball involves a high-arching, slow, underhand toss. Still, some pitchers can put a unique spin on the ball to force weak contact. For fast-pitch, a player performs a full windup; at the top levels, fastballs can reach approximately 70 miles per hour. Lastly, the distance from the mound to the plate is different between the two games, with fast-pitch at 43 feet and slow-pitch at 50 feet.
The bats between the two games are mostly the same, so it’s a matter of preference for what you’re trying to accomplish. With faster pitching, you’re better off going with a lighter bat to generate speed. For slow-pitch, opting for a heavier bat allows you to make up for the lack of velocity behind the pitch, spawning any power that may be lacking.
In most cases, fast-pitch softball mirrors the game of baseball when it comes to rules and positions. In some leagues, you can even have a designated hitter. In a slow-pitch game, on the other hand, you can’t hide your weakest hitter because everyone who fields a position must bat. Slow-pitch softball also allows for an additional outfielder, giving the opposition 10 defenders instead of 9.
If you’re a fan of a strategic game—better known as small ball—fast-pitch softball is the game for you. In fact, bunting is an art form in fast-pitch, with players attempting stylish bunting methods such as the slash bunt, which is a hybrid between a full swing and a bunt. However, hitters cannot bunt in slow-pitch because the defenders must play farther back, considering the batted ball will fly off the bat due to the slower pitch. Finally, due to the styles of each game, base-stealing isn’t allowed for slow-pitch, whereas you can steal in fast-pitch.
These four ways how slow- and fast-pitch softball differ will give you an understanding of the style of each game. The softball game is a commonality; however, the two types can be more different than the name suggests.