Softball Swing VS Baseball Swing –  More Similar Than You Think

You have heard from many people, parents, and coaches that baseball and softball swings are different and that makes you wonder about softball swings vs baseball swings. 

Remember, the swing is a swing if it is good. 

If you understand the physics of swing then you will also say that both swings are the same except for some points. To clear your concept of swing we’re gonna discuss the difference between baseball and softball swing. 

Game Strategy: 

The game strategy has a great impact on understanding softball swing vs baseball swing. 

In softball, the ball is pitched underhand and has an upward trajectory. You have a level and strong command in upward swing to meet the ball effectively. 

In baseball the pitch is overhand and the ball moves downward. So, to make solid contact with your ball you must have a good level in downward swing. The right strategy of swing has an effective impact on your game. 

Field Dimensions: 

Understanding the field dimensions of the game has an effective impact on the game. 

In baseball, the bases are 90 feet away. It means a baseball player has more time to understand the trajectory of the incoming pitch. And have more time to do a powerful swing and score more runs. 

Softball bases are 60 ft apart. The softball player has less time to react than a baseball player. They have to make quicker swings. 

Reaction Time: 

The reaction time between softball swing and baseball swing is probably the same except at some points. Most of the time reaction time doesn’t matter as much.  

There are two types of pitch: fast pitch and slow pitch. 

  • In softball, the distance between the pitcher and home plate is 43 ft. If it is a fast pitch the reaction time of the hitter is 0.41 sec.
  • In baseball, the distance between the pitcher and home plate is 55 ft. It takes only a few milliseconds to reach the ball from pitcher to home plate. The reaction time of the hitter is around 0.45 seconds. 

Pitch Recognition and Timing:

Pitch recognition and acute analysis of timing have a great impact on softball swing vs baseball swing. It will help you to get more success in your field. 

A baseball pitcher is 60 feet 6 inches away from the home plate and delivers the ball in overhand motion. It means you have time to analyze the ball whether it is fast, curved, slider, or something else. For example, if the pitcher is faster, you notice his/her arm movement, ball spinning and rotation, etc. These signs allow you to make a stronger swing. 

In softball, pitchers are much closer than in baseball …. 43 feet away. The ball is delivered underhand and you have less time to understand the pitch. For example, if the ball is thrown downward you have to do a downward swing to make good contact with the ball.

Recognizing and analyzing the pitch-specific characters will allow you to adjust your swing timely and make solid contact with the ball. Whether you are in softball home plate or baseball always keep your eye on the ball and pitcher movement. 

Swing Path:

Swing path of softball and baseball work in a similar way. But if you compare you will see. There is a little bit of difference between the swing paths. It is divided into many categories. But here we discuss a few of them; 

  • Attack  angle
  • Launch angle

Attack Angle: 

The point where the bat makes contact with the pitched ball is called the attack angle.

To match the angle, you have to hit the ball properly. If you stay longer, you hit the ball harder. For example, baseball pitches enter the hitting zone at angles of -5 to -20 degrees. To hit the ball harder you need to angle the bat  +5 to  +20 degrees. 

In softball pitches enter the hitting zone at an angle of –4 to -16 degrees. Similar to baseball, angle the bat +4 to +16 degrees. 

Launch Angle: 

The angle of the batted ball when it leaves after in contact with the bat. If you have the greater exit velocity it means that you hit the ball harder. And you have more chances to score runs. 

In softball swing if the exit velocity is 80 mph then the launch angle they can work their launch angle between 30-35 degrees. If lower they can work their launch angle between 10-15 degrees.

In baseball swing, if the exit velocity is 105 mph they can work their launch angle between 30-35 degrees. 

Swing plane and Rise Ball:

It is the most talked about thing when you compare baseball swing and softball swing. 

It is not always obvious that the rise ball in softball goes up due to an underhand pitch and in baseball, the ball goes down. At this point, you have to understand the concept of physics that comes in the form of gravity. 

In baseball, if we throw the ball 60 ft 6 inches away from the pitch it can go down 4 to 6 ft. Same with softball when we throw the ball in the beginning the ball goes up. Due to air and gravity the velocity of the ball decreases. Gravity takes over the velocity and starts pulling the ball downward. The angle we will see will be around 4 to 9 degrees. 

In this way both the swings are the same.


How is throwing a softball different from a baseball?

In softball, the pitcher throws underhand and in baseball, the pitcher throws overhand from base. This is the significant difference between both baseball and softball. 

Is it harder to hit a softball than a baseball?

Yes, because if we compare the fields of both baseball and softball. The softball field has less distance between the pitcher and the batting point. It is difficult to control the reaction rate and do a powerful swing

Do softball and baseball players use different types of bats?

Yes, softball bats have specific weights and sizes with larger barrel diameters. Baseball players have their specific size, weight, and lengths.

What are the two things you should not do when batting baseball?

Pointing knob towards the pitcher, hands in front of the chest, hands in front of the belly, hands way too high, and hand way too low.

Final Words

Remember, a good swing is a good swing, regardless of the game. The difference between both softball swing vs baseball swing depends on the timing, contact, and power across both diamonds. 

So, all you need is to focus on refining those universal hitting essentials and roar with crowd sound in the game.

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