Are you a female softball player with a buddy interested in taking up the sport?
Or are you a guy interested in the sport and want to know if playing softball will make you less of a man?
Whatever the situation may be, it all comes down to whether men or boys play softball.
If you’re familiar with softball, you’ve probably heard it referred to as a “female sport.”
You’ve most likely also heard things like “baseball is for guys” and “softball is for ladies.”
How accurate do you believe these descriptions of softball are?
Let’s see whether your male friend or you as a guy can play softball and if the references made towards softball are accurate.
Do Boys And Men Play Softball?
A simple answer is “yes.”
Men do play softball because they can! There are no exceptions given for any gender, regardless of the sport.
Now the question is, how real is men’s softball? Are there any organized tournaments? Leagues? When it comes to males playing softball, is it only for fun?
Men Softball Leagues
Well, men who like softball may join a variety of recreational, corporate, and amateur leagues.
Little League also features a variety of categories for boys aged 7 to 16. T-ball teams (for children aged 5 to 6) are frequently mixed gender.
Teams are formed on the school level with both genders in a single team.
It is very rare to see men playing softball at the collegiate level, and it is usually just girls on softball teams.
Men’s professional softball leagues began in the late 1970s and early 1980s and have grown in popularity.
One of the earliest men’s softball leagues to be founded was the American Professional Slow Pitch League.
Although softball is dominated by women, despite the fact that it was invented by men (irony), this does not mean that men do not play softball.
But, the game has only been played by women at higher levels, such as the summer Olympics, which included only women’s softball.
Is Softball Different From Baseball?
Have you ever wondered how softball differs from baseball?
Or is it a female version of baseball?
Though the two sports have similar basics, several major characteristics distinguish them. Here are the key distinctions between the two sports:
- Ball Size: The ball is larger in softball than in baseball. The ball used in baseball is 11 inches in circumference, while the ball used in softball is only 9 inches in circumference.
- Pitching Style: The pitch is delivered overhand in baseball and underhand in softball.
- Base Size: The bases in baseball are now increased to 18 inches, which is larger than the base size of a softball which is 15 inches.
- Baseline: A baseline is a straight line connecting one base to another.
Softball has a 60-foot baseline, whereas baseball has a 90-foot baseline.
- Innings: Softball games go just seven innings, but baseball games last nine innings.
Why Is Softball Termed As Feminine?
You may be wondering why softball is referred to as a female sport.
Or, how can any sport be classified as a boy’s or a girl’s sport?
Well, originally, softball was not invented for women.
It was discovered by men to practice baseball in harsh winters indoors.
Softball is also seen to be milder than baseball because of the field proportions and pitching method, which give the impression that it is feminine and needs less strength.
People claim softball or any sport is for women because they believe that the sport is ‘easy.’
Sexism In Softball
The factor of sexism and discrimination on the basis of gender came into existence when a fear grew among the American men that they would be seen as feminine if they started playing indoors and women playing outdoors.
The sexism in softball is mostly because of the differences between the two sports.
Like, people may say that hitting a home run in softball is easier as the distance between the outfield fence and the home base is 200-250 feet, whereas, in baseball, it is much more difficult to hit a home run as the distance is 300-450 feet.
Also, softball was true to its name in its early years since the balls were soft, which makes it seem ‘feminine’ because women cannot play with a hardball and are thought to be harmed easily.
This clears that women are or were discouraged from playing baseball because society believed they were inept and frail.
To summarize, since official baseball was structured mostly for males and there was no sport for women other than softball, women began to devote more time to softball and therefore dominated the sport.
Softball was labeled as feminine in the beginning due to chauvinism, but it is now something that has been going on for years since women are seen in softball and men in baseball.
The games are not too different now like the ball is hard in both sports.
Men play softball as well, but it is not as officially sanctioned as baseball for them; thus, baseball is their preferred sport.