Softball

Softball has two main disciplines, fastpitch and slowpitch. Fastpitch is played in local, state, national and international competitions. Slowpitch, which is also played competitively, is very popular as a recreational or social sport.

The playing field

The playing field is divided into fair territory and foul territory. Fair territory is further divided into the infield and the outfield and territory beyond the outfield fence.

Infield

The infield is a square called a diamond. There is a base at each corner:  first base, second base, third base and home plate. The pitching distance is measured from the rear point of the home plate to the front edge of the pitchers plate.

Outfield

The outfield is a grassed area beyond the infield and extends the entire width of the field and to the outfield fence. The table below outlines the distances relevant to the competition.

Playing field layout and dimensions

Below is a table outlining the international standard distances. They are measured from the rear point of home plate to the first base and the front edge of the pitchers plate.

International standard distances - Adult
Division Age group  Bases  Pitching   Outfield fence
 Fastpitch Men  18.29m  14.02m  76.20m
 Fastpitch  Women  18.29m  13.11m  67.06m
 Slowpitch  Men  19.81m  15.24m  91.44m
 Slowpitch  Women  19.81m  15.24m  83.82m
 Slowpitch  Co-ed  19.81m  15.24m  83.82m
 
International standard distances - Youth
Division Age group Bases Pitching Outfield fence
 Fastpitch  U19 Women  18.29m  13.11  67.06m
 Fastpitch  U19 Men  18.29m  14.02  76.20m
 Fastpitch  U16 Women  18.29m  12.19  67.06m
 Fastpitch  U16 Men  18.29m  14.02  76.20m
 Slowpitch  U19 Women  19.81m  15.24m  80.77m
 Slowpitch  U19 Men  19.81m  15.24m  91.44m
 Slowpitch  U16 Women  19.81m  14.02m  80.77m
 Slowpitch  U16 Men  19.81m  14.02m  91.44m

School age programs

The following table is suggested distances for younger aged children.

Age  Pitching  Bases 
 6 and under  T-ball  7.6m
 8 and under  T-ball  13.7m
 10 and under  10.66m  16.76m
 12 and under  10.66m  18.28m
 14 and under  12.9m  18.28m


The minimum length of the baselines vary depending on the competition played. For fastpitch and slowpitch the baselines are 18.29m. In wheelchair softball the baselines are 15.24m.

Backstop

The backstop is the area behind the home plate.

Bases

At one corner of the diamond is the home plate with bases at each of the remaining corners. The bases are numbered counter clockwise as 1st base, 2nd base and 3rd base and securely fastened to the ground. Each base is a 38.1cm square and made of a white material. First base is a double base—76.2cm x 38.1cm.

Home plateSoftball-home-plate-batters-and-catchers-boxes

Home plate is a five‑­sided piece of white rubber located between the two batter’s boxes and the catcher’s box.

Batters and catcher’s box

The batter’s boxes are the rectangular areas beside home plate and the catcher’s box is behind home plate.

Coaches box

A coaches box is located in foul territory outside both baselines.

Foul lines

The two foul lines meet at a right angle at home plate. These lines and the fence running between the baselines defines the limits of the field.

Pitching circle

The pitching circle surrounds the pitching rubber.

Pitching rubber

The pitching rubber is located at the centre of the diamond. It is 61cm wide and 15.3cm deep.

Softball diamond
Softball-diamond

References

Softball Field Guidelines. Updated January 2015. Softball Australia. www.softball.org.au

Sports association details

Softball Western Australia Inc

Gary Butler
President
27 Chesterfield Road Mirrabooka WA 6941
PO Box 450 Mirrabooka WA 6061
Telephone 08 9349 9911
Email admin@softballwa.org.au
Website www.wa.softball.org.au
Twitter @SoftballWA

Disclaimer

The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.