What do you usually see in big baseball leagues? In recent professional baseball games, you would seldom see a female player in baseball.
A common idea in sports is that boys get to play baseball and girls are to play softball. Indeed, these are relatively similar in-game mechanics. But why do girls play softball instead of baseball?
Women play softball due to lesser injuries, game mechanics, and lack of recognition and funding.
Why Do Females Play Softball Instead of Baseball?
The New York Bloomer Girls and Fort Wayne Daisies are baseball teams with all female members. They were formed and competed in the 20th century to eliminate the misconception that girls play softball and boys play baseball only.
Is softball a girl sport? Reddit holds a discussion regarding the sexism between baseball and softball. However, there is no solid explanation for why this is the case.
Here are some of the possible reasons why softball a women’s sport.
- Lesser chances of injuries
Softball is much more intricate than baseball. But, many find that softball gives you fewer chances of massive injuries.
Softball is less physically demanding, and the expected speed of the throws is lesser than that of baseball. When players choose to avoid extensive injuries when playing, girls switch from baseball to softball.
- Smaller playing field
A softball playing field is smaller. So, it is often thought that women can play better when the space needed is much smaller. The softball playing field is only around 60 feet, as it was initially designed to be an indoor sport.
- Larger ball used
The playing field may be smaller in softball, but softball use a bigger ball than baseball! Softball players use a 12-inch ball. The ball can be as large as 16 inches in recreational softball games.
A higher mass makes it easier to handle, and the ball is not expected to travel far from the pitchers.
- Lesser player recognition
It is not uncommon to see men play softball. But when the narrative is reversed, women playing baseball is not as groundbreaking in the world of sports.
For instance, the US women’s baseball team had a silver medal in the games held in Japan during the World Series. Despite the massive feat of these amazing athletes, it was not as celebrated as imagined.
The lack of recognition can be why baseball is not the first option for female athletes.
- The Title IX
Title IX is a law established in 1972 that required equal funding to men and women in any sport. Because of this, women now had more funding and chances in most sports.
However, baseball was not funded under this law but allocated some to softball. If a choice were given if your daughter plays baseball or softball, softball would be preferred because of the opportunities given by this law.
Baseball Vs. Softball: Quick Comparisons
Let us take a quick look at the differences between baseball and softball.
Both sports involve two teams competing against each other on a playing field, hitting a ball, and advancing on bases.
- First, the balls used in the two sports have significantly different sizes. Softball uses a larger ball with a circumference of up to 13 inches and weighs up to 7 ounces.
- On the other hand, baseball bats are a lot longer than softball bats. Baseball bats can be 42 inches long, but softball bats are just 34.
- Throws are a prominent difference between the two. Baseball pitchers do an overhand throw, while underhand throws are used in softball.
How Softball Started
Softball, invented initially as an indoor sport, was created back in 1887. It was created by a group of guys who are waiting for their Harvard Yale football game result!
Since it was a windy and cold winter day, the boys made a makeshift ball and bat, which eventually developed into the sport we know today.
During this time, softball sexist ideas are not yet a common impression among people. It was thought to be an indoor version of baseball.
When the game became more popular, it was officially named softball. It was made for men who wanted a sport alternative to baseball or wanted an indoor sport.
However, the shift to the idea that “softball only for females” happened when America feared having men do feminine roles. This was fueled by the shift from works of physical labor in the farms to less physically intensive office labor.
Benefits of Playing Softball
Sports offer many benefits that entice players to engage in the games.
- Softball trains the mind and body. Strength training, endurance, and agility are strengthened in constant training to get better at this sport.
- Furthermore, softball is a team sport. The game enhances an athlete’s capacity to collaborate with a team, synergize, and even lead when the appropriate circumstances arise.
- Being physically active also boosts an individual’s overall health, increasing mental focus and reducing stress and anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is softball the girl version of baseball?
Softball is initially thought to be an indoor alternative to baseball. Sexism was not the primary influence on why softball was designed as a sport.
No clear evidence indicates how softball or baseball is assigned by a player’s gender.
Why don’t women play baseball?
Aside from the previously mentioned points, women are not prominent in the baseball field because there are no leagues available for them.
Women can play baseball; however, the circumstances are not ideal for them to partake in the professional league. You would normally see women play amateur and recreational baseball games only.
Is softball a sexist sport?
Similar to how girls can play baseball, guys play softball, too. However, society pressures a specific gender to play a particular sport even if there are no hard-set rules on the distinction.
Why do adults play softball instead of baseball?
Softball is a sport that offers health benefits to the players, such as better body conditioning, improved mental health, better leadership skills, and getting higher self-esteem.
Sports are sometimes filled with misconceptions and gender bias. Often, softball is seen as an option for girls who want to play baseball. Why do girls play softball instead of baseball?
There are no rules that prevent girls from playing baseball. However, several theories that can point to why this is the case includes poor recognition of these female baseball players.
Softball is viewed as more suited for the physique of girls. There are fewer chances of injuries in softball as the ball is larger and the playing field is easier to maneuver in.
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.