Size And Weight Of A Softball Revealed

Size And Weight Of A Softball Revealed

Last updated on September 4th, 2023 at 07:23 pm

In this article, you will learn the exact size and weight of a regulation softball.

The game of softball is somewhat similar to the game of baseball with a few differences. 

One of the main discrepancies that people will notice between the two games is the size and weight of the ball being used.

The ball used in softball is larger and heavier than the ball used in baseball. 

Let’s look at the size and weight of a softball in more detail. 

How big is a softball? What is the diameter?

There are 2 sizes of softballs. 

The size of softball used during a competitive game will depend on the type of softball game being played. 

An 11-inch ball is used during a fast pitch softball game and a 12-inch ball is used for a slow pitch softball game.

The 12-inch ball is slightly softer than the 11-inch ball. 

An 11 or 12-inch ball refers to the circumference of the ball itself. Although the actual circumference of an 11-inch ball is 11.88 inches and the 12-inch ball is 12.13 inches. 

The 11 or 12-inch size is the measurement in inches around the outside of the ball. 

The diameter of the ball is the measurement across the ball from side to side through the center which divides the ball into 2 equal halves.

An 11-inch softball has a diameter of 3.5 inches and a 12-inch softball has a diameter of 3.8 inches.

Size And Weight Of A Softball

How much does a softball weigh?

Depending on the size of the ball, the weight will vary. 

An 11-inch softball weighs between 5.785 ounces and 6.125 ounces. 

A 12-inch softball weighs between 6.125 ounces and 7 ounces. 

Why is a softball called a softball?

The game of softball has been around since the late 1800s and was given the term “softball” in 1926 as the ball used at the time was somewhat soft. 

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The term “kitten ball” was also used. 

10 years later in 1936, the rules of the game were standardized by the Joint Rules Committee and the name became permanent. 

Although the actual ball that is used today is far from being soft, the name softball still remains.   

What is the difference between a softball and a baseball?

There are several differences between softballs and baseballs with the main ones being size and weight.

A regulation size softball will be either a size 11 or 12 with a diameter of either 3.5 inches or 3.8 inches. They will also weigh between 5.785 ounces and 7 ounces.

A regulation-size baseball measures between 9 and 9.25 inches in circumference and has a diameter of 2.86 to 2.94 inches. A baseball weighs between 5 and 5.25 ounces. 

How is the game of softball different from baseball?

Now that we know the difference in size and weight between softballs and baseballs, let’s look at some other differences between the two games. 

Ball field

The field of play between the 2 games varies quite a bit. 

Both fields are laid out similarly but the size of the field is different. 

For example, the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate in softball is 43 feet. In baseball, it is 60 feet.

The pitcher in softball uses an underhand toss while in baseball they use an overhand throw.

The distance in between bases in softball is 60 feet apart while in baseball they are 90 feet apart.

The distance from home plate to the outfield wall in softball is no more than 225 feet while in baseball it can be more than 300 or 400 feet. 


The bats used in both softball and baseball look the same but usually are shorter in softball than in baseball. 

Also, the bats used in softball are normally smaller in diameter and lighter than the bats used in baseball. 

Game length

Softball games are generally shorter in length than baseball games unless the game goes into extra innings. 

A regulation softball game is 7 innings long and baseball is 9 innings. 

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