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

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
DivisionAge group Bases Pitching  Outfield fence
 FastpitchMen 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
DivisionAge groupBasesPitchingOutfield 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 plate Softball home plate batters and catchers boxes dimensions

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.
http://www.softball.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Softball-Field-GuidelinesFINAL.pdf

Sports association details

Softball Western Australia Inc

Gary Butler
President
27 Chesterfield Road Mirrabooka WA 6941
PO Box 450 Mirrabooka WA 6061
Telephone 61 8 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.

Page reviewed 12 July 2019