A Brief Guide to Softball Field Dimensions

Softball is an interesting and interactive sport, and no two softball fields can be the same as one another, the type of surface, grass, and the foul lines could vary from one field to another. However, when it comes to official softball matches there are specific measurements and rules that are set forth by the International Softball Federation. Such regulated dimensions help in a fair and regulated playing experience across the different fields.

Softball Field
Image: Tornado Softball Field Concordia University Texas / Credit: Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0

Softball Field Dimensions

The field of softball can be compared to that of the baseball field. The details of the softball field are as follows. There are two parts of the field, namely the foul zone and the fair zone. The fair zone is again divided into the infield, outfield, and the territory that lies beyond the outfield fence.

The part of the ground that meets the home plate at the right angle is termed as the foul territory. A fence runs between the baselines, to indicate the limits of the field. The backstop that lies behind the home plate is about 25 to 30 feet and the home plate has bases at each corner. Apart from the home plate, the bases are made of about 38 cm square of canvas and it is not more than 13 cm thick.

To prevent collision among the players of the game, there is a contrast colored base which is also termed as the safety base or the double base. This base helps to decrease collision between the runner and the first baseman.

The infield space of the softball field comprises of infielders and diamond. The space between the baseline and the zones between the infield and the outfield fence is termed as the outfield. The pitching plate is found at the center of the diamond and the circle drawn at 16 feet diameter around the pitching plate is termed as the pitching circle.

Check out: Softball Rules: How to Play Softball?

Different Components of the Softball Field

The dimensions of the softball field are based on whether the field is designed for either slow pitch or fast pitch competitions. The fastpitch game is played in state-wise, national, or international competitions whereas the slow pitch game is followed as a social or a recreational sport. The different parts of the softball field are as follows,

  1. Infield:

The softball playing zone is divided into fair territory and foul territory. The fair territory is again divided as the infield, the outfield, and as the territory that is beyond the outfield fence. The infield comprises of a diamond and an adjacent space, where the infielders play normally. The outfield is the space that remains between the baselines and between the infield and the outfield fence.

Generally, the infield of the softball field is skinned, and the outfield is covered in grass to denote the difference clearly in regulation competitions. The infield is generally a square, also termed as a diamond, and has a base at each corner, namely the home plate, 1st base, 2nd base, and the 3rd base. The total distance for pitching is measured from the rear point to the home plate, to the front edge of the pitcher’s plate is centered at the 1.8m radius circle.

  1. Outfield:

The outfield is denoted as the grass area that extends along the width of the field. The outfield is in the shape of a quarter-circle that lies between the two foul lines. The minimum distance from the apex of the home plate to the boundary is termed as 67.06m for the women’s fast-pitch softball.

The field is supposed to have a warning track between 15 and 12 feet from the outfield fence. If the field is played on a field that is larger than what is required, then there is no warning track required before any temporary outfield fencing.

  1. Playing field dimensions:

Preparing the actual playing surface of the softball will depend on whether we have to create new land or place the field on an existing multi-sport field or football field.

  • The base of the Men’s softball field is 18.29m
  • The pitching is 14.02m
  • The outfield fence is about 76.2m
  • The bae of the women’s softball field is 18.29m
  • The pitching of the women’s field is 13.11m
  • The outfield fence is 67.06m.

The minimum length of the baselines varies depending on the classification of the play. The fastpitch baseline is about 60 ft. in length. The slow pitch baselines are about 18.29 m and the wheelchair baselines are about 15.24 m in length.

  1. Backstop:

The backstop is the area that lies behind the home plate. The dimensions of the backstop are between 7.62m to 9.14m, which is about 25ft and 30ft, behind the home plate, depending on the age group of the players in the match.

  1. Bases:

At one corner of the diamond, there is a home plate with bases at each of the remaining corners. The bases are numbered counter-clockwise and are secured by fastening to the ground. A contract colored safety base or double base is required in ISF championships.

  1. Batter’s and the catcher’s box:

The Batter’s boxes are rectangular areas that lie behind the home plate, where the batter stands to hit the pitch. The dimensions of the batter’s box are 0.91 cm x 2.13 m. And the dimensions of the catcher’s box are about 2.57m x 3.05 cm.

  1. Coach’s boxes:

The boxes for the coach is located on the foul territory outside the baselines. There are two boxes that are located behind a line of 5 m behind the baseline.

  1. Home plate:

The home plate is a 5-sided piece that is made of whitened rubber. The batter stands beside to bat and its dimensions are 43.2 cm length, 21.6 cm width, and 30.5 cm oblique. The pitching circle is about 2.44 m radii. The width of the pitching rubber is 6.10 cm and the depth of the same is about 15.2 cm.

Final Words

The dimensions of the softball field are clear and straight forward, but setting up the field demands stringent supervision and details to get all the details clear. It is important to set up the field using the right type of equipment as well.

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