If you ask me are all the softball fields same, I would say NO! No two softball fields are the same, if not much, there could be the difference of the grass quality. More so, I’ve also seen that the length of the foul line could vary slightly between fields however, when it comes to the official softball fields for high school and college play, it is must to follow the official rules of the International Softball Federation for the measurements.
You must have noticed in some of my previous discussions that softball fields are called “Diamond” because of its shape these are closely related to the baseball diamond. It is also the most complicated geometric dimension of a sports field. There are a few things that can vary from one softball field to another and those are:
- Outfield fences
- Pitching rubber
Despite these small changes, you will find in the official rules of the International Softball Federation that the optimal outfield distance should be 250 feet and what I find amazing is that both men and women share this same distance. It is also worthy making a note that the dimension of the field might vary as per the specific rules and terms set by particular leagues.
What you will find in the below discussion is a brief glimpse of the official International Softball Federation’s rules for the field dimension and these rules are universally applicable for all the full-sized fields. Let’s start with the Home Plate Area first!
Home plate area
It is basically a white rubber pentagon which means it has five different sides and here I explain the official measurement of all the different sides. One side measures 17 inches in length from the base point, two others measure 8.5 inches each in length and the remaining two measure 12 inches in length. The two sides with 12 inches length form a point face that directs away from the pitcher’s rubber.
There are two batter’s boxes – right hand box and left hand box. Both are 3 feet in width and 7 feet in length and each box is 6 feet away from the home plate.
Bases and baselines
As I have already mentioned that there are primly three bases in a softball field. The first base is also known as safety base or double base which is 15 inches wide and 30 inches long. If you take a closer look you could see that the base is positioned across the first base line the reason behind that is so that half of the base lies fair territory and the remaining half in the foul territory. You could see a color change in this aspect. The part in fair territory is painted white and the part in foul territory is painted orange.
Second and third base
Both the second and third base are white in color, each measure 15 square inches and the thickness is around 3 to 5 inches. The third base is in entirely in the fair territory though, the second base lies in a square position with the first base and the third base which configures a perfect square.
Here I explain the different distances of a baseball field and you will see that how it makes a perfect square:
- From home plate to first base – 60 feet
- From first base to second base – 60 feet
- From second base to third base – 60 feet
- From third base to home plate – 60 feet
Here are some others dimensions of the field for you. Why I’m explaining all these things to you is that when you would know the field better, definitely, you will play better softball on the field.
The infield radius is 60 feet! If you take the measurements from pitcher’s rubber at all the points – from third base to the foul line, from first base to the foul line, the back edge of the infield dirt is 60 feet.
The coach’s box is 15 feet in length and 3 feet in width. It is positioned in such a way so that the back of the box lies up evenly with the line that is drawn from second base to third base and from second base to first base.
So, this was a very brief discussion about the various dimensions of softball field and in my upcoming discussions, we will reveal more insightful aspects of this game so that when you finally come down to the field, you can give your best.