A Guide To Softball Field Dimensions
March 19, 2015
No two softball fields are exactly alike. The type of grass could be different from one field to another. The length of the foul lines could vary slightly between fields. However, when it comes to official softball fields used in high school and college play — there are specific field measurements set forth in the official rules of the International Softball Federation that must be met in order for a field to be used in a regulation game. These predefined dimensions help ensure a consistent, fair playing experience across all fields.
When reviewing the measurements below, keep in mind that the starting point is the back of home plate — the white part of the plate pointing at the catcher and the backstop.
If you’re designing or modifying a softball field for high school or college women’s fast-pitch play, these are the official International Softball Federation field sizes to adhere to:
- Baseline — The baselines in softball are 60 feet. When measuring baselines, the proper way to do it is from the back of home plate to the back white corner of first base. Then, from the back white corner of first base to the center of second base. Second to third is measured from the middle of second base to the back corner of third base, and finally, from the back corner of third base to the back of home plate is the third base line.
- Home to second base — The distance across the diamond from home plate to second base should be 84 feet and 10 ¼ inches. This is the same distance from first base to third base because the baseline creates a perfect square.
- Home to front of pitching rubber — In high school and college softball, the distance from home plate to the front of the pitching rubber in the middle of the pitcher’s mound is 43 feet exactly. The pitching rubber itself is a white slab that is 24 inches long by 6 inches wide. It’s important that this distance is precise as even a slight variance either way could give a hitter or pitcher an advantage.
- Pitcher’s circle and rubber — The radius of the pitcher’s circle around the pitcher’s rubber is 8 feet. Of course, this makes the diameter of the pitcher’s circle 16 feet. As for the rubber, the rules state it should measure 24 inches by 6 inches and be level with the ground.
- Home plate to backstop — At minimum, the distance from the back of home plate to the backstop should be 25 feet. However, it can range up to 30 feet. This gives the catcher ample room to safely make a play on pop-ups in foul territory behind the plate.
- Outfield — In women’s fast-pitch softball at the high school and college levels, the fences are placed an average of 220 feet from home plate. Leading up to the fence is a 10-foot warning track. If you don’t have a permanent outfield fence installed on your softball field, there are some really great portable fencing products available, like Grand Slam Fencing, that create a softball field environment and designate a home run distance. The great thing about portable softball field fences is they can be setup and taken down quickly and easily as needed, so you get the same performance as a permanent fence while still having the ability to adjust your field as needed. This is ideal for multi-use fields.
When designing your softball field, remember to make field maintenance a priority. By investing in softball field maintenance products like field covers, fence covers and fence top protection, you can preserve your field and keep it looking great and safe for players for years to come!
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