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If you’re playing college softball, chances are you’re a competitive player who’s looking to improve your skills by getting in as much training time as possible. Therefore, you probably want to spend as much time on your local softball diamond as possible. But if you’re looking to train properly, one problem you might come across is whether or not your local diamond is the same size as the college diamond you play on. After all, while practice makes perfect, if you’re not practicing using the correct sized softball diamond, you will end up getting accustomed to this imperfect diamond, and could end up blindsided when it’s time to compete.
This is why one of the common questions that college softball players ask is: what is the college softball base distance? Below we’ll give you a breakdown of the various measurements that need to be in place for a college softball diamond.
College Softball Base Distance
- Between bases: 60 feet
- Home plate to pitcher’s mound: 43 feet
- Home plate to backstop: 25-30 feet
- Home plate to outfield fences: 220 feet
The short answer is that the distance between the bases for college fast pitch softball diamonds is 60 feet. Knowing this distance is great to practice base running or sliding drills without having to go to a softball diamond. Simply measure off a 60 foot distance and put a base at either end and you are ready to practice. Check out our full guide on how to slide in softball for some of our favorite sliding techniques.
The proper way to measure these baselines is to measure from the back of home plate to the back right corner of first base. Then, measure from the center of second base to the back right corner of third base. And lastly, measure from the back right corner of third base to the back of home base.
The distance between home base and the pitchers mound is 43 feet. To measure this, start at home base and measure to the front of the pitching rubber. This rubber should be exactly 24 inches long, and six inches wide. This measurement is super important, as any change in the measurement could give either the pitcher or hitter an advantage.
For the pitcher’s circle, which is the circle that surrounds the pitching rubber mentioned in the previous paragraph, the proper radius for college softball is eight feet (which makes a diameter of 16 feet).
The distance of the home plate to the backstop, where the catcher will be, can range from 25 feet to 30 feet.
Finally, the proper distance between the home plate and fences around the outfield should be 220 feet.
If you’re trying to make sure the diamond you’re playing on measures up perfectly to what you would encounter in a competitive college softball game, the only way to be sure is to break out the tape measure and start measuring out the distances described above.
You can purchase reel style tape measures that can run the length of the entire field! This 300 foot length measure is our personal favorite and great to have for more than just softball:
Knowing these measurements is also crucial if you’re looking to build your own diamond, whether it be a professionally made diamond, or even something more makeshift in a wide open field. More important than having professional quality plates is making sure that the spacing between them is properly measured out according to the college guidelines. With these measurements, you could technically turn any wide open space into a makeshift diamond to practice on.
Header image via TotalCamps.com