Get Inspired: How to play Baseball & Softball

Baseball game in action
Fast Answers
Why get into Baseball and Softball?They are sociable, fast paced, bat-and-ball games played outdoors or indoors. And they're a lot of fun.
Who is it for?Anyone can enjoy baseball and softball as both are easy to learn.
Is there a cheap option?You need very little equipment, just a glove, bat and ball.
What if I want a proper workout?Expect a great aerobic workout building strength, speed and stamina.
Can I take it to another level?If you want to take your game up a notch, there are opportunities to play in local leagues or at national level.
Is there a disability option?Baseball and softball are both accessible where accommodation for any disability can be easily made.
Is there a family optionSoftball is a great way of getting everyone in the family involved.

Baseball is considered the USA's national sport, but it is popular in the UK too. The game is played between two teams of nine players who each take turns batting and fielding. Whether you are a novice, returning to the game or at competitor level, visit British Baseball Federation and Baseball Softball UK to find opportunities to play near you.

Softball, is similar in many ways to baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand. British Softball Federation and Baseball Softball UK are a great place to start for information on softball in your area.


baseball bat, ball and glove

Baseball involves two teams and is played in a field, where there is a ninety-foot square (diamond). The pitcher throws the baseball as fast and as hard as they can. On the other side of the "diamond", the batter will hit the ball using a wooden bat and then move to a base, while the fielders attempt to get the batter out. A run is scored every time a batter touches each of the four bases, crossing the final base (home plate) to score. See British Baseball Federation and Baseball Softball UK for local clubs near you.


Women playing fastpitch softball

Softball is easier to organise and so is the ideal game for friends and family to play together. Softball involves a larger ball and a smaller field but the fundamentals are similar to baseball. There are two types of softball and when playing either, in contrast to baseball, the ball must be pitched underhand. Slow-pitch softball is simple to learn. It's like baseball, but because the ball is pitched slowly to each batter (as the name implies!), it's easier to hit and succeed. It's a mixed team game, with a real social buzz. Although men do play fast-pitch softball, it is primarily played by women and is the competitive side to the game. Visit the British Softball Federation and Baseball Softball UK for for clubs throughout Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

Indoor Softball

Baseball bat and ball

Indoor softball is a popular version of slowpitch softball, played mainly during the winter months. It's a great way to hone your skills while getting fit in a friendly environment. It's a mixed-sex sport, played by two teams of eight players in a contained court. Indoor softball is similar to outdoor softball, however the aim is to score points for the number of bases a batter reaches, while teams lose points when batters are out. See Baseball Softball UK for more information on indoor softball throughout Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

Youth Baseball and Softball

Girl holding baseball and glove

Youth baseball is usually more club-based than schools based. Teams compete in local leagues and national championships around the year. Softball is really accessible to students and is increasingly played in schools around the UK. Look out for tee-ball programmes, little leagues and leagues in your area, organised by British Baseball Federation,British Softball Federation and Baseball Softball UK in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

Disability Baseball and Softball

Beep baseball match.

People with hearing, visual impairments, physical or mobility issues and those with learning difficulties can often take part in baseball and softball without any changes. Beep baseball (which features beeping bases and a ball) brings together visually impaired and sighted players from the baseball and softball community. Visit Baseball Softball UK,British Baseball Federation and British Softball UK to find out about inclusive baseball and softball in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Wales. The EFDS can also help you find local opportunities to play.

Coaching and Volunteering

A softball coach at a game.

Whether you have been a competitor or have a keen interest in developing talent, British Baseball Federation,British Softball Federation and Baseball Softball UK provides all the information you need about coaching opportunities in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Also try Sports Coach UK for more ideas.

For volunteering opportunities in both games, visit Volunteer Scotland,Join In UK and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland.

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into baseball and softball near you.

2. Wherever you are in the UK, find your local baseball and softball clubs through British Baseball Federation,British Softball Federation and Baseball Softball UK.

3. Share your story and inspire others!

Are you inspired to try volleyball? Or maybe you are a expert already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visiting us on Facebook or email us on

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