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Difference in 10u softball and 10u baseball?

Feb 5, 2019
Sorry if I'm in the wrong spot on this board. My 9 year old daughter wanted to try REC softball, an email went out that unless they found another coach they wouldn't be able to hold the draft. Okay then, I volunteered.

My qualifications are watching youth baseball for the last 10 years (6u-17u), and a LOT of patience....so, can someone please tell me the rule differences in softball and baseball so I can look LESS like an idiot. :rolleyes:

Some random things that happen in baseball would be:
1. Dropped third strike, batter can advance to first if the catcher/player doesn't get them out
2. Infield fly rule
3. Catcher's interference
4. If the runner on 1st passes the runner on second they are automatically out
5. catching a foul tip = out
6. Must slide when coming into home if the catcher has the ball
7. Balk?

Are things like that relevant to softball too?

Oct 2, 2011
Sorry if I'm in the wrong spot on this board.

6. Must slide when coming into home if the catcher has the ball
7. Balk?

Are things like that relevant to softball too?
This is as good of a place as any :)

There is a large amount of cross over in rules so 1-5 are all good. (Though some local rec league may have put in their own rules for 1) )

6. Is not actually a rule in baseball or softball unless it is put in locally by your rec league. You will need to check. The rule says you must try to avoid - slides not required.
7. As there is no leading off bases, there is no balk in softball. There are rules around illegal pitching, but you are not probably not going to see that called in 10U REC so nothing you need to know right now.

In general 10U rec softball and 10U rec baseball you are going to have much the same concerns.

Things you will need to know:
- Pitching in softball is a learned motion. It is not something you want to be teaching if you don't have any prior experience. If you are drafting teams grab as many actual or potential pitchers as you can.
- Work on your pitchers in practice. If they can throw a lot of strikes you will win a lot of games in 10U rec
- On bunts, corners and pitcher crash, 2nd covers first. Pitcher DOES NOT cover first on a bunt.
- You are going to have a lot of girls who can't throw and catch. Teach it slowly. There is a wealth of info on this site
- Take easy outs over trying to stop runs. I highly recommend having your best catching player at 1st and your best fielder at 2nd. Get all those easy outs and it will go a long way.

We all appreciate you volunteering. Good luck.
Dec 15, 2018
Biggest difference is look back rule / getting the ball back to the pitcher in the circle.

Uncaught third strike, infield fly, must slide may or may not apply depending on your league's 10U rules.

Catcher's obstruct, but yeah, that's in.

A foul tip is by definition caught, but would only be an out if the runner has accumulated two strikes.

As covered above, no balks, but illegal pitches.

And stealing on pitch release.

I love this age group. You'll learn the softball specific stuff quickly. Have fun.
Oct 11, 2010
Chicago, IL
Really close but softball has more local rules and umps seem to let players get away with more, they are girls what do they know.

Easy example pposing teams pitchers were stepping behind the plate, HC and me got in an arguument.

(10U was awful for DD and us, first time it was all kid pitch.)

Dang it 2nd edit .... good luck, thanks for stepping up.
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Jun 11, 2013
As others have said there are a lot of local rules and look back rule is one that's implemented in softball.

5 is only a rule if you have 2 strikes.
May 24, 2013
So Cal
A lot will depend on your league's rules, as others have mentioned, so be sure to check into that. You will also want to know what the general ruleset the league operates under (USA Softball, Little League, etc.). This will have some effect on a few things.

The best thing you can do is to keep learning, keep learning, keep learning. When my DD started playing at 8U, I was in pretty much the same position as you are as far as game knowledge. I found this site and got ravenous about educating myself on the game, mechanics, rules, etc. If you can bring on an assistant coach with some experience, it will help your progress, too.

Especially at the age you're dealing with, but it applies at all ages...There are 2 critical factors you want happening every practice and every game...

- Have fun
- Get better

If you can make both happen for them, you're doing fine. If either one is absent, you need to make an adjustment.

For your players, focus on fundamental skills and building their confidence. Winning now is WAY less important than helping them get ready for the next step ahead in their softball journey.
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Sep 3, 2018
The boys will be more athletic than the girls at that age unless your baseball experience was little league. PONY has much better players than little league.
The boys throw harder and farther, the smaller ball helps there.
The boys will also run faster and be more competitive on average.
Boys can also be more hyper and pay less attention, if they goof off too much you can make them run laps holding hands or carrying pompoms until they decide they want to pay attention

The girls will be a lot more emotional. I had a RF in 10u run back to the dugout crying because she caught a fly ball that was hit right to her to end an inning. When I asked her why she was crying she said she was crying because she was "happy"
You'll also have girls break in to song and dance at practice if a song they know comes on the portable speaker box.... stick to Metal or Punk songs, fewer of them know the words to Slipknot.
Be patient, never touch one of them other then a pat on the top of the helmet or punching knuckles and expect them to still stand on base when you tell them to go on a pitch
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Jan 5, 2018
Research hesitation or look back rule that’s the biggest rule difference
THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^ know this. The first time a batter is walked and she keeps running to 2nd or 3rd or even home....it will drive you crazy if you don't understand the rule. Teach your parents the rule so they aren't coming unglued through the fence too. Learn this rule clearly, teach your players and you can make it work to your advantage on Offense and Defense. Good Luck! Congrats on a team!
Feb 5, 2019
Thank you all! I will read up on this board and the internet for sure! We had our draft last night.....I went in with baseball knowledge, I'm hoping it works out. They all got scores on running, fielding, throwing, and hitting.

Running: My experience has been that I won't be able to do much with their running....as their bodies change so will their stride. I can try to teach proper form, but if their legs don't work that way right now nothing I can do.
Fielding: In my mind, if they are coordinated enough to field, they can be taught to hit and throw....so I grabbed the highest scoring fielder that was left at every pick opportunity.
Throwing: Can be taught....most of these girls are trying to throw while facing completely forward.
Hitting: Can be taught, and anyway, the test was done in a cage with an L-screen about 5 feet away...you can't tell anything by that test.

My priority was fielding, throwing, running and THEN hitting in that order. 10u baseball had two major problems, throwing strikes and catching the ball. Out of 95 girls only 3 identified themselves as pitchers. I plan on having all my players practice at that position.

I'm really excited for the season.

I have a couple of questions about the posts above:

Why my best fielder at 2B? In baseball it's SS...that's a big difference.

Why doesn't the pitcher cover 1B on a bunt....or what if 1B is fielding the ball....does the pitcher ever go over to 1B?

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