Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field.
There are three types of softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on gender and league, must arch on its path to the batter, and there are 10 players on the field at once.
In fastpitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, and bunting and stealing are permitted. Modified softball restricts the windmill windup of the pitcher, although the pitcher is allowed to throw as hard as possible with the restricted back swing.
Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand and that seven innings constitute a regulation game instead of nine.
A softball game can last anywhere from 3 to 7 innings, or 1–2 hours depending on the league, rules, and type of softball. In each inning, each team bats until three batters have been put out and the teams take turns batting.