Quick Overview: All 7 Different Types of Softball League

Last updated on August 29, 2023

If you’re looking to get involved in softball, there are a variety of leagues available to suit your needs. Softball is a great game, so let’s find you the perfect league.

Whether you’re a highly competitive player or just looking for a casual game with friends, there’s a league out there for you. Different types of leagues offer different levels of play, so it’s important to find one that matches your skill level and interests.

Some leagues are organized by age group or gender, while others are open to all players. Some focus on recreational play, while others are more competitive and offer opportunities for advancement.

Recreational Softball Leagues

If you’re looking for a fun way to stay active and socialize with others, then recreational softball leagues may be just what you need. These leagues are typically less competitive than their more serious counterparts, making them perfect for beginners or those who just want to have a good time.

Slow-Pitch Softball Leagues

Slow-pitch softball leagues are a popular choice for recreational players. As the name suggests, the pitcher throws the ball underhand, and the ball must arc at least six feet before reaching the batter. This slower pace makes it easier for batters to hit the ball and for fielders to make plays. Slow-pitch leagues are often co-ed and include players of all ages and skill levels.

Fast-Pitch Softball Leagues

Fast-pitch softball leagues are more competitive than slow-pitch leagues, but still offer a fun and social atmosphere. In fast-pitch, the pitcher throws underhand, but the ball can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. These leagues are typically divided by age and gender, and players are expected to have a certain level of skill and experience.

Regardless of which type of recreational softball league you choose, the emphasis is on having fun and building relationships with your teammates. And in some cases, maybe sharing an adult beverage or two.

These leagues are a great way to stay active, improve your skills, and meet new people. So grab your glove and join a league today!

Competitive Softball Leagues

softball batter at home plate with catcher

If you’re looking for a more challenging softball experience, competitive softball leagues might be the right fit for you. These leagues are designed for players who want to push themselves to the limit and compete against the best of the best. Here are some sub-sections to give you an idea of what competitive softball leagues have to offer:

Travel Softball Leagues

Travel softball leagues are for players who are willing to travel to different cities and states to compete against other teams. These leagues are usually for girls between the ages of 8 and 18, and they can be either slowpitch or fastpitch. Travel softball leagues are highly competitive, and they require a lot of commitment from both players and parents. If you’re willing to put in the work, travel softball can be a great way to improve your skills and make lasting memories.

High School Softball

High school softball is for girls who are currently attending high school. These leagues are usually for players between the ages of 14 and 18, and they can be either slowpitch (believe it or not) or fastpitch. High school softball is highly competitive, and it’s a great way to represent your school and compete against other schools in your area. If you’re looking for a way to stay active and make new friends in high school, consider joining your school’s softball team.

College Softball

College softball is for female athletes who are currently attending college. These leagues are usually for players between the ages of 18 and 23, and they are exclusively fastpitch. College softball is highly competitive, and it’s a great way to showcase your skills and potentially earn a scholarship. If you’re serious about playing softball at the next level, college softball is a great place to start.

Professional Softball Leagues

Professional softball leagues are for female athletes who are at the top of their game. These leagues are usually for players who are 23 years old or older, and they are exclusively fastpitch. Professional softball is highly competitive, and it’s a great way to make a living doing what you love. If you’re looking to take your softball career to the next level, consider trying out for a professional team.

Youth Softball Leagues

Girl playing softball

If you’re looking to get your child involved in softball, there are plenty of youth softball leagues available. These leagues are designed to teach young players the fundamentals of the game while also providing a fun and competitive environment. Here are some of the most common types of youth softball leagues:

LeagueAgesGenderPitch TypeCompetitiveness
Little League Softball4-16Girls onlyFastpitchVaries by division
FUTURES Youth Softball Player Development Leagues6u, 8u, 10u, 12uGirls onlyFastpitchDevelopment-based

Little League Softball is one of the most popular youth softball leagues in the country. It includes divisions for girls ages 4-16 and provides a competitive environment while also teaching on-field fundamentals. The level of competitiveness varies by division, so there’s a place for every child to play.

FUTURES Youth Softball Player Development Leagues are grassroots, development-based softball leagues for girls. These leagues are designed to establish a proper foundation of fundamentals to build off of as players grow through the game. They are coached by mentors, high school and college players, and other volunteers.

No matter which youth softball league you choose, the focus should be on having fun, developing skills, and learning the value of teamwork. Encourage your child to give it their all, but also remind them that winning isn’t everything. Softball is a great way to make new friends, stay active, and learn important life skills.


If you are a beginner or just looking to play for fun, a co-ed slowpitch league ay be the way to go. These leagues typically have a wide range of ages and skill levels, and are designed to be less competitive.

For those who are more serious about the sport, a fastpitch league or travel team may be a better fit. These leagues are typically more competitive and require a higher skill level.

To sum things up, here is a comparison of the different types of softball league:

Type of LeagueAgesGendersSlowpitch/FastpitchCompetitiveness
Co-ed RecreationalAll agesCo-edSlowpitchLow
Men’s/Women’s RecreationalAll agesMen/WomenSlowpitchLow
Co-ed FastpitchAll agesCo-edFastpitchMedium
Men’s/Women’s FastpitchAll agesMen/WomenFastpitchMedium
Travel TeamYouth/High School/CollegeCo-ed/Men/WomenFastpitchHigh
College/ProfessionalCollege/ProfessionalWomenFastpitchVery High

Choose wisely and have fun!

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