Basic Differences Between Softball and Baseball

Softball and Baseball pic

Softball and Baseball

Dr. Mickel Malek, a dental surgeon at ISmileSpa in Santa Cruz, California, enjoys a variety of athletic and active hobbies. An equestrian and a scuba diver, Dr. Mickel Malek also plays softball.

While most people understand that softball differs from baseball in terms of the size and weight of the ball itself, many do not fully realize the many differences that make softball its own unique sport. It developed out of baseball in the late 1800s, when founder George Hancock created it as a way to play baseball indoors. Many of softball’s rules reflect this origin, as it involves closer distances and a more gentle pitch than baseball.

While baseball pitchers stand on a raised mound and throw the ball 60.5 feet to home plate, their softball counterparts remain flat on the ground and pitch at a distance of 35 to 43 feet from the batter. Rules demand that the softball pitch be underhand, whereas the baseball pitcher has the freedom to throw overhand or sidearm and usually does.

The baseball itself is denser and smaller than a softball, which is 12 inches in circumference, as compared to a 9-inch baseball. The softball bat has a maximum diameter 0.5 inches less than that of the baseball bat, and it is significantly lighter and shorter.

Softball batters run bases that are 60 feet apart, instead of the 90-foot spans between bases in baseball. The field itself is also shorter in softball, which is typically 250 yards from home plate to the outfield fence. On a baseball field, these two markers are more than 300 feet apart.

Finally, a complete softball game is shorter by nature than a baseball game. Whereas baseball players have nine innings to win a game, the softball team plays for a standard seven innings. The observer may also notice that a base runner in baseball may leave the base to lead off, whereas a softball player may not.


American Dental Association Prepares for ADA 2017 in Atlanta

American Dental Association  pic

American Dental Association

A dental surgeon with over three decades of experience, Dr. Mickel Malek treats patients at I Smile Spa in Santa Cruz, California. Over the course of his career in dentistry, Dr. Mickel Malek has worked to enhance his knowledge and skills through memberships in professional organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA).

In its efforts to provide members with a variety of continuing education opportunities, the ADA oversees a number of local, national, and international events throughout the year. The organization’s most popular event is the ADA Annual Conference, which has been dubbed “America’s Dental Meeting.”

The next ADA Annual Conference will take place October 19-23, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. Attendees at the five-day event will have the opportunity to take part in over 300 continuing education courses designed for dental specialists, hygienists, and assistants.

ADA 2017 will also include a variety of networking activities and special events, including the distinguished lecture series, which will feature a presentation by former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Another highlight of the meeting will be an exhibition hall with the latest products, services, and technologies from over 550 exhibiting companies.

More information about ADA 2017 can be found at

Scuba Diving Tips for Beginners

Scuba Diving  pic

Scuba Diving

Dental surgeon Mickel Malek has more than 30 years of experience helping his patients care for their smiles. Throughout his career, he has published manuscripts on reconstruction and implantology and has been a featured speaker on numerous dental topics. In his leisure time, Dr. Mickel Malek enjoys a number of outdoor activities, including scuba diving.

Scuba diving is an exciting and rewarding leisure activity that provides individuals the opportunity to see the wonders of beneath-the-surface aquatic wildlife. However, there are some important things to keep in mind when diving for the first time. Here are two important tips for beginners taking up scuba diving.

For most people, the instinct to hold one’s breath is strong when submerged beneath the water. While it may seem counterintuitive, holding the breath is actually detrimental to the scuba diving process. It can lead to erratic breathing patterns and can, in some cases, result in injury to the lungs. Rather than holding the breath, divers should focus on breathing in a slow, consistent, and relaxed manner, fully inhaling and exhaling with each breath.

Perhaps the cardinal rule of scuba diving, however, is to never dive without a partner. Best practices dictate that partners should never stray more than ten feet away from one another. It’s also important to regularly check in with one another using hand signals, such as the “okay” sign. It is not hyperbole to say that diving with a partner can literally save one’s life if something should go awry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation Dentistry pic

Sedation Dentistry

A graduate of University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry, where he studied advanced prosthodontics, earning top honors, Dr. Mickel Malek treats patients at I Smile Spa in Santa Cruz, California. To ease patients’ discomfort, Dr. Mickel Malek practices sedation dentistry.

Fear of pain is one of the most common reasons patients are hesitant to visit the dentist. As the mouth is a sensitive area, many dental procedures do involve some pain. To help alleviate pain and anxiety, some dentists and orthodontists offer sedation in the form of a pill that keeps the patient relaxed.

Different from sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry allows patients to remain conscious and respond to commands during dental procedures. Sedation dentistry is ideal not only for patients with a phobia of dental work but also for those with a fear of needles, a strong gag reflex, or difficulty becoming numb from local anesthesia. Further, sedation makes long dental procedures seem much shorter to patients.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, visit