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.
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.
Dr. Mickel Malek, a dentist by profession, participates in a variety of sports and outdoor activities in his free time. Dr. Mickel Malek includes softball on his list of favorite pursuits.
For adult participants, team softball can provide social as well as health benefits. Playing in team athletics, whether recreational or competitive, can increase an individual’s motivation to be physically active and engage in community. A team provides the accountability that helps many people to lift themselves out of isolating behaviors and pursue a group goal, which in turn helps the person to battle depressed moods and loneliness.
The team atmosphere also helps participants to hold themselves accountable for their own performance. Because one’s athletic progress benefits the team, many members are likely to work harder at building their skills than if they were competing in an individual sport. The resultant progress leads to gains in self-esteem as well as in the ability to set and pursue goals.
Meanwhile, the exercise involved in team sports has a positive effect on the body. Just a half hour of practice or game play per day can lower blood pressure, strengthen muscles, and increase energy levels. By combining this exercise with social camaraderie, team members can maintain the regularity of routine that makes a fitness program most effective.