A softball team is only as strong as its weakest link. This means that every player plays an important role and contributes to winning games.
In addition, every position requires a certain set of skills if a player at that position is to be successful.
Certain positions require a strong arm, others quickness and athleticism, while for some the most important trait is mental toughness and the ability to perform under pressure.
Still, there’s no denying that some softball positions are harder to play than others and require excellence in more than just one aspect of the game.
These are usually the positions where coaches put their best players.
Even though the question of what is the hardest position in softball is, of course, debatable, the answer mostly revolves around two or three positions.
Below, I’ll dig deeper into these positions and explain what makes them so hard.
So, let’s dive in!
What Is The Hardest Position In Softball?
The answer to this question may vary, but most players, experts, and fans will probably agree that the hardest position in softball is shortstop.
This is an extremely physically demanding position, and players at shortstop are commonly the most agile, athletic, and versatile players on the team.
Of all defensive players, shortstop covers the largest area on the field.
Positioned between the second and the third base, the shortstop’s responsibility is to cover the gap between them and is often involved in force plays and double plays.
In addition, they see more hit balls than any other defensive position. A successful shortstop must have an incredibly versatile set of skills and abilities.
Besides being fast and agile, they must have high stamina, strong arms with plenty of range, excellent hand-eye coordination, and excellent glove skills.
Also, high softball IQ, field vision, and communication and leadership skills are a must.
What Is The 2nd Hardest Position In Softball?
The opinions on what is the 2nd hardest position in softball are rather split.
Most people consider either pitcher or catcher to be No 2, so I’ll take a closer look at each of these positions.
Pitchers probably have the greatest influence on the pace and final outcome of the game.
Because of this, it’s also the position where players face the most pressure.
When a team loses, it’s almost always the pitcher that takes the blame, while the other players are often credited for the wins.
Besides, every potential error has the potential to swing the game in favor of the opponent.
Plus, there’s always a possibility of being pulled from the game if pitching is less efficient.
In addition to all this, pitchers are likely the players that spend the most time practicing, doing drills, and perfecting their craft than any other softball position.
Besides perfecting pitching mechanics, a good pitcher must be strong and well-conditioned to be able to repeatedly throw good pitches.
Plus, they also need mental toughness and the ability to perform under pressure and keep focus in intense situations.
The position of a catcher is very demanding, both from a physical and mental aspect.
They’re practically managers on the field and, similar to pitchers, are involved in almost every play.
A good catcher must have a great understanding of the game.
As they’re usually the ones calling pitches, they must learn everything they can about every opposing batter as well as their own pitchers.
Because their duties also include stopping balls in the dirt, throwing out runners or base stealers, and catching the throws from infielders, they also need to be strong and athletic and have good throwing arm and glove skills.
Plus, this position is very taxing on the player’s body.
The catcher spends a large part of the game in a squatting position and has to wear a special uniform and protective gear.
These can get very uncomfortable, especially in the summer when most softball is played.
What Softball Position Is The Easiest?
Even though every player plays a part in winning softball games, some positions are a bit easier to play than others and provide the opportunity for coaches to put their weakest players there.
When talking about the easiest softball position, those that come up most often are left or right field and 2nd base. Below, I’ll explain why.
Even though these positions require players to be athletic and have strong arms, they’re likely the easiest to play simply because they see the least of the action.
This is especially true at the youth levels of softball where players rarely bat the ball very far in the air.
Between the two corner outfield position, right fielders are faced with even fewer balls as most hitters are right-handed, so not many hits will go to the opposite field.
Nevertheless, some would argue that left field is easier than right, due to players around this position.
The player in this position commonly plays next to the best fielders on the team – center fielder, shortstop, and 3rd baseman, which makes their job a lot easier.
The second base also gets a lot of votes as the easiest position in softball.
Although one of the most important players on the field, the 2nd baseman job is not that hard compared to some other positions.
As they play close to the center, 2nd basemen don’t have to throw the ball very far.
They are the closest players to the 1st base and within a relatively short distance of other targets.
And, the shorter the throw, the more chances it will be successful.
In addition, most hitters are right-handed, so the majority of hits will go to the left side, away from the 2nd baseman.
Naturally, every softball player will say that their position is the hardest.
And, to some extent this may be true as each of them is very demanding, requires a special set of skills, and can have a positive or negative effect on the whole team.
Each position has its own responsibilities and takes a lot of work to be successful.
Still, some are harder to master than others. It’s not by accident that the best players on a certain team are commonly seen at the same particular position.
In most cases, those positions filled by the best players are shortstop, pitcher, or catcher.