The game of softball is similar to baseball, but is played with a larger ball and on a smaller court. Softball was invented in Chicago, Illinois in 1887 and was originally an indoor sport. Although originally known by various names, it was officially named “Softball” in 1926. In 1933, the softball tournament at the Chicago World Fair aroused great interest in the game. The American Amateur Softball Association was founded the same year. Currently, the American Amateur Softball Association manages softball in the United States and also sponsors the annual World Series of Sectional and Softball Championships. Prior to 2013, the International Softball Federation regulated the rules of the game in more than 110 countries. They took on that role when the World Softball Baseball Confederation was founded in 2013.
In the Chicago area, where softball originated, there is still a variant of the original game called 16-Inch Softball or mushball. This kind of softball uses bigger, squishier ball and no gloves.
The game of softball came from George Hancock. He is credited as the game’s inventor and the inventor of the undersized bat and the ball.
Olympic team member Dot Richardson, who hit the game winning home run in the 1996 gold medal game, is an orthopedic surgeon.
The name ‘softball’ was coined by Walter Hakanson in 1926 at a National Recreational Congress meeting.
For every single one of the softball fastpitch games held in the 1996 Olympics, all tickets were completely sold out.
The first rules for softball were published in 1889.
Softball was the first sport to be dropped from the Olympics in 69 Years.
Softball has been called indoor baseball, playground softball, mush ball, and kitten ball.
The decision to drop women’s fastpitch softball was made in 2005 and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics were the last to have a softball medal.
Softball has been referred to as ladies’ baseball because it was generally played by women.
The first softball wasn’t even a ball. According to the story, during a Harvard –Yale football game in Chicago, a Yale fan had thrown a rolled up boxing glove at a Harvard supporter, who hit it back with a stick. That gave George Hancock the idea to develop a ball and a bat.
There are two types of softball = slow-pitch and fast-pitch.
The first world softball championship women’s tournament was held in Melbourne, Australia.
Slow-pitch softball is the most commonly played and in this type of softball the ball must arch in the air when it is pitched. There is no stealing or bunting allowed.
According to American Academy of Pediatrics,the rates of injury for softball and baseball are low in comparison with other sports.
In fast-pitch softball the ball is thrown fast and bunting and stealing are permitted. There are nine players from each team on the field at a time.
Today more than 40 million people play softball each summer, which makes it the number one team sport in the United States.
When playing softball the ball must be pitched underhand.
Softball is played in over 140 countries.
A softball game is only seven innings instead of the nine innings in a baseball game.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation was formed in 2013 and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the International Olympics Committee.
Although the game is called softball, the ball itself is not soft. It is larger than a baseball, usually measuring about 12 inches in circumference while a baseball is only 9 inches in circumference.
The United States won 3 of 4 Olympic appearances.
The softball infield is smaller than one on a baseball field. In softball the bases are 60 feet apart and on a baseball diamond the bases are 90 feet apart.
There are two types of softball recognized by the Amateur Softball Association: fastpitch and slowpitch.
At the 1996 Olympics every softball game was sold out.
Fastpitch softball is played with a slightly bigger and heavier softball than slowpitch.
The first World Softball Championship game was played in 1965 in Melbourne, Australia. It was a woman’s tournament.
Unlike baseball, there is no professional softball league in the United States.
Softball became a women’s Olympic sport in 1991. Its debut as a medal event was in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
The United States are represented in international play by one women’s team and one men’s team, referred to as Team USA.
In 2006, following the Beijing Olympic Games, softball was removed from the Olympics by vote.
The members of Team USA are selected players from college teams and some individuals who show promise at ASA tournaments.
The United States won the gold medal in the Olympics for softball in both 1996 and 2000.
Team USA participates in the World Cup in Oklahoma, the World Championship, and the Pan-American Games, as well as other international games and exhibitions.
In 1934 the Joint Rules Committee on Softball was established and they standardized both the name and the rules for the United States.
The Softball World Championship is held every 2 Years.
There are more than 110 countries that are active International Softball Federation members. The game is now played on every continent in the world.