Softball Facts

Softball Facts
The game of softball is similar to baseball but it is played with a larger ball and on a smaller playing field. Softball was invented in Chicago, Illinois in 1887 and was originally an indoor sport. Although it was known by various different names in the beginning, it finally got its official name of 'softball' in 1926. In 1933 a softball tournament at the Chicago World's Fair prompted a lot of interest in the game. That same year the Amateur Softball Association of America was founded. Today the Amateur Softball Association of America governs softball in the United States and also sponsors annual sectional and softball World Series championships. Prior to 2013 the International Softball Federation regulated the rules of play in more than 110 countries. When the World Baseball Softball Confederation was formed in 2013 they took over this role.
Interesting Softball Facts:
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.
The name 'softball' was coined by Walter Hakanson in 1926 at a National Recreational Congress meeting.
The first rules for softball were published in 1889.
Softball has been called indoor baseball, playground softball, mush ball, and kitten ball.
Softball has been referred to as ladies' baseball because it was generally played by women.
There are two types of softball = slow-pitch and fast-pitch.
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.
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.
When playing softball the ball must be pitched underhand.
A softball game is only seven innings instead of the nine innings in a baseball game.
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 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.
At the 1996 Olympics every softball game was sold out.
The first World Softball Championship game was played in 1965 in Melbourne, Australia. It was a woman's tournament.
Softball became a women's Olympic sport in 1991. Its debut as a medal event was in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
In 2006, following the Beijing Olympic Games, softball was removed from the Olympics by vote.
The United States won the gold medal in the Olympics for softball in both 1996 and 2000.
In 1934 the Joint Rules Committee on Softball was established and they standardized both the name and the rules for the United States.
There are more than 110 countries that are active International Softball Federation members. The game is now played on every continent in the world.

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