What is Softball?

Softball looks like baseball with a bigger, yellow ball. The sport of softball was first played in Chicago, Illinois in 1887. It went through quite a few different interesting names before settling on what we know it as today. Kitten ball, indoor-outdoor, and playground ball were some of the names that were used for the sport. It originated as a way for baseball players to keep their skills sharp during the offseason. Softball, for the first 36 years that it existed didn't have one set of rules. But in 1923, a committee got together to create one standard set of rules. Softball is relatively similar to baseball in its play and strategy.

Its biggest differences from Hardball are that the field is a little smaller, the ball is bigger and yellow, and how they throw the ball. Pitching in softball is underhanded, while baseball is overhand. The game is not restricted to any one gender, but women typically play modern competitive softball.

Types of Softball

There are also two variations of softball, from the pitching side, fast-pitch. Men and younger girls typically will play soft-pitch softball where the pitches have more of a rainbow arc and are not thrown as hard. Fast-pitch softball is for the more competitive softball leagues.

Summer Olympics

Softball was featured in the Olympic games from 1996 until 2008 before it was removed from the Games after the Beijing 2008 Summer Games. However, the sport is being brought back into the Olympics games for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.