Softball Facts

Softball has become one of the most popular sports to participate in for the United States. There are over 40 million people that have played softball at sometime in their life. With so much participation, it is difficult to image how many little unknown facts there are when it comes to the sport.

After conducting some research on softball I thought it was worthwhile to discuss some of the facts that I found interesting. Check them out for yourself...

Fact # 1: Softball was invented in 1887 by George Hancock after his Yale and Harvard alumni buddies gathered around to hear the score of their annual football game. When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a soft boxing glove at a Harvard supporter who grabbed a stick and swung at it- hence the term "softball".

Fact #2: The original game of softball was played with a 16" ball soft enough that the fielders did not use gloves.

Fact #3: Softball varies from baseball in a number of ways, one being the length of the game. Baseball is typically in 9 innings where as softballs is played in 7 innings.

Fact #4: Fast pitch softball became widespread and dominant over the first developed slow pitch, by the 1940's.

Fact #5: The first appearance of women's fast pitch softball at the Summer Olympics occurred in 1996 games.

Fact #6: The Olympic Committee voted in 2005 to drop softball as an Olympic sport, which will be in effect for the 2010 Summer Games.

Fact #7: As far as World Championship competitions go, the United States dominates the women teams and Australia has claimed the most wins out of the mens teams.

Fact #8: Softball became a NCAA sport in 1910 with a College World Series held each year.

Fact #9: The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) was founded in 1933 in Oklahoma City. They have evolved into the strongest softball organization in the country leading them to become the National Governing Body of Softball.

Fact #10: Softball has become popular for kids and with youth softball instructionstarting as young as 5 or 6 years old. The competitive leagues are basically Little League, Babe Ruth, PONY, ASA and other variations on these. But, unlike youth baseball, Little League is not the gold standard in softball. Serious softball players compete in ASA and PONY tournaments with The PONY Nationals being viewed as the highest standing.

To find out more facts about the great game of softball, check out some of the sponsored sites like the Amateur Softball Association or USA Softball.
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