If you’re into softball or new to the sport, chances are, you would want to know about its history. There are many theories and assumptions about the evolution of softball.
Many say softball is like the younger brother of baseball. However, softball from a football game, and it was developed by elements of other sports like baseball, boxing (glove), and boating (club) too.
The history of softball started in 1887 at a Harvard vs. c. As Yale was the winner, a Yale alumnus playfully threw a balled-up boxing glove at a Harvard fan. This supporter then used a broom handle to swing that glove. And that’s when it first started.
A reporter, George Hancock, suggested a game of indoor baseball. He tied boxing gloves together by their laces to make a ball. He also marked off a pitcher’s box, bases, and plate inside the Farragut Boat Club gymnasium. Hancock then divided his friends into teams and the game ended up with the final score of 41-40.
The Farragut Boat Club devised a rule set for the game. It then quickly increased its popularity to outsiders in Chicago, and throughout of the Midwestern U.S eventually. The term “softball” was used by Walter Hakanson in 1926. By 1930, softball became the official name of the sport.
A set of standardized rules was created in 1934 by the Joint Rules Committee on Softball, since this game was played with varied ball sizes, player positions, as well as rules. The softball that the Farragut Boat Club used was 16 inches in circumference. While the firefighters in Minneapolis used 12-inch balls. The softball size preferred in international softball games nowadays are 10 to 12 inches.
Yet, a lot of Chicagoans still play with 16-inch balls, believing they are the real softball size. Such games are called mush ball or cabbage ball. And the players in these games won’t be wearing gloves.
Due to the final rules, there are 9 players in the baseball field. The positions are:
- First baseman
- Second baseman
- Third baseman
In most of the plays, the right fielder, centre fielder, and left fielder, are the outfielders. However, there is a fourth outfielder in slow pitch softball. When the 7th inning ends, the winner team has to have more runs than the other team. If in the 7th inning, if the scores are even, extra innings will be applied until one team has more runs than the other.
In the USA, it’s reported to have 40 million people play the game every year. The game can be held indoors or outdoors with the players being from the age of 8 to over 60.
Sometimes there can be both male and female players in the field. Since there are always physical differences between male and female players, the rules will generally be modified. Softball is also played for benefits or charity events by organizations and companies to raise funds.
That’s the evolution of softball, hope you guys enjoy it and find it somehow useful. Have a nice day and keep supporting and loving the game.