Over the years softball has become a favorite sport. It’s estimated that 40 million of Americans will play at least one softball game during the year! The love for softball starts young. Children as little as five years old start to play softball in little leagues and at home. Many of these children continue to play all the way up into high school and even college. Now the Amateur Softball Association of America has registered over 245,000 softball teams.
With all these athletes playing softball you can only imagine all the people who attend the games. These games turn into a party with all the supporting moms, dads and softball loving friends. Softball is relativity a new sport when compared to the other major sports. Softball was not an official sport until 1889 when the first rulebook was said to have been issued. The history of softball is a story many don’t know. Many people still believe that softball was invented during the same time as baseball.
History of Softball
The history of softball did not start until the 19th century. People have the misconception that softball started thanks to baseball. In reality, softball occurred because of football. The idea of softball happened during a football game between Harvard and Yale. While the students were waiting to hear the results of the same, they started to throw tissue boxes at each other. A journalist, George Hancock, who was at the scene saw this game and had the idea of creating an indoor version of baseball. Who would have ever thought that the history of softball would start with a couple of football fans.
The game of softball was initially only played indoors. Originally it was a sport to be played during off seasons of other major sports. The popularity of softball grew quickly, becoming one of the most participated-in sports in the United States. In 1952, 113 countries joined the Softball Federation. It has since become one of the most preferred sports in countries like Australia, China and Japan. Softball became the sport that any age and gender can enjoy. There are even co-ed teams where people can play against each other.
Softball interesting facts
- The first softball glove was actually a boxing glove.
- The first time softball was played an Olympic medal sport was in 1996.
- There are more than 400 million people in the world playing softball each summer.
- The first softballs were 16 inches! Now they measure 12 inches.
- Softball is played in over 140 countries.
- The National Softball Hall of Fame has over 300 members.
- The first name for softball was kitten ball.
- The fastest softball pitch thrown by a female is Zara Mee from Australia. It was thrown at 111km/hr (68.9mph) on May 8, 2005.
- The fastest softball pitch done by a male is Eddie Feigner from Washington. The fastest pitch was documented at 103 mph.
- The largest snow softball tournament was in the Freezing Fun for Families Winter Co-Ed Softball tournament with 795 people. There were 61 teams and it happened in Barre, Vermont.
- The longest marathon playing softball was 115 hours and three minutes in Waskatenau, Alberta, Canada. It started June 30, 2009 and ended July 5, 2009.
Decker Sports is an Omaha-based sporting goods manufacturer working to combine knowledge of hand-eye coordination with modern exercise, physiology expertise, and personal experience on the ballfield to take young baseball players and softball players to their utmost levels. They strive to deliver superior equipment, excellence in skill development, and the utmost service, at a fair price. Decker Sports is proud to support coaches and athletes in the top U.S. collegiate softball programs, Major League Baseball teams, elite high school and youth programs, and training centers found globally.