The Evolution of Softball

Quite a lot of people do not know about sports softball. Up to date, we have individuals who intertwine softball for baseball despite the differences in each sport banners and game principles.

According to research, softball was first recorded to been played in 1887 during a thanksgiving day. After this event, people begin to pick interest in the sport, and it eventually became one of the most loved sport worldwide today.

The introduction of the sport in Chicago all started with a football game between Yale and Harvard teams. After the match, which Yale eventually won, one of the team alumni jokingly boxed at an opposition supporter who swung at the thrown ball with a stick that interested the spectators. One of the game reporters, George Hancock, called this “play ball.” Football fans were the first to take part in the first softball even, it was played with a broomstick as a bat, glove, and ball with no recognized softball team, softball team banners, sport governing body, or specifically laid down rules. The sport was only for entertainment, but as civilization continues,  the sport began to revolutionize.

Differences Between Softball And Baseball

Although there are many similarities between these two sport, various world sport governing bodies do not recognize them as the same. Some of the differences between them are:

  • Bats – It is only professionals or individuals who pick interest in each sport that will recognize that the kind of part used in both sport events is different. Bats used in baseball games are longer, wider, and heavier than bats used in softball games.
  • Ball – The kind of ball used in used softball games are lighter with a perimeter of 12 inches with yellow color, whereas baseballs are usually white with some red stitches.
  • Pitch – Some may not identify differences in each sport’s pitch because they look identical, but they are different. Despite having a similar look, both pitches’ distance differs as softball uses a smaller field while baseball is pitched on elevated ground 60 feet from the plate.
  • Players Income The income of players of each sport is the major difference between them; baseball players earn far higher than softball player. A baseball player’s income revenue can reach $4 million in a year, while that of a softball is between $5,000-$7,000.
  • Game Field Although depending on each player’s age, the size can differ for either sport, but softball fields are usually smaller. These could be noticed through the base distance, which is laid in a similar format. Softball bases are 60 feet, while baseball is 90 feet.

As softball began to gain popularity during the early years, Farragut Boat Club decided to form their own set of game rule, which was later accepted all over America. As the sport developed over time, it has previously been called “kitten baseball,” “mush ball,” indoor baseball,” “pumpkin ball,” “diamond ball.” It was Walter Hakanson that gave the name “softball in 1930 during the National recreation Congress meeting. This name was accepted as the sports official name.

Four years after establishing the sport name, the Joint Rules Committee on Softball decided to form standardized rules. Many changes were introduced to make the sport more attractive, ranging from player positions, the ball’s size, etc.

 Is Softball Inferior To  Baseball?

When football and some other sport were assumed as rough sports, Most women were either relegated to entertainment or allowed to play softball. The sport has immensely helped to increase the number of women active in the sporting world. Also, the low cost of entry free made it very attractive to people that want an alternative to entertainment.  Softball games were shorter, hosted within small communities, allow more women, and was very attractive to the fan base.

In the 1950s, because of the lack of softball recognition by top sports organizations, this reduced the number of athletes and men in match games. Most are interested in a recognized career path, which was not visible then.

The training process of players in the league was minimal. There were strict rules against hitting too many times. It was more of ball tossing to the batter hold these activities and prompted the emergence of the name “beer league or sport,” as popularly called in 1970. It was easy then for the baseball player to join softball leagues, but the reverse is not the case for the other individuals.

To make the sport more attractive, college softball replaced adult amateur league, paving the way for more physicality in the sport, thereby making the sport an alternate to baseball and not it inferior or beer sport as previously called.


According to a survey, a low percentage of injuries are witnessed among pitchers; about 25% are located in the wrist, joint, or other parts of the body. With the introduction of technology, these have massively helped in the players’ recovery rate, personal development, employment opportunity, and more attraction to the populace.

Source: Team Sport Banners