The History of Softball PHEC 202 Table of Contents 1. History of Softball 2. How to play Softball 3. Equipment needed to play a game. 4. Diagram of a Softball field 5. Bibliography Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Softball is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Softball is now a very popular game that originated in Chicago, but it didn’t become popular over night. The game is said the be invented by a man named George Hancock, by him creating this game it has now become of the most played games in America. In this essay I will discuss the history of softball, the basic rules, and the necessary equipment needed to play the game.
Softball was started on Thanksgiving Day in 1887. It all began when a group of men gathered in a gym to hear the score of football game, after the score was announced and all bets were settled one of the men threw an old boxing glove at another man who hit it with a pole. George Hancock, said to be the inventor of the game took the boxing glove and tied it so it would look like a ball, took chalk and drew a diamond on the floor, broke a broom handle to use it as a bat and began to play the first game of baseball. This was also the beginning of softball.
Hancock’s game was a smaller version of baseball and was played indoors. Within a week’s time Hancock created an oversized ball and a bat with a rubber tip that he used to play the game. He also returned to the gym to make permanent foul lines on the floor. He then wrote the rules and named the game Indoor Baseball. This new sport quickly became a hit and became international. In the same year, 1897, the Indoor Baseball guide was published, explaining the rules of the game and how to play. Ten years later the game was moved outdoors.
It was then known as indoor-out door. This game also caught on very quickly and a set of rules was published for this version of the game in 1889. Although Chicago is the birthplace of this game through the years it took on some modification in Minneapolis around 1895. It is said that a Fire Department officer by the name of Lewis Rober Sr. used his versions of the game to keep is men in shape and occupied. It is also said that he had no prior knowledge of Hancock’s version of the game. Rober’s version of the game was played in a vacant lot next to the fire house.
In 1896 Rober was moved to a new unit and in charge of coaching another team. This team called themselves the kitten and in honor of their name the game was called Kitten League Ball in 1900. The name was later shortened to Kitten Ball. In 1895 the women’s softball team was formed in Chicago at West Division High School. Although the team was started they did not start competing until1899. As the game grew more popular more people began to pay more attention the women’s game and in 1904 the Spalding Baseball Guide was published.
This publication of the rules dedicated a substantial amount of the book to the women’s game of softball. In 1933 there was the Chicago National Tournament. This was the first tournament where both male and female champions were honored in the same way. This tournament help lead to the International World Championships in 1965, by allowing women to compete in such tournaments this helped this sport to become international and helped it move on to the Pan-American Games and the Olympics. Softball at this time was now a professional league and contracts ranged from $1,000 to $3,000 dollars per year.
In 1980 due to financial hardship the league was broken up. Although the league was broken up softball is still a popular game today. There is now an Amateur Softball that registers more than 260,000 fastpitch softball teams and slowpitch is gradually growing. Although compared to baseball, softball is simple to play and is also played on a smaller scale. There a 9 players on a softball team. The playing field it is divided into the infield and the outfield. The infield is the portion of the field which is connected by the bases. Each base is set between 55 and 65 feet apart.
When the bases are joined they take on the shape of a diamond and the infield is considered the portion inside the baseline. Outside the baseline but inside the playing field is the outfield. While in a game if the ball goes outside the 1st or 3rd base it is considered a foul ball. If this occurs the runner cannot go to the next base and the batter gets another chance, however if the ball is caught in the air outside the line the batter is then consider out. An official softball game has 7 innings. An inning is when both teams has a had a chance to bat.
This is how a game of softball is played. What makes softball different from baseball is the pitch. In softball the ball must be thrown underhand. In order to pitch the pitcher must have both feet on the pitchers rubber and both hands must be on the ball at the start of the pitch. When the pitcher throws the ball it’s going to batter. When batting, the team must have the same order of batters throughout the entire game. The batter will stand in the batter’s box which is the box marked with chalk near home plate that a batter must stay within while batting. The batter is onsidered out when and if three strikes are called, a fly ball is caught, or if the batter does not stand in the batter’s box. A strike occurs when a ball is swung at and missed or is called when the ball enters the strike zone and is not swung at all. The strike zone is the area between the batter knee’s and armpits. A fly ball is a ball that is hit in to the air in the infield. If any of these things occur the batter is then out. If that batter hits the ball the next step is running. When running the runner must touch each base. Runners can only over run one base and can be tagged out if they are not on the base.
While on base the runner can only run when the ball leaves the pitchers hand. If the runner is on base when a fly ball is hit and caught the runner must remain at their original base and cannot move on to the next base. While running all batters that have made to a base must stay in that order when returning to home plate. Stealing bases are not allowed in softball. A runner is considered out if they are tagged out before reaching a base, if the ball gets to 1st base before the runner, or if the runner runs more than three feet out of the baseline to avoid being tagged out.
These are the rules that runners must follow. In order to play this game the following equipment is needed: a bat, when standing next to bat that you are going to use the bat should come to your wrist and it should be light enough for you to swing comfortably. Also while batting a batter may use a batting helmet to protect their head while up to bat. Next is the ball, softballs range from 11 which are used by children ages 10 and under, to 12 inches which are used by everyone ages 12 and above. After the ball is the glove.
The only positions that have a specific glove designed especially for their position is the first base men and the catcher, all other use the same type of glove depending on which hand you catch with. If you use you right hand the most you would put the glove on your left have so you would be able to throw with your right hand and vice versa for the left hand. In this essay I have explained the history of softball, how to play the game and the necessary equipment need in order to play the game. Although the were some hang ups that could have stopped the growth of softball its popularity continued to grow.
Softball is still a popular game with millions of people who still play it today. [pic] Bibliography Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA). (2012). Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA). Retrieved October 7, 2012, from http://www. asasoftball. com/about/asa_history. asp History of Softball. (2000). History of Softball. Retrieved October 7, 2012, from http://www. softballperformance. com/softball-history/ Lynch, W. (2011, May 26). Rules on How to Play Softball. LIVESTRONG. COM. Retrieved October 7, 2012, from http://www. livestrong. com/article/426838-rules-on-how-to-play-softball/