Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Softball

Softball is a modified form of baseball, played on a smaller field with a larger, softer ball, seven rather than nine innings, and with underarm pitching. There are two main types of softball: fastpitch and slow pitch. Softball differs from baseball in that the pitchers throw underhand (with hand below shoulder level).

Softball started in 1887 in Chicago as an indoor game. It was previously known as indoor baseball. Softball also became a part of the Olympics from 1996 to 2008 but was removed starting 2012, and is now back on the program for 2020 (jointly with baseball). The International Softball Federation holds world championships in different categories.

The aim is to get as many players to home plate as possible, usually by hitting the ball. The ball used in softball is not actually soft. It is larger than a baseball: weighing about 6.25-7.0oz for fastpitch and 5.87-6.12oz for slowpitch.

softball players softball hit

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