Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world


Softball started in 1887 in Chicago as an indoor game. It was previously known as indoor baseball. Now, the International Softball Federation holds world championships in different categories. Softball also became a part of the Olympics from 1996 to 2008 but was removed starting 2012.

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).

Like in baseball, there are nine players per team. 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.

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