Softball was created by George Hancock in Chicago in 1887. The game originated as an indoor variation of baseball and was eventually converted to an outdoor game. The popularity of softball has grown considerably, both at the recreational and competitive levels. In fact, not only is women’s fast pitch softball a popular high school and college sport, it was recognized as an Olympic sport in 1996.
Major differences from baseball
Softball is similar to baseball; however, there are notable differences. For example, the pitch is delivered underhand, the ball is larger, the field is smaller, and base runners cannot leave a base until the pitcher releases the pitch. Softball fields are typically smaller than baseball fields, and the games last for seven innings instead of nine. A team must have 9 players to start or to continue a game with the maximum of 10 players. The bats you use in softball are a little shorter and have a wider barrel than the bats used in baseball do.
On the championship/Olympic level, softball is a women’s sport, but both sports are played by men and women throughout the world. Slow-pitch softball, when the pitch is underhand and lobbed, is generally played on a recreational basis.
Equipment is similar to baseball but differs for offensive and defensive positions. On offense, batters have a wooden or aluminum bat, batting gloves for grip, and batting helmets for protection. On defense, fielders use a leather glove. The catcher has special protective equipment, including a face mask, chest protector, and shin/leg guards. All players wear shoes with cleats. The uniform consists of a jersey; pants, shorts, or skirt; and a baseball cap, visor, or eadband.