Softball is a team sport with a ball; it is a form of baseball. This sport originated in 1887 and is generally popular with non-professionals. This is due to the fact that, unlike baseball, softball is adapted for less physically prepared people and is not traumatic. Initially, softball was developed for playing indoors, which is why weaker shots on the ball were provided, which are not dangerous for the enemy. The game was originally called “mushball” or “kittenball.” In 1895, the game began to be played outdoors. The International Softball Federation (ISF) was founded in 1965 and already as of 2001 united 122 national federations. The world championships are held for women since 1965, for men – since 1966 (Smith, 2019). The growing popularity of this sport was facilitated by the serious efforts of the ISF. The greatest challenge was inclusion of softball into the list of Olympic sports. However, after years of effort, on June 13, 1991, softball was finally included in the Olympic program (Smith, 2019). Softball was part of the Summer Olympics program from 1996 (Atlanta) to 2008 (Beijing).
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There are several versions of the origin of softball. According to one of these versions, softball appeared along with baseball more than 200 years ago, when immigrants from different countries came and brought their culture to America. The well-known game was brought from Russia in the form of rounders, from England – cricket, from Scandinavia – pesopolo, and softball appeared as a result of their merger at the junction of various national traditions (Smith, 2019). Subsequently, baseball became a sport for men, while softball remained a popular sport and recreation. The rules of this game were standardized in 1926, and at the same time, the modern name “softball” was born. This sport is interesting in that it does not require serious physical training, and, at the same time, it develops such qualities as agility, endurance, attentiveness, which will allow in the future to switch to baseball at will. Thus, this activity definitely can be recommended to others – those who are not ready to be engaged in professional sport yet but would like to practice some sports activities.
Smith, T. R. (2019). How to Play Softball for Girls: A complete Guide Special Edition. S.S. Publishing.