Did you know softball was once called kitten ball? Do you know how many people play softball across the globe?
There are tons of softball facts that might blow you away. As with any sport, there is plenty to learn outside of the field. Are you ready?
If you want to learn some of the coolest fun facts about softball, keep reading for everything you wanted to know!
1. The Game Went Through Many Name Changes
The history of softball has gone through many name changes. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1920’s that “softball” became synonymous with the game we all know and love. Before then, names like kitten ball and indoor baseball were commonly used.
Both mushball and pumpkin ball were popular titles as well. You might be surprised to know that mushball is still a common version of softball played in Chicago.
Why all the name changes? Well, U.S. sports culture didn’t have a ready category for softball until the ’20s. We had baseball and soccer, but softball was a sport that was both safe and kid-friendly, making it hard to define among adult players.
The roots of softball are based in a softer, less known version of baseball. This lead to an easier recreational sport of many titles.
2. First Ball Was a Boxing Glove
Before an official regulation softball was introduced, people used a folded boxing glove. This is where the softballs iconic size comes from. In fact, the origin of the softball comes from lack of materials and a desire for fun.
You can trace the modern softball back to its original 16-inch size. This, of course, comes from originally using a boxing glove. However, over time the ball became more uniform yet retained its softness.
This softness lends itself to a far safer game for all ages. All of these variables affected the people who played softball, including the large number of female players over time. Essentially, softball was made to include all members of the family no matter their athletic ability.
3. The U.S. Has Two Softball Teams
Our country has two official softball teams. However, there are many leagues throughout the U.S. These include teams in every level of the schooling system.
The two teams represented in the U.S. are not professional units. In fact, they are the male and female teams respectively. Each of these teams plays for our country on the international stage. If you want to keep neat copies of your favorite teams, this company can help.
4. You Can Adjust Pitch Speed
There are two main types of softball played in the United States. These are fastpitch and slowpitch. Each of these styles of play involves a different regulation-sized ball and different standards.
You can think of slowpitch as the original game of softball. Players in Chicago still call the ultra-soft version of this game mushball, which relies on the before-stated 16-inch ball. Slowpitch games use a larger ball and games are less hectic than fastpitch.
Fastpitch games require a smaller ball and go a lot faster. This is the closest softball gets to baseball in terms of speed and agility. Fastpitch is the only type of softball allowed for international play.
5. The Bases Are Closer Together Than Baseball
Bases in baseball are 90 feet apart. This is partly because the expectations in baseball for speed and endurance are higher than a softball game. In softball, the bases are 60 feet apart.
The game of softball is supposed to get your heart beating but isn’t as competitive as baseball. As a result, the bases are closer and the standards for athletism are somewhat lower.
Picture this: the average softball is larger than all baseballs and the bases are closer together. This is because softball also started as a way for baseball players to practice their game. The differences in equipment and field size were meant to give players an easier way to improve their skills and tactics.
6. One of The Lowest Injury Rates
Softball has one of the lowest injury rates among sports in the U.S. Slowpitch games are meant to prevent players from being injured or overextending their bodies. While fastpitch is the most likely game in softball to cause an injury.
Still, neither game of softball has anywhere near as many injuries as football, baseball, or soccer. Once again, softball was designed to be safer than most professional sports. If it was used as a training game then you can understand why practice would come before the chance of injury.
Lastly, the most common injuries in softball are from playing too much. The usual maladies such as tenonitis and skinned knees are typical. This does not compare to the sheer number of concussions and broken bones that appear in football and soccer.
7. Over 40 Million Summer Softball Players
There are thousands of teams that play softball across the U.S. The total number of players each summer exceeds 40 million. This makes it one of the most popular sports in the entire country.
One of the coolest fun facts about softball is the surprising number of men and women that play. Many people think softball is a “girls sport” when in fact millions of men play each year as well.
Be A Better Sports Fan with These Softball Facts
If you love sports, then you love gaining knowledge about your favorite game. Softball is no exception for the millions that play each year. With these softball facts, you can blow your friends and family away with everything you know!
You can continue to learn about your favorite games by staying up to date on all things in sports media. By doing this, you can improve your game and keep others motivated as well.
That’s why your next step is to load up on facts to share with your team and family. Go out and learn all you can about sports today!
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