Little Big History Project Softball

By: Lindsey Banowetz


Softball has been changing over the years and continues to change. Many different societies play and use the game in different ways. As humans continue to use more and more collective learning, everyday things, like softball, continue to change and grow. Down below are ways softball has changed over the years.

Increasing Complexity

Softball first started on Thanksgiving Day in 1887, when alumni sat in the Chicago, Illinois Farragut Boat Club, waiting for the winner of the Yale vs. Harvard football game. When Yale won, a Yale supporter threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The Harvard supporter swung at the boxing glove with a broom handle, as everyone else looked with interest. George Hancock, a reporter, then called out "Play Ball!" and the first softball game was played with the football fans playing with a boxing glove and a broom handle.

The first game of softball was played in 1887.

Goldilocks Conditions

Goldilocks Conditions for softball are the things that help everything in the game of softball, be the game of softball. An example of a Goldilocks Condition in softball is gravity. Gravity can be a Goldilocks Condition for everything but without gravity in softball, when you hit the ball the ball would never come down. Some of the other Goldilocks Conditions for softball are bats, balls, gloves, and helmets because without all of this equipment, softball would not be what it is today.

Collective Learning

There are many ways that humans have used collective learning to change and improve the game of softball. Down below are just a few:

Diamond Size

The first softball game was played on a field where the bases were only 27 feet apart. Now on a high school field the bases are 60 feet apart.

Type of Ball

The first ever softball game was used with a boxing glove as a ball. Now as time has gone on high school softball is played with a softball that is 12 inches in circumference and weighs about 6 1/4 to 7 ounces.

Type of Bat

A broom stick was used as the first bat in the first softball game. Now high school softball is played with many different types of bats differentiating in length and weight.


The first official softball game was played in dresses. Now girls wear cleats, high socks, pants, and a jersey.

Threshold 1: The Big Bang

My first threshold that was important to softball was Threshold 1: The Big Bang. Without the Big Bang nothing could have ever happened. By this I mean not only would softball not be a thing but humans and everything else in general would not be a thing. With the Big Bang, this was like the opening opportunity for softball to be created.

Threshold 3: New Chemical Elements

The second threshold that I thought was most important to softball is Threshold 3: New Chemical Elements. Everything is made up of chemical elements and without these chemical elements, nothing could be what it is today. Just like the Big Bang, without chemical elements not only would softball not be a thing but humans and everything in general wouldn't be a thing. All the different types equipment and atmosphere would not be possible without the new chemical elements.

Threshold 6: Collective Learning

My third threshold that I thought was most important to softball is Threshold 6: Collective Learning. Without collective learning, softball may have never become a thing. When the Yale fan threw the boxing glove at the Harvard fan, the Harvard fan may never would have thought about hitting it without collective learning. Softball also would have no became more advanced without collective learning. So without collective learning, softball would be completely different than what we know it as today.

Threshold 7: Agriculture & Civilzation

The fourth threshold I thought was important to softball is Threshold 7: Agriculture and Civilization. This was the time when humans decided to stop foraging and started farming. Farming allowed humans to stay in one place and to start increasing population. With the increase of population and more kids running around, games like softball became more popular. Now as more and more people started playing softball, softball is one of the most popular sports.

Threshold 8: The Modern Revolution

My final threshold that I think is important to softball is Threshold 8: The Modern Revolution. All around the world, different areas used to be completely separate from all other areas. With The Modern Revolution it brought all these different areas together. When all these areas were brought together different activities, like softball, were spread across the world and starting to be played in different areas in different ways. So The Modern Revolution could of actually helped spread softball around the world.

Softball In Different Countires

Softball is played all around the world in many different countries. In 1996, the first softball games were played in the Olympics. Down below are some of the teams that have gotten medals since then.

United States

Out of the years 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, the United States won the gold in 1996 in Atlanta, the gold in 2000 in Sydney, the gold in 2004 in Athens, and the silver in 2008 in Beijing.


Out of the years 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, China only won the silver in 1996 in Atlanta.


Out of the years 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, Australia won the bronze in 1996 in Atlanta, the bronze in 2000 in Sydney, the silver in 2004 in Athens, and the bronze in 2008 in Beijing.


Out of the years 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, Japan didn't win a medal in 1996 in Atlanta, but won the silver in 2000 in Sydney, the bronze in 2004 in Athens, and the gold in 2008 in Beijing.

Softball From An Anthropology View

Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures and their development. Over time softball has increased and become more complex. It has also spread all across the world to different countries and is now one of the most popular sports in the world. An anthropologist would look at this as how did softball shape or change these humans societies and did it help them develop or change into what they are today.

Softball From an Astronomy view

Astronomy is the branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole. As many people don't think about the universe has a lot to do with softball. An astronomer would see this is a way that without the universe that perfect hit you got, would never come down without the help of gravity and the universe.



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