It all dates back to thanksgiving day of 1887 after Yale was announced the winner for that football game, a man threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter and he swung at it with a broom stick.A reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, jokingly called out, “Play ball!” and the first softball game commenced with the football fans using the boxing glove as a ball and broom handle in place of a bat. The Farragut boat club decided to make their own set of rules. In 1991 women's fast pitch softball was added to the roster of 1996 olympics as many people believe was a success! The history of softball is slowly unfolding and one day will be the most played sport ever!
A softball game can last anywhere from 3 to 7 innings, or 1–2 hours depending on the league, rules, and type of softball; however 7 innings is the most common. In each inning, each team bats until three batters have been put out (see below). The teams take turns batting. ... Batting second is also called "last at-bat. The Players - A team must have 9 players to start or to continue a gameThe pre-game conference will consist of each captain meeting with the umpire before the game to go over ground rules. Scoresheets must be filled out before the game, and one must be given to the umpire other team (head coach), one for your head coach and maybe one for the coaches on your team. There are three types of softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on the age and league, must arch on its path to the batter, and there are 10 players on the field at once. In fastpitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, and bunting and stealing are permitted. Modified softball restricts the windmill windup of the pitcher, although the pitcher is allowed to throw as hard as possible with the restricted back swing. Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand—from 46 ft for men or 43 ft for women as compared with 60.5 ft in baseball—and that seven innings instead of nine constitute a regulation game.
Softballs are created in many different sizes. In fast pitch softball, most leagues use a ball with a circumference of 12 inches (30 cm) that weighs 6.25 ounces (177 g). Younger players generally play with an 11-inch (28 cm) circumference ball. The ball has a leather or synthetic leather surface and may optionally have a raised seam. The ball's color has changed over time: most leagues have switched from a white ball to a high-visibility "optic" yellow ball; some men's leagues still use the white ball. Bats in fastpitch softball come in various sizes and consist of wood, metal or other composite materials. Some leagues may require wooden bats because of player safety issues. All bats used in ASA softball competition must have an ASA-approved stamp and be included in a list of approved bat models published by the ASA national office. A fastpitch softball bat may be no more than 34 inches long, 2 1⁄4 inches in diameter. Also, a "drop" of no more than 13 is allowed. The drop is calculated by taking the length of the bat in inches and subtracting the weight in ounces. Female players tend to use specialized fastpitch bats, while male players typically prefer slowpitch bats. Gloves are worn by all members of the defensive team and are made in many styles and sizes. The gloves are made with leather or a sturdy fabric. The catcher and first baseman usually wear mitts which include additional padding and no fingers. Gloves are similar to baseball gloves, but softball allows larger sizes up to 14 inches from top to bottom. Fastpitch softball uniforms usually include a shirt, undershirt, properly fitted under shorts, baseball socks, cap, visor and shorts. Baseball caps and head bands are optional for women, baseball caps are mandatory for men. Most female fastpitch softball players wear "sliding shorts" which protect the back of thighs when sliding into bases. Some players may also wear shin guards to protect the area below the knee up to the ankle. Male players wear the long "baseball style" pants. Fast pitch softball shoes may have cleats or spikes. Rounded metal or hard plastic spikes are not allowed due to the increased risk of injury to an opponent in a slide.
Batting gloves can also be worn when playing fastpitch or slowpitch softball. Batting gloves are designed to improve a player's grip and to provide protection for batters when they are at the plate. Batting gloves also provide added protection for the hand in the fielding glove when fielding and catching balls. Batting gloves are designed to prevent a player's hands from breaking. Helmets are required in fast pitch softball. There are many different styles of batting helmet, but must have two ear flaps. Any helmet that has been damaged, altered or previously repaired is not permitted for use. The catcher must wear a protective helmet, a face mask and a chest protector. Male catchers must wear a protective cup. Aside from the catcher, any other player on the fast pitch softball team may wear a protective mask or face guard. These masks are designed to prevent traumatic facial injuries.