Softball first began as an indoor version of Baseball in 1887 but then quickly became its own game, being played outdoors as well.
The game did not become popular with women until the 1933 formation of Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) formed.
Softball grew in popularity across the world, with a strong lead from the US, and in 1965 the International Softball Federation (ISF) was formed.
The 1973 movie, A Touch of Class, was filmed in London and featured a Softball game. This initiated the growth of Softball in England. Softball was used as a safe way to teach the basics of Baseball, especially for children.
Baseball originated from older bat and ball sports already being played across England in the mid 18th century. A modern version was developed in America and became the national sport of the USA in the late 19th century.
How do they differ?
Softball is played on a much smaller field therefore the pitching distance is also smaller at 43 feet from the flat pitching circle to hitter. Baseball has a 60 feet pitching distance on a raised mound from the plate.
Field of Play
For softball the distance between bases is 60 feet and 90 feet for Baseball. As said before the Softball field is smaller, the distance from the home plate to outfield fence being no more than 250 yards but over 300 feet for Baseball.
Baseball bats tend to be longer and larger in diameter and therefore heavier. For professional baseball only wood bats must be used but in Softball and amateur Baseball games wood, metal and composites can be used.
You probably are aware of the classic white ball with red stitching which is a Baseball, measuring 9 inches. Whereas Softballs are slightly bigger at 12 inches (or 10 inches for children), they are yellow and (surprisingly) softer!
We hope that this gave you a better understanding of Softball and Baseball and where it all came from.
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