The Evolution of Softball

The first softball game to be played was on Thanksgiving in 1887. After a football game between Yale and Harvard, specifically during betting, a Yale man threw a boxing glove at the graduates. from Harvard, one of whom hit the glove with a broomstick leading to the game of softball.

Initially an indoor game

George Hancock, one of the Harvard and Yale alumni, tied a boxing glove in the shape of a baseball and proceeded to draw a baseball diamond with chalk on the floor of the boat club. Since the glove turned into softball was soft, the players were not yet wearing gloves. Thus came the first softball game that ended with a score of 41-40.

Soon after, Hancock wrote the rules of the game of softball and came up with a softball and a rubber-tipped bat. He even marked permanent foul lines on the boat club floor.

It soon became an outdoor sport

Softball became a favorite sport that winter in Chicago. The new sport became a way for baseball players to keep practicing even during the winter season. After the winter season, softball was held outdoors, where it was played on fields that are much smaller than baseball diamonds.

However, the evolution and development of softball was attributed to a fire marshal named Lewis Rober. Rober used this relatively new sport to keep his Minneapolis firefighters from getting bored while waiting for emergency calls.

In a lot adjacent to the fire station, Lewis Rober marked a softball field where firefighters spent their time playing the sport. Rober soon discovered that larger, softer balls along with smaller fields created a sport that had more offense and more action compared to baseball. He made a rule to limit the game to seven innings to allow the game to be completed in one hour.

Soon enough, softball games were organized among fire stations, drawing up to 3,000 spectators and leading to a proliferation of softball games in parks and playgrounds throughout the city. By 1913, Softball was officially adopted as a sport by the Minneapolis Park Board.

It became an international sport

The game spread from Chicago to Milwaukee and then to the Midwest and Canada. Different places had slightly different rules and implements. For example, the game was called elsewhere by other names such as cabbage ball, pumpkin ball, or mushroom ball. It was only in 1926 that the name of softball was established as the official name of the sport.

It was only in the year 1933 that the rules of softball were standardized by the Amateur Softball Association. Ball and field sizes were established, as well as distances between bases. Fast pitch and slow pitch softball games were also defined.

As for what attracts softball, the early years of softball had players in sweaters and pants. Today, softball players wear nylon jerseys with softball jerseys, pants, cleats, and socks. Caps are mandatory for men’s fast pitch leagues. Metal tips on softball cleats are prohibited.

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