Softball is generally regarded as a form of baseball but with a bigger ball and smaller ballpark. Softball was first presented in Chicago in 1887 as an indoor sport. Through the time of changing and development, softball has gathered different names, such as indoor baseball, mush ball, softbund ball, kitten ball, due to the fact that at the very beginning, softball is mostly played by women.
The name “Softball” was first used in 1926. But it was not until 1933 that softball was given the first organization to help manage it: Amateur Softball Association (ASA). ASA was then renamed International Softball Federation (ISF). Since 2013 till now, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has taken the responsibility for operating and managing all of the baseball and softball championships around the world.
Ballparks used for playing baseball and softball are similar in shape, but the latter sport has ones smaller in size. A softball ballpark is just two-thirds the length of a baseball one (27m), which means it is only 18m in length. In terms of the size of the ball, standard circumference of a softball is up to 30.5cm, about 5cm more than a baseball’s.
In baseball, a pitch is performed along a vertical line, from up to down, whereas a softball pitch is made in the opposite way. The distance in which a baseball pitch is performed is 18.4m, compared to 14m in men’s softball and 13.1m in women’s softball. There is also a difference in the number of rounds of the two sports, with baseball having 9 rounds and softball having just 7 rounds.
There exists two types of softball: fastpitch and slowpitch. Slowpitch is more popular and often concluded in the list of sports during Olympic Games. In some cases, softball is even bigger than standard size. The softball slowpitcher has to perform pitches along curved lines. The number of slowpitchers in one team must not exceed 10. In contrast, in fastpitch softball, one team only has 9 members.
The last difference between the two sports stands in the bat that pitchers use. The two kinds are the same in shape, in professional championships, baseball pitchers have to use wood bats while softball pitchers are allowed to use bats made of metal or synthetic materials.
In fastpitch type, pitchers use a tool called fastpitch softball bat, which is often made of Aluminum and Composite. These best fastpitch softball bats are designed to be used by female (and sometimes male) players. The suitable age for playing this type of sport ranges from 5 to 18 and beyond.
In the past ten years, softball has listed in four periods of SEA Games, specifically in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2015. This time, Singapore, the host country for the next one, has been raising an ambition of winning gold medals from both female’s and male’s softball after its failure at SEA Games 26 in Indonesia with only one gold medal. Training program before SEA Games 28 is a hard one, making Singaporean softball selected players to spend up to six days per week practicing for a long time.
Softball matches at SEA Games 28 are scheduled to take place from 6 to the end of 10, June at Kallang stadium. In order to attract the citizen’s support, the organization department decided to make all softball matches free admission within the framework of the festival.