Softball Paper

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The History of Softball

PHEC 202

Table of Contents

1. History of Softball

2. How to play Softball

3. Equipment needed to play a game.

4. Diagram of a Softball field

5. Bibliography

Page 3

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Softball is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Softball is now a very popular game that originated in Chicago, but it didn’t become popular over night. The game is said the be invented by a man named George Hancock, by him creating this game it has now become of the most played games in America. In this essay I will discuss the history of softball, the basic rules, and the necessary equipment needed to play the game.

Softball was started on Thanksgiving Day in 1887. It all began when a group of men gathered in a gym to hear the score of football game, after the score was announced and all bets were settled one of the men threw an old boxing glove at another man who hit it with a pole. George Hancock, said to be the inventor of the game took the boxing glove and tied it so it would look like a ball, took chalk and drew a diamond on the floor, broke a broom handle to use it as a bat and began to play the first game of baseball. This was also the beginning of softball.

Hancock’s game was a smaller version of baseball and was played indoors. Within a week’s time Hancock created an oversized ball and a bat with a rubber tip that he used to play the game. He also returned to the gym to make permanent foul lines on the floor. He then wrote the rules and named the game Indoor Baseball. This new sport quickly became a hit and became international. In the same year, 1897, the Indoor Baseball guide was published, explaining the rules of the game and how to play. Ten years later the game was moved outdoors. It was then known as indoor-out door. This game also caught on very quickly and a set of rules was published for this version of the game in 1889.

Although Chicago is the birthplace of this game through the years it took on some modification in Minneapolis around 1895. It is said that a Fire Department officer by the name of Lewis Rober Sr. used his versions of the game to keep is men in shape and occupied. It is also said that he had no prior knowledge of Hancock’s version of the game. Rober’s version of the game was played in a vacant lot next to the fire house. In 1896 Rober was moved to a new unit and in charge of coaching another team. This team called themselves the kitten and in honor of their name the game was called Kitten League Ball in 1900. The name was later shortened to Kitten Ball.

In 1895 the women’s softball team was formed in Chicago at West Division High School. Although the team was started they did not start competing until1899. As the game grew more popular more people began to pay more attention the women’s game and in 1904 the Spalding Baseball Guide was published. This publication of the rules dedicated a substantial amount of the book to the women’s game of softball. In 1933 there was the Chicago National Tournament. This was the first tournament where both male and female champions were honored in the same way. This tournament help lead to the International World Championships in 1965, by allowing women to compete in such tournaments this helped this sport to become international and helped it move on to the Pan-American Games and the Olympics. Softball at this time was now a professional league and contracts ranged from $1,000 to $3,000 dollars per year. In 1980 due to financial hardship the league was broken up.

Although the league was broken up softball is still a popular game today. There is now an Amateur Softball that registers more than 260,000 fastpitch softball teams and slowpitch is gradually growing....
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