We tell you what softball is, how it differs from baseball, what equipment is needed for the game and how this sport is developing in Ukraine.
Softball: What is it?
Softball is a team sport with a ball. It is a type of baseball. Both men and women can play softball. As a rule, this sport is popular among non-professionals. This is due to the fact that, unlike baseball, softball is suitable for less physically fit people and is not as traumatic.
Softball rules and differences from baseball
The match consists of 7 equal parts called innings. They, in turn, are divided into halves. The visiting team takes the first shot, then the home team enters the game. The ball is served to the player with the bat in his hands. Submission can happen several times. Those who are in defense must accurately hit the ball and return to the home field as quickly as possible. During the game, athletes must not change their location unless instructed by the coach. In case of success, the team is awarded one point. The winner is the team that scored the most points after 7 innings.
There are several types of game: “Fast pitch” (fast pitch), “Slow pitch” (slow pitch) and “Modify pitch” (medium pitch).
A softball is softer than a baseball. It also has a lower speed in flight. The bat is thicker than a baseball bat, but it is not as long. Also, baseball is played not 7, but 9 innings. The field for playing softball is smaller in size than for baseball.
To play softball, you must have a glove, bat, helmet, cleats and protective ammunition.
Softball glove is made of genuine leather. Right-handed people wear it on the left hand, and shulgi – on the right. The catcher plays in a special glove.
A softball bat is made of aluminum. Each player needs to choose a bat individually, based on his height.
Boots must have plastic or rubber soles. It is forbidden to wear metal boots, because if you fall through them, you can seriously injure yourself.
The set of protective ammunition includes special gloves for the bat player and protection for the chin and chest.
The history of the development of softball
Softball was born in 1887. At first it was called “mashball” or “kittenball”.
Softball became an official sport in 1920. At the same time, many were against distinguishing it as a separate sport, since it is very similar to baseball. In 1965, the International Softball Federation appeared. Currently, the International Softball Federation unites more than a hundred national federations of different countries.
The first World Championship among women took place in 1965, and among men – in 1966. Softball was included in the program of the Olympic Games from 1996 to 2008. At the Olympics, it was represented by the game “Fast-pitch” among women.
Softball in Ukraine
Softball appeared in Ukraine in 1989. Since 1991, the championship of Ukraine in softball began to be held. Softball is developed by the Baseball and Softball Federation of Ukraine, which organizes all-Ukrainian championships for various age categories. About 30 clubs are members of the federation. Softball is most actively played in Kyiv, Rivne, Kropyvnytskyi and Lviv.
The Ukrainian national softball team participates in the world and European championships.