In different countries of the world softball cultivated for over a century. However, in encyclopedias, we only find references that softball (English “a softball”, the literal translation -. “Soft ball”) – this is a game with a ball on a small platform or in the gym, a kind of baseball. And yet, this game is very similar to the Slavic rounders, which, unfortunately, did not become popular.
There are several versions of the softball. Below are just two of them seem more believable.
In the first version, softball appeared with baseball more than 200 years ago, when immigrants from different countries came and brought their culture to America. It was brought from Russia to all known game – rounders, England – cricket, from Scandinavia and Texas – pesopolo and softball has emerged as a result of their merger at the junction of different national traditions.
Subsequently, baseball became a sport for men and softball was a public sport and recreation.
The second version is connected with the name of George Hancock (George Hancock), and it states that in November 1887 a group of friends met in a gym close to the Lake Park, Chicago, to await the outcome of the football game between the University of teams. To pass the time, they threw each other the old glove, used for pack stuffed with a piece of rope, giving it the shape of a ball. The game at first divided into pairs, and then organized two teams and started the game, similar to baseball. But, as in baseball not playing indoors, they have put in practice a new game – “Baseball at the ceiling” (ie, baseball in the gym). In this game you try to play outdoors, and in the beginning it was called “mashbol» (mushball) or “Kitty ball» (kittenball – ball kitten literally).
In October, 1889 in Chicago and payday loans in Texas separate book published rules of the game emerged that later were approved internal Chicago winter baseball league. They said that the ball must be engraved soft material, approved by its weight and size, introduced requirements for protective equipment, set the size of the site and its equipment. The rules of this game were standardized in 1926 and, at the same time, was born the modern name “softball”.
It is also believed that softball was the adaptation of baseball for women. First softball played exclusively by men, but gradually the game has become more and more like women , mainly after the formation in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), although some data, the first women’s team was built in 1895 in Chicago.
In 1950, representatives of the North American League met with representatives of the founders softball neighboring countries (Cuba, Canada, Mexico), and discussed the development of the sport. Two years later (1952) at Stanford was founded the International Federation of Softball (IFS), it became the first president Don Porter. To date, the ISF headquarters is located in Plant City (Florida) in the United States.
World championships women’s softball were held since 1965, and for men -. 1966 (every four years). In 1965 in the world championship in softball in Melbourne (Australia) participated in team 5 countries, and a year later (1966) Mexico has hosted the participants of 11 teams.
Since 1965 of the International Federation of Softball has been active in the promotion and development of softball. Today softball becomes on a par with the most popular and mass kinds of sports games. Currently, more than 124 countries developing this kind of sport is registered in the International Softball Federation. Softball (in its various versions) on our planet are engaged in more than 100 million. Motivating softball widespread throughout the world, the federation has requested the inclusion of softball in the Olympics.
The increasing popularity of the sport contributed to serious efforts of the International Softball Federation, its president Don E. Porter and his predecessor Vladimir Billy Ketan, who sought to include softball in the prestigious family of Olympic sports. And after years of efforts, June 13, 1991, softball was finally included in the Olympic program.
Since 1996 (Atlanta) and 2008 (Beijing) softball was part of the Summer Olympic Games, but the Olympic Games – London 2012 in this sport competitions were not held, the decision was made at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Singapore, Texas. Nor will be competitions in softball and the Olympic Games – 2016 in Rio De Janeiro.
In Europe, softball began to spread after the Second World War, where he brought the Americans. Among the Europeans, this game has also found its admirers from the different countries. Later in 1976, the European Softball Federation was created – ESF which today counts more than 20 countries developing this kind of sport. Softball European Championships are held every two years since 1979 for women and 1993 for men.
If it is assumed that as a softball sports game originated in the United States in 1887, the former Soviet Union softball began to develop only after more than 100 years since 1989. Already then the Russian Championship and other competitions were held. The first and only USSR Championship was held in 1991. It was attended by 12 teams.