The World Games explained: Softball

The World Games explained: Softball
Softball, invented in Chicago in 1887, is played by more than 40 million people today. (contributed)

We are less than two years away from the World Games 2021 taking place in and around Birmingham. Alabama NewsCenter is explaining what you can expect to see. Today, we look at Softball.

Softball originated in Chicago and was invented by George Hancock in 1887. Hancock got the idea at a football game when a fan threw a rolled-up boxing glove at a rival teammate, who, in return, hit it back with a stick.

A team sport, softball was originally a form of indoor baseball that was usually played only during the winter. The first world softball competition was a women’s tournament in Melbourne, Australia. The sport was introduced to the World Games in 1981. It was discontinued from the games four years later but rejoined the official program in 2013.

Softball has come and gone and come back to the World Games competitions since 1981. It will be part of the 2021 games in Birmingham. (contributed)

Each team has nine players, and the game takes place over seven innings. Typically, the game moves at a faster pace than baseball. During each inning, the teams will take turns batting, then occupying the field. Each base is 60 feet apart and the entire infield is made of dirt. The object of the game is to score more runs (points) than the other team by batting (hitting) a ball into play and running around the bases, touching each one in succession. In each inning, a team bats until three batters have been declared out.

Softball is one of the top team sports in the United States. More than 40 million participate in the sport today.

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