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  1. Softball

  2. And So It Began… The sport of softball, like most sports, came from strange beginnings. A boating club, a Harvard-Yale football game, a boxing glove and a man named George Hancock all played a large roll. Ready to hear the outcome of the days big game, 20 Harvard and Yale fans gathered at Farragut Boating Club. After exchanging money for the bets that were made, a man threw a boxing glove at another man who hit it with a metal pole. Hancock picked up the glove and tied it up to resemble a ball, broke off a broom handle to serve as a bat, chalked lines to show the diamond (small to fit in the gym of the boating club), and shouted “Let’s play ball” to commemorate the historic day. Slowly but surely, the sport has spread throughout the country and then to others and has grown from a simple school-yard game to a full-blown Olympic-caliber sport of determination and heart.

  3. The Rules • Each game consists of 7 innings. During each inning, both teams will get a chance to bat until they make 3 outs and field until they get the 3 outs. Once this is done they switch roles and after a total of 6 outs -3 for each team- are made, a new inning begins. A batter is the person in the batters box attempting to hit the ball the pitcher, the person on the pitching rubber attempting to get the batter out, is throwing. The batter has to stay in the batters box and the must maintain contact with the pitching rubber until she releases the ball. The pitcher is trying to strike the batter out by pitching the ball in the strike zone-from the letters on the player’s jersey to the knees. If the ball is pitched in this area and not swung at it is a strike. If it is outside of this area it is a ball. If the batter swings at any pitch it is a strike. If it goes foul(outside the chalk lines) it is a strike unless the batter already has 2 strikes. In this case it s neither ball nor strike but keeps the batter alive for at least one more pitch. If the batter gets 3 strikes, she is out. If she is pitched 4 balls she receives a walk and gets to advance to 1st base. If the batter makes contact with the ball, she runs the bases. A grounder is a ball hit on the ground. It can be fielded and thrown to first for one of the 3 outs. A pop fly is hit in an arc and can be caught for an out. And a line drive is hit at a consistent height from the ground. It too can be caught for an out. A single means the batter advances to 1st without a fielder committing an error. An error is when the fielder mishandles or mis-throws a ball that was hit and therefore the batter advances safely to the base they would have been called out at if there was no error. A double means she gets to 2nd and a triple means she gets to 3rd without a fielding error. In a Homerun, the batter does one of two things- she hits the ball over the fence in fair territory giving her an “out of the park” homerun or she hits an “in the park” homerun and runs all the way around the bases without the fielding team tagging her out. A grand slam is when there is a runner on each base and the batter hits a homerun. It is the most points that can be scored in any one play. Just because you get on base doesn’t mean you’re home free. A base-runner can be tagged out when not on the safety of a base or can be forced out. A force out occurs when the base runner must run to the next base because all previous bases are occupied. In this case the fielder simply has to touch the base. The more you play, the more you know so there are lots of small details that add an extra challenge to the game. Once you know the basics, softball is one of those sports you just have to play to know!

  4. The Field Pictured above is a softball field. The infield is dirt with 4 bases- 1st , 2nd , 3rd , and Home- and a pitching rubber. The outfield is grass. The size of the field ranges depending on the complex you are playing in. The stands range anywhere from a few sets of bleachers to a full mini-stadium. Whether a small league field or large collegiate complex, there is always a welcoming environment out at the ball field!

  5. The Team At any one point in a game there is at least 10 people on the field and at most 13. There are 9 players in the field each at a different position- 1st,2nd, and 3rd base, Shortstop, Pitcher, Catcher, and Left, Right, and Center Field. The 10th person is on the other team batting and the remaining 3 are the possible base runners.

  6. Technology Technology has given softball its wings. Airing softball games has brought a larger fan base to the sport. Easily accessible information regarding the sport has also helped to increase its popularity and understanding. Without this technology, very few people would even know the sport let alone be dedicated enough to participate in it.

  7. The Powers that Be… *ASA:  Amateur  Softball Association *NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association *IFA: Independent FastpitchAssociation *ISF: International Softball Federation *USSSA: United States Specialty Sports Association *NSA: National Softball Association Depending on what powers are overlooking each game, the rules can vary due to the slight variation in the running of the different associations and federations.

  8. Major Events and How to Watch Before it was canceled, the Olympics was the biggest event for women in softball. The College World Series is held every year in early June at the Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is broadcasted on the ESPN channels throughout the duration of the playoffs (other games frequent the air on other occasions, usually during the day).

  9. Something Interesting -Softball is no longer in the Olympics due to U.S. domination in the sport. They are trying to bringit back! -Softball had its beginnings onThanksgiving Day, 1887. 105 Thanksgivings later, I was born. -It was started by a group of men but is now played only by women.

  10. The Top Tier *Cat OstermanLeft Handed Pitcher. She graduated from the University of Texas in 2006 and now plays on Team USA! *Amanda ScarboroughRight Handed Pitcher and 1st Baseman. She went to A&M and is now a volunteer pitching coach for her team! *Dot RichardsonShe graduated from UCLA, played on Team USA, and is now an orthopedic surgeon. She is the medical director of the USA Triathlon National Training Center and is Vice  Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. *Monica AbbottPitcher. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and currently plays for Team USA. *Jessica MendozaOutfield. She graduated from Stanford University in 2002 and now plays for Team USA. *Jennie FinchRight Handed Pitcher. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2002 and then went on to play for Team USA *Lisa FernandezRight Handed Pitcher. She graduated from UCLA in 1995 and headed to the big leagues to play for Team USA.

  11. Works Cited • The Field: • Major events/ Interesting facts/ History: • Rules: • Major Events: • Players: