Millions of people all over the world recognise the benefits of softball and play it either as a social or a competitive sport. The 2 main versions of softball – fastpitch and slowpitch – and their many modifications mean it is a sport enjoyed by male and female participants of all ages and varying abilities, skills and levels of fitness.
Softball is a sport with a long and proud history. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago as a direct off-shoot of baseball. While softball and baseball enjoy many similarities, including a shared terminology, there are a number of differences between the 2 sports which have helped make softball the most popular participant sport in the USA, where an estimated 40 million people play at least one game of softball per year.
Softball offers something for everyone. It offers opportunities to play, coach, umpire, score, manage teams and facilities, run events or volunteer in some other capacity. There are opportunities to travel to events within Australia or overseas as team members or supporters.
In Australia, softball is played in Olympic standard facilities, on community sports grounds, in public parks and on patches of dirt in remote outback communities. Softball competitions are run in every state and territory, and at school, club, state, national and international levels.
Australia proudly lays claim to a number of impressive softball statistics. We are the only nation to have our 4 elite national teams ranked in the top 3 in the world – our Open and U19 Women’s teams are ranked third and Open and U19 Men’s teams are ranked first.