Softball 07-27-2004 10:18

Softball is an exciting game played by men and women of all ages all around the world. It was invented at the end of the 19th century as an indoor game and has become very popular among a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, Japan and China to name a few.


Softball is played by two teams, nine players per team on the field, alternating turns at bat and defense. The aim of the team in offense is to hit the ball with the bat and, by consecutively reaching all three bases to return to the home plate and earn a run. The team in defense on the other hand pitches the ball to the team in offense and tries to prevent the other team from gaining points.

Softball is played in two versions characterized by the kind of pitch delivered: fast pitch (competitive) and slow pitch (recreational/social). At the Olympic Games, only the women鈥檚 fast pitch event is included. In total, eight teams participate at the Olympic Games. The host city鈥檚 national team is automatically included among these teams, while the rest qualify through World Championships and other regional qualifying matches.

ATHENS 2004 Softball

Women鈥檚 Fast Pitch Softball will be held at the Olympic Softball Stadium in the Helliniko Olympic Complex. The venue consists of one competition field and two adjacent warm-up areas.


The game of Softball was invented by George Hancock at the Farragut Boat Club in 1887 in Chicago, USA as an indoor game. In 1895, the first women鈥檚 team was formed in Chicago, at the same time the sport was reinvented, taken outdoors and called 鈥渒itten ball鈥. The rules were standardised in 1926 and the name changed to Softball. Since then the game grew rapidly and is now played by more than 20 million people around the world. Elite fast pitch competitions became popular with the first Women鈥檚 World Championship in 1965.

Softball was first included in the Olympic Games competition schedule in Atlanta in 1996, in which the USA team finished first, with China second and Australia in third place. At the Sydney 2000 Olympics, softball made its second appearance, in which the United States team captured the gold medal once more.

The International Softball Federation (ISF) is the world governing body of the sport. ISF was established in 1952 and it presently consists of 122 member countries. The ISF headquarters are in Plant City, Florida in the United States and it oversees all the world functions of the sport.

The Hellenic Amateur Softball Federation (HASF) was founded in 1998. The main goals of the federation are: to promote Softball to the Greek population, especially to youth, and to develop a competitive national team, which, being the host country鈥檚 team, will be one of the eight teams participating in Softball鈥檚 third appearance at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

Source:official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Editor:Wang  Source:

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