It could be said that softball appeared spontaneously in Chicago in 1887 when a group of friends threw a boxing glove at another one, and the latter hit him back with a broomstick.
So one of those friends came up with the idea of playing Baseball indoors; he tied the boxing glove very well as if it were a ball, drew home plate, made two teams, and had a lot of fun playing.
A few days later, George Hacock, the name of the friend who came up with the game, wrote the first rules of the budding sport. For this reason, he is considered the creator of the game, although it was not initially called softball.
In softball, there are two teams of nine players each, easily distinguishable thanks to their team sports uniforms, which alternate during the game to adopt the defensive or offensive role. The first team is spread out on the field to cover the entire playing area. There are two particular positions within this group, the pitcher, who is located just in front of first base and is in charge of throwing the ball to the batter, and the catcher, who is positioned behind the batter to catch it in case of failure. The rest of the players will be near the bases or in the grassy area.
The offensive team is the one that hits the ball; only one player at a time hits the ball with the help of a bat. After hitting the ball, the offensive team must run to first base and run around the field. If the ball is thrown very far, the participant can even complete all the bases up to a home in one game, and so the rest of the players will pass through the base to bat, while those in the field move through the rest of the bases. A run is scored when all three bases are completed, and the pitching spot is reached.
If the ball is caught in the air, if the ball is hit and captured by a defensive team member before it hits the ground, the batter is out.
When the runner is touched with the ball, he must retire from the field if the runner is connected with the ball before reaching a base.
If the ball lands on the base: if a defensive player catches the ball and touches the floor with it before the runner reaches the ground, it is nullified, so the player will be eliminated.
Three strikes: hitting the ball poorly, not hitting it, or throwing it out of the defined side zones is a strike, and when three in a row occur, the participant is ejected from the game.
There are some rules when throwing a pitch; for example, the hand of the player who throws the ball must be below the chest and towards an area above the base (home plate) and an imaginary rectangle between the batter’s armpits and knees; if it is thrown outside this area, it will not be valid. The umpire will stand behind the catcher at each pitch to check that this is being done.
The benefits of playing a sport like softball for children are both physical and emotional. That it is a team sport encourages social bonding and can serve to integrate shy children. The fact that they wear team sports uniforms fosters their sense of identity and belonging. In softball, they learn values such as companionship, friendship, and fair play honesty. Competitiveness in its healthiest and sporting aspect can promote the ability to overcome and know the rewards of effort.
On a physical level, softball is ideal for children to gain endurance. The sport also promotes muscle development and coordination. Quick reflexes, visual acuity, and concentration are among the many other benefits of softball. But perhaps the most crucial advantage is that children stay active while having fun, which, after all, is the main task they have to perform.