A Brief History of Softball

720 WordsFeb 1, 20183 Pages
The way that softball is played today has evolved to be a direct descendent of baseball. According to Margaret Dodson, a professor of physical education at Portland State University and also a member of the Amateur Softball Association, “The game as we know it did not take shape until the 1980’s” (4). One version of the origin of the game was given to George W. Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade. (Dodson, 4). According to Dodson, on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 Hancock and a few other men were relaxing at the Chicago Farragut Boat Club with nothing to do so they decided to tie a battered boxing glove into a ball and throw it back and forth to each other (4). As they were throwing the glove one guy took a broom handle and used it as a bat to hit the glove back to the thrower. Dodson states, “Hancock concocted the idea of using a huge wrestling mat for a diamond, forming teams and playing a game similar to baseball” (4). From this game Hancock decided to make rules and create an appropriate bat and ball so that they could gather again on the next day to play a more organized game (4). As a week went by Hancock wrote out a set of official rules and devised a softball and a special rubber-tipped bat. According to Asasoftball.com, “Hancock appended 19 special rules to adapt the outdoor game to the indoor game, and the rules were officially adopted by the Mid-Winter Indoor Baseball League of Chicago in 1889” (“History of Softball”). With these new rules Hancock and
Open Document