The History of Slow Pitch Softball
The earliest known softball game was played in Chicago, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. It took place at the Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the outcome of the Yale University and Harvard University football game.When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The Harvard fan grabbed a stick and swung at the rolled up glove. George Hancock called out “Play ball!” and the game began, with the boxing glove tightened into a ball, a broom handle serving as a bat. This first contest ended with a score of 41–40. The ball, being soft, was fielded barehanded.
George Hancock is credited as the game’s inventor for his development of ball and an undersized bat in the next week. The Farragut Club soon set rules for the game, which spread quickly to outsiders. Envisioned as a way for baseball players to maintain their skills during the winter, the sport was called “Indoor Baseball” Under the name of “Indoor-Outdoor”, the game moved outside in the next year, and the first rules were published in 1889.
In 1895 Lewis Rober, Sr. of Minneapolis organized outdoor games as exercise for firefighters; this game was known as kitten ball (after the first team to play it), lemon ball, or diamond ball Rober’s version of the game used a ball 12 inches (30 cm) in circumference, rather than the 16-inch (41 cm) ball used by the Farragut club, and eventually the Minneapolis ball prevailed, although the dimensions of the Minneapolis diamond were passed over in favor of the dimensions of the Chicago one. Rober may not have been familiar with the Farragut Club rules. Fire Station No. 19 in Minneapolis, Rober’s post from 1896 to 1906, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in part for its association with the sport’s development. The first softball league outside the United States was organized in Toronto in 1897.
USA Softball was founded in 1933 as the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) with a tournament held in Chicago that was organized by Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley. The following year, the 1934 National Recreation Congress recognized the ASA. Shortly afterward, USA Softball was located in Newark, New Jersey. A world amateur softball tournament was held by USA Softball at Chicago’s Soldier Field that started on September 7, 1939. USA Softball relocated to its new headquarters in Oklahoma City on January 1, 1966.
Since 2005, it has run the World Cup of Softball. USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium also hosts the NCAA Women’s College World Series and the Big 12 Conference softball championship.
In 1978, the United States Olympic Committee named USA Softball the national governing body of softball in the United States. Due to this designation, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping, and promoting the six USA softball national teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. In 1996, the USA softball women’s national team became the first American softball team to compete in the Olympics.
The USA softball youth program began in 1974. Over 80,000 teams, 1.3 million players, and 300,000 coaches participate in USA Softball’s youth division on an annual basis.
The USA Softball adult program began in 1934. With over 170,000 teams, 2.5 millions players, and 500,000 coaches involved on an annual basis, the adult program is the largest USA Softball program. USA Softball provides programs of competition for adults including fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch for men and women.
National Softball Hall of Fame and museum
The National Softball Hall of Fame was dedicated May 26, 1973, in Oklahoma City. It has 337 members with 125 deceased, including players, managers, umpires, and other suitable individuals.
United States Specialty Sports Association
“USSSA” redirects here. For the government agency, see United States Social Security
Administration.The USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) is a volunteer, sports governing body, non-profit organization based in Kissimmee, Florida. It was founded in 1968, originally in Petersburg, Virginia. It was announced at the 2015 National Conference that USSSA would be moving to a new headquarters in 2017. Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL will become the new headquarters on Florida’s Space Coast beginning in the spring of 2017. USSSA will be taking over the Space Coast Stadium complex from the Washington Nationals baseball club. An additional 8 multi-purpose all turf fields will join the existing 7 fields to bring to a total of 15 fields plus the stadium. The new facility will feature an 18,000 square foot building next to the quad that will host the USSSA National Hall of Fame and Sports Museum.
Originally USSSA stood for United States Slow-pitch Softball Association. However, in 1998 USSSA rebranded the name to United States Specialty Sports Association and expanded into other sports including youth girls fast-pitch and boys baseball. Currently USSSA governs 13 sports across the US, Puerto Rico, various US Military bases, and Canada and has a membership of over 3.7 million.
The USSSA organization was formed in the spring of 1968 after the founder’s ideas were turned down at a different national softball association’s national meeting. The founders of the organization are Robert Mueller, James DiOrio, Ray Ernst, Frank Ciaccia and Ted Mazza. They used their newly formed organization to implement new developments. These developments include longer fences, 65 foot base paths, a smaller batter’s box, widened media coverage, and encouraged greater financial support. Their experimental world tournament in 1968 was a success. There were 50 different teams from 15 states.
That first decade was a turbulent one. As teams flocked to the new association with progressive ideas, the older organization enacted policies designed to keep teams from participating in USSSA sanctioned events. The battle ended up in a Federal courtroom in Nashville, TN where USSSA prevailed but not until after a long and expensive ordeal.
By 1971, USSSA was struggling in debt and directors began resigning. In the fall of that year, a historic meeting was held in Petersburg, Va for discussions on whether or not to abandon their efforts. The decision was made to move forward and the Executive Board elected 40 year old Al Ramsey of Petersburg,Va as Chief Executive Officer. The constitution was completely overhauled and Ramsey instructed the board to pledge itself to operate on a sound business basis and launch an all-out campaign for new qualified personnel. The USSSA National Headquarters was incorporated in the state of Virginia as a non-profit organization.
The following year, 30 new directors were replaced and 60 new directors were appointed. In less than a year, the association was completely out of debt and operating on a sound financial basis. Team and umpire registrations began to show considerable increases. The 1972 National Meeting was held in Rochester, NY and some 75 directors attended.
USSSA grew by leaps and bounds throughout the 1970s and ’80s, adding new programs such as Church, Corporate, Women’s, Mixed and multi levels of Men’s play, along with structured Divisions such as Central, Southern, and Midwest. In 1981, USSSA purchased a 24,000 square foot building in Petersburg for its National Headquarters and Hall of Fame Museum. The support of fund raising campaigns throughout the entire association made the purchase a realty. The Divisional Meeting concept was introduced and the Masters program was added. By 1987, USSSA passed 100,000 teams in total membership and the association voted to expand to eight divisions directed by four regions, with a major realignment plan to meet future growth needs.
In 1997, the USSSA became the first multi-sports governing body Currently the USSSA is the largest multi-sport governing body in the World. USSSA offers programs and tournaments in Baseball, Basketball, Fastpitch, Flag Football, Golf, Martial Arts, Lacrosse, Soccer, Slow-Pitch, and Volleyball. Visit the USSSA homepage for more details.
National Softball Association
The National Softball Association (NSA) “is a sporting governing body. The NSA gives softball teams the opportunity to play in qualifying tournaments for State, National – Regional and World Series Tournament play. Also in certain NSA qualifying tournaments, teams are able to win a berth into the NSA Super-World Series. The NSA Super-World series features teams from all over the country. Some municipal park district leagues and corporate leagues follow NSA guidelines to some extent, especially in what bats are not allowed in play, however most competitive leagues require bats with ASA 2004 Certification.
Hugh Cantrell is the Founder, CEO and President of the NSA. It all started, “in 1982 around his kitchen table in Lexington, Kentucky, he announced his plans for The National Softball Association to his son Eddie Ray, Don Moore, Ernie Browning, eventual board members Jim Miles and Bernie Livers”. Cantrell was a former player, coach, sponsor and tournament organizer for over 25 years. He stated that he saw that there was a need for an organization where it would put the teams and players first and do it better than the rest.
In the autumn of 1982, the plans were set in motion for Hugh and his fledgling National Softball Association to get off the ground as incorporation papers were filed in Lexington”. The official conference took place in November of the same year and it discussed the framework and groundwork for the construction in the spring of 1983.
In January 1983, Hugh appointed the first six Board of Directors that would serve as the decision making body of the NSA”. Hugh was the seventh board member and he handled the everyday business and his six board members acted as the Rules Committee. “Six original board members are still with the NSA in some capacity as of November 2002”.This means a lot about what kind of people that Hugh selected. In 1983, the NSA sanctioned 638 teams in three states. In 2002, the NSA does or has done business in all 50 states, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, Mexico, The Bahamas, Russia and Holland”.
In 1985, The Presidential Award of Excellence was awarded to Hugh Cantrell, which is the NSA’s highest honor”.
In 1992, Hugh Cantrell, “fittingly became the first person inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame”.
In its most recent activity in the “Chattanooga Times Free Press”, its states that the National Softball Association is bringing its girl’s fast-pitch Class B World Series for the Eastern half of North America to Chattanooga next summer. It also states that this event will not only feature lots of attendees, but their average stay is five nights, and with girls’ events you have parents, siblings and grandparents attending in many cases.
Independent Softball Association
International Softball Association
||The Independent Softball Association (ISA) is one of four governing bodies for softball in North America. The ISA was founded by Larry Nash with the help of his wife Connie, in 1984 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The headquarters moved to Winter Haven, Florida in 1997 and to Bartow, Florida in 2007
First introduced to softball in 1967, Nash was hooked from his first game. After years of playing, Nash decided that although he may have lost a step or two in the game, he still had much to offer the game of softball in the form of coaching and organizing teams. He managed a local team for a while and also became a director for one of Tennessee’s existing softball organizations. Then after many years of enjoying the sport, Nash decided he had ideas to help make softball even more fun and enjoyable and formed the Independent Softball Association.
From the first tournament with sixty-four teams and the association’s first national tournament in Conyers, Georgia that saw sixteen teams, the growth began. Nash worked around the clock balancing an insurance agency, a life, a home and a growing softball association for ten years until 1994 when Nash’s health came into play. That’s when long time softball player, enthusiasts, sponsor and businessman Bill Ruth of Washington State University stepped in. Ruth had come across the possible sale of the ISA and figured with his love of the sport and his knowledge of business, this could work and actually acquired the association amidst some other business dealings.
Late in the 1990s the association expanded into Youth Fast Pitch and followed that expansion with the addition of Modified Pitch. In 2007 the association began its new baseball program. In October 2007, Don Stratton of Florida was named the new CEO. The ISA also has guidelines for what equipment, especially bats, are allowed in play. These guidelines are often used by municipal park district and corporate leagues who do not wish to conform to the much more restricted guidelines of the Amateur Softball Association.
Our mission is to provide every senior in America
who wants to play softball with the opportunity.
|How it all started
Invented by Minneapolis Fire Captain Louis Rober in 1895, the game of softball was originally played with a 16-inch ball to help the members of the fire station keep fit. He called the sport Kittenball.Senior Softball dates to the 1930s, when Eveyln Brown Rittenhouse, a retired stage actress from New York, moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, to manage a retirement community.
She was asked to recommend a way to keep older people active. Her idea: Softball. In those days, the players walked the bases. That practice has long since changed.
The sport has evolved since that time. The ball is smaller and harder. The slow-pitch softball game organized by Senior Softball-USA is a fast-paced and vigorous sport. The teams play with a 12-inch ball in a game that’s heavy into hitting, running and fielding. The 25,000 Senior Softball-USA players make up the best and most competitive of the 1.5 million seniors playing softball in America today.
One thing that remains unchanged, however, is the spirit of fun, competition and camaraderie inspired by the sport. Senior Softball-USA remains the leading organization of Senior Softball. “We are dedicated to informing and uniting the senior softball players of America and the world,” said founder Bob Mitchell.
Senior softball today
There are more than 1.5 million active senior softball players and that number is growing as baby boomers come into the market.
Softball is the number one men’s team sport in America with approximately 21 percent of the male populace participating.
Softball is one of the few sports in America which has achieved near parity in the numbers of men and women participating.
Bob Mitchell founded Senior Softball-USA, the world’s largest organization of senior softball players, in Sacramento, California, in the Spring of 1988. Since then, the organization has mushroomed in size, growing by an average of 500 players a quarter. Today Senior Softball-USA players are on 1,500 teams in every state and in Canada.Men must be 50+ and women 45+ to play and everyone is welcome. “This is a sport that doesn’t discriminate,” said founder Bob Mitchell. “Not by age, not by sex, not by race and not by religion. Our goal is to provide the opportunity for any senior to play softball.”Regulations SSUSA provides a national governing body for senior softball