- /sawft"bawl', soft"-/, n.1. a form of baseball played on a smaller diamond with a larger and softer ball.2. the ball itself.3. something that can be easily dealt with: The confirmation committee threw her a softball on that question.[1925-30; SOFT + BALL1]
* * *Game resembling baseball but played on a smaller diamond with a larger ball (12 in. [30.5 cm] in circumference), which is pitched underhand.Since the first standard set of rules was published in the 1920s, the game has been popular as an amateur sport in the U.S., and since the 1960s it has grown considerably in popularity outside of North America. In U.S. high schools and colleges it is a popular women's sport; a women's softball competition was added to the Olympic Games in 1996.
* * *▪ sporta variant of baseball and a popular participant sport, particularly in the United States. It is generally agreed that softball developed from a game called indoor baseball, first played in Chicago in 1887. It became known in the United States by various names, such as kitten ball, mush ball, diamond ball, indoor–outdoor, and playground ball. There were wide variances in playing rules, size and type of playing equipment, and dimensions of the playing field.In 1923 a rules committee was appointed to publish and circulate a standard set of rules. The committee was later enlarged to form the International Joint Rules Committee on Softball, which came to include representatives of a number of organizations that promote and sponsor softball. The Amateur Softball Association of America, organized in 1933, came to be the recognized governing agency for promotion and control of organized national competition.The Fédération Internationale de Softball (International Softball Federation), which was formed in 1952, acts as liaison between more than 40 softball organizations of several countries. Headquarters are in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The federation coordinates international competition and regular regional and world championship tournaments for men and women. In 1996, a women's softball competition was added to the Olympic Games.The fundamentals of softball are the same as those of baseball. Batting and fielding strategy are similar, but softball is played on a much smaller area, and a game is only seven innings long.The regulation playing field for softball includes a diamond-shaped area with 60-foot (18.3-metre) baselines. The pitching distance for men is 46 feet (14 metres) and for women 43 feet (13.11 metres). Bats must be round, not more than 34 inches (86.4 cm) long, and not more than 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) in diameter at the largest part. The official softball is a smooth-seam ball 12 inches (30.5 cm) in circumference, weighing between 6.25 and 7 ounces (177 and 198 grams).In softball the ball is delivered by an underhand motion (see illustration—>), whereas in baseball the pitch is overhand or sidearm. Base stealing is permitted in both games, but in softball the runner must keep contact with the base until the pitcher releases the ball on delivery to the batter.A popular variation of softball called slow-pitch may be played with regulation equipment. The major differences from softball (fast-pitch) are that there are 10 members on a team, the pitching distance for men and for women is 46 feet, and a pitched ball must be delivered at moderate speed with an arc of at least 3 feet in its flight toward the batter. Speed and height of the pitch are left to the judgment of an umpire, who may eject a pitcher for repeatedly throwing the ball too fast. Base stealing is not allowed in slow-pitch.Another variation, popular especially in Chicago and other midwestern American cities, is played with a ball that is 16 inches (40.64 cm) in circumference on a diamond whose base paths are 55 feet (16.8 metres) for men and 50 feet long (15.25 metres) for women. The ball is delivered as in slow-pitch, and fielders typically play without gloves.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Softball — Balle molle Fédération internationale International Softball Federation … Wikipédia en Français
Softball — Spielerin des Texas A M Aggie Teams Softball ist eine Variante von Baseball und eine der beliebtesten Breitensportarten in den USA. Im Gegensatz zum traditionell männerdominierten Baseball wird Softball häufig von Frauen gespielt. In Deutschland… … Deutsch Wikipedia
softball — UK US /ˈsɒftbɔːl/ noun [U] US ► INFORMAL a method of doing something that is not forceful, determined, or unpleasant: »With its burgeoning trade deficit, the US is in no mood to play softball. → Compare HARDBALL(Cf. ↑hardball) ● … Financial and business terms
softball — ● softball nom masculin (mot anglais) Sorte de base ball pratiqué sur un terrain de plus petites dimensions avec une balle plus molle et plus grosse. (Discipline olympique féminine.) softball [sɔftbol] n. m. ÉTYM. V. 1980; mot angl., de soft «… … Encyclopédie Universelle
softball — baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled down version of the game, 1914, from SOFT (Cf. soft) + BALL (Cf. ball). The game itself so called from 1926, earlier known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy… … Etymology dictionary
softball — ☆ softball [sôft′bôl΄, säft′bôl΄ ] n. 1. a kind of baseball played with underhand pitching, a small infield, and usually four outfielders 2. the ball used in playing softball: it is larger than a hardball and usually hard and white … English World dictionary
softball — /ˈsɔftbol, ingl. ˈsHftˌbɔːl/ [vc. ingl., letteralmente «soffice palla»] s. m. inv. baseball femminile … Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione
softball — (izg. sȍftbōl) m DEFINICIJA sport igra slična bejzbolu; igra se na manjem igralištu s nešto većom i mekanom loptom ETIMOLOGIJA engl … Hrvatski jezični portal
softball — ► NOUN ▪ a modified form of baseball played on a smaller field with a larger, softer ball … English terms dictionary
Softball — This article is about the sport. For other uses, see Soft ball (disambiguation). Softball Highest governing body International Softball Federation First played United States, 1887 Characteristics … Wikipedia