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’s team was formed in Chicago, at the same time the sport was reinvented, taken outdoors and called “kitten ball”. The rules were standardized 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’s 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 again.
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.
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