Baseball in one of the three most popular sports in the United States. If we look at the history of sports in the States, we can easily conclude that baseball is the most popular sport in the history of the country – ever.
Baseball’s fame rise in the early 20th century and dominates for decades. Even though its popularity drops at the end of the century and is overshadowed by the American Football and the Basketball, baseball never ranked lower than third among the Americans. Now, at the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the popularity of baseball is rising again and is about to reach its peak again.
One of the reasons why baseball’s popularity is going back is the rise of popularity of softball as a variant of the sport. Actually, a lot of people don’t know that softball was invented a long time ago. Softball was first played in 1887 in Chicago. It was invented as an indoor sport but later evolved into something we know today. Softball is played with a slightly bigger ball and on a smaller field.
Usually, kids start practicing softball because it’s easier for playing, but as they grow up, their interest in the sport rises and they want to play the traditional baseball. Everyone knows that you can’t have excellent professional athletes if you have no youth loving the sport. That’s why softball is very important for baseball even though softball exists as a serious professional sport of its own.
If you want your children to love baseball it’s important to let them play softball at their youngest age. This will prepare them for the more serious challenge later. So let’s see what you need for playing softball.
Basic Equipment For Softball
Depending on the position the player is at, the equipment varies. Some players might never wear some of the equipment. However, softball equipment is almost the same as the one in baseball players with a slight difference in the type of balls and bats. As we mentioned, the ball in softball is bigger, also the bats are more adjusted to this type of play. The rest of the equipment consists of helmets, uniforms, gloves and chest protector for the catcher.
Types of Softball
Another important part why baseball is very popular is the variety of version of the sport. Even softball its own has more versions. The most popular one is called slow-pitch softball, then there is a fast-pitch softball and modified softball. They all differ one to the others by only a little, but they have their own rules that you must know before you enter the field.
For example, in modified softball, the popular windmill swing is not allowed. The fast-pitch softball is popular exactly for this. Slow-pitch softball is played with ten players infield while the fast-pitch with only nine. Another difference is the type of balls used and the bats for the batters. The ball can be a different size depending on the age of the players too. The material and the weight of the bats also.
Fastpitch Softball Bats Vs Slowpitch Softball Bats
Picking up a softball bat is very important. The first thing you must know is that there is a different bat for every age, player weight, and type of game. When it comes to age, it’s normal to get a smaller bet for the younger categories of players. However, if the player is aged 10 but has a muscular body and is already as strong as a 12-year old, then he or she can get a bigger bat.
When it comes to the type of game, choosing the right bat is also important. Fastpitch and softpitch softball use different rules when it comes to pitching. That’s why the batter needs a different bat for a different kind of pitch. Good quality fastpitch softball bats are usually lighter than those used in slowpitch. This is so because of the speed of the ball pitched in the two versions. Pitchers in fastpitch throw the ball faster and the batter needs a bat that will be lightweight enough to react. In softpitch, the batter has more time to prepare, so the bat can be heavier and cause more impact. In professional baseball, where players are adults, the bats are heavier while their length is just like in softball.
As you can see, the popularity of baseball is not just marketing and professional games. The love for baseball is implemented in American kids from the youngest age. This, however, is a result from playing softball and getting one step at a time toward the professional baseball.
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