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Softball was invented by George Hancock in 1887.

Originally an indoor sport, it evolved into the popular game played today.

Hancock significantly contributed to the early development of softball.

For an insightful journey into the sport’s fascinating past, explore our comprehensive Softball History article!


Softball Invention Timeline

  • 1887: George Hancock invents softball, initially known as “indoor baseball” or “kitten ball.”
  • 1895: Outdoor softball introduced in Minneapolis by fire brigade officer Louis Rober.
  • 1926: American Softball Association (ASA) established in Chicago to maintain consistent rules.
  • 1930s: Women’s softball gains prominence; first women’s world series held in 1939.
  • 1943-1954: All-American Girls Professional Baseball League entertains fans during World War II.
  • 1950s: Slo-pitch softball introduced, offering a more leisurely alternative to fast-pitch.
  • 1952: International Softball Federation (ISF) established to coordinate global competitions.
  • 1996: Softball officially included in the Summer Olympics, increasing international popularity.
  • 2008-2020: Softball temporarily removed from the Olympics, but returns for 2020 Tokyo Games.

Facts known about Softball Invention

  1. Indoor Origins: Softball was created as an indoor alternative to baseball by George Hancock.
  2. Outdoor Adaptation: Louis Rober introduced outdoor softball in Minneapolis to entertain firefighters during downtime.
  3. Rule Standardization: American Softball Association (ASA) was founded in 1926 to ensure consistent rules and guidelines.
  4. Women’s Participation: Women’s softball grew in prominence during the 1930s, with increasing numbers of teams and competitions.
  5. Olympic Inclusion: Softball’s inclusion in the 1996 Summer Olympics significantly impacted its global popularity and reach.


Who invented Softball?

Softball was invented by George Hancock, a newspaper reporter from Chicago, who improvised it as an indoor game in 1887.

When was Softball invented?

Softball was invented in 1887 as an indoor game and was initially called ‘Indoor Baseball’.

Where did Softball originate?

Softball originated in the United States, specifically at the Farragut Boat Club in Chicago where the first game was played.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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