Supposedly invented in Chicago in 1887, softball is a variant of baseball. It was first played indoors but by the early 1900s it had moved outside and was known as kitten ball. The name softball was not in use until 1926 in Colorado, having been known by a few variations over the years, such as, 'diamond ball' and 'mush ball' American servicemen introduced the game overseas during the second World War and its popularity continued to grow. The first softball world championship was held in 1965 in Australia where women's teams from five countries competed. One year later in Mexico, the first Men's World Championship was played. For the 1966 Atlanta, Georgia, Olympic games women's fast pitch softball was included for the first time. 2008 saw the game dropped from the Olympics.GET STARTED
Softball has a long history in the great white north, where each province has its own stories to tell. From it being played by whalers and gold miners in the Yukon in the late 1800s, to the Brunswick 'mush ball' played by older men in the 1920s, those considered too old for baseball! All around Canada, the ties to softball, have evolved, strengthened by the community spirit engendered by the game. The Canadian Amateur Softball Association was founded in 1965, also known as Softball Canada, it is a not-for-profit National Sports Association with headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Funded by the Canadian Government and Sports Canada, it's eight elected officials are selected by the 12 Provincial and Territorial Associations. Recognized as World leaders in softball the four national teams of men and women, and junior men and women are medal threats in all International competitions. Always popular in Canada, interest is spiking with the inclusion of women's softball in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Where is softball played in Canada? Everywhere! It is rare for any given community not to have at least one softball team. There are 506 leagues across the twelve Territories and Provinces with a variety of teams from U10's to seniors, covering all three genres; fast pitch, slo-pitch and orthodox. Every year Softball Canada holds 10 Championship competitions at various locations around the country, teams can enter via their Province or Territory's association. Children across the country are encouraged to learn to play with various incentives being promoted by softball associations to encourage grassroots participation in the game. Softball is first and foremost fun, but physical activity in children is also critical to a child's development. What better way to encourage kids to learn life skills such as teamwork and co-operation and be physically active than by learning to play softball. Whatever location softball is played there is a high degree of community involvement, not only at the locale but across communities, encouraging communication and friendships.
Softball is not just a game for professional players, it's a game for all ages, a game you can play from 5 years all the way up to 95 years of age; something to enjoy at any stage of your life, with the different disciplines providing a variety of styles and levels. It's very popular in Canada because no-one is excluded, it can be played separately or as co-ed, competitively or not. Physically disabled players are also able to enjoy softball through wheelchair softball and deaf softball. Programs through the Special Olympics Canada allow softball players with an intellectual disability to participate in the game. Once you start to play softball, you have a sport you can enjoy for life.
Softball, like any game, has its own rules with some variants to the genre. The basic rules of softball are about two teams competing against each other to score the most runs. One team will pitch, the other will bat, a turn at both by the teams is an innings. There can be 3 -7 innings in a game depending on the league, and game genre. An innings is over when three batters are put out. The pitch is an area defined by the home base and three bases, each one 60 feet apart. One team has all nine players on the field; the opposing team sends out their batter, from a predetermined order of play. The idea is to hit the ball and advance around the bases to make a run. Three strikes called by the neutral umpire and the batter is out.
Are you interested in finding out more about this exciting game? Oshawastingers are a passionate and lively softball coaching association dedicated to the development of young athletes in all aspects of softball, encouraging interest and skill in the game. Our aim, through excellent support and training, is to assist players to compete at competitive, even international level and above all discover the fun of playing the game. To that end, we have selected the best coaches offering customizable training to groups and individuals, and use high-end technology and equipment to facilitate international playing standards. Softball is about developing playing skills, interpersonal skills and team building. We host our own clubs and tournaments and are fully committed to promoting softball within the community.
Softball, as a sport, goes as far back as 1887, when it is said to have been invented as an indoor sport in Chicago. However, it wasn’t until much later, in 1926 in Colorado, that the name “softball” was first used. In 1996 in Atlanta, softball made its debut at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and returned for the next three Games, until being dropped from the program. It’s looking to make a comeback, though, as it will be featured at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. It's one of the only Olympic sports to solely feature women. The other two are artistic swimming and rhythmic gymnastics. Read on to find out about some of the top Canadian softball teams.
The Canadian Women’s National Softball Team is among the best in the world. They compete in the ISF World Championship, the World Cup, and the Pan-American Games, which they won in 2015, in Toronto. The team lost to Australia during the 2008 semi-finals of the Summer Olympics. However, now they've got their sights set at Tokyo for the 2020 games.
The Men's National Team is not trailing much behind the ladies. In 2004, they won second place at the ISF Men’s World Championship in New Zealand, while at the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, they won bronze. Now, they’ve picked a roster to try for the gold, come 2019, in Prague.
The team from Newfoundland are a force to be reckoned with. They've won 5 consecutive golds at the Senior and Master Men's Fast Pitch Canadian Championship, from 2012 through to 2016. This feat had never been achieved since 1965 when the national championships began. In 2017 they failed to defend the title. However, 2018 had them crowned once again.
Hailing from Nova Scotia, this was the team responsible for breaking Galway Hitmen's winning streak, thus proving their worth on the softball court. That was only their third title in almost four decades. However, defeating the crazed 5-time returning champions in the Hitmen squad was a remarkable feat that put them on everyone's watchlist.
Both male and female players in the national U17 teams in Canada are also doing well. They're going hard to ensure they join the Senior teams once they're of age. The Junior Men's National Softball Team finished second at the 2008 ISF Junior Men's World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, and fourth at the same tournament in 2012, in Parana, Argentina.
The U17 Canadian girls are also successful, although admittedly not as much as the boys. However, they are no strangers to Top 8 finishes. They've regularly claimed fifth and sixth spots on the leaderboard. For example, they finished in fifth place both at the 2007 ISF Women's Junior World Championship in Enschede, Netherlands and in Brampton, Ontario in 2013.
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