Olympics Sports >> Softball

Softball

THE COMPETITION

  • One women's tournament

THE FORMAT

8-team round-robin qualifying tournament. Top 4 teams advance to semi-finals and final.

MILESTONES

1887

Members of the Farragut Nautical Club in Chicago (Illinois) invent softball, initially an indoor sport.

1900

Birth of the first softball league in Minneapolis (Minnesota), the town in which the local firemen practised softball in between call-outs.

1933

Having been known under various synonyms (mushball, kittenball and pumpkinball), 'softball' is officially recognised as the name for the sport.

1965

First women's world championships (fast pitch) are held in Melbourne. Australia take the title.

1996

Softball makes its Olympic debut at the Games in Atlanta, as a women-only event. The United States storm to victory.

THE STAR

Joan Joyce (United States)

During a 21-year career with the Orange Lionettes and then the Raybestos Brackettes, she racked up a host of records in the 1960's and 70's. A pitcher second to none, she was also an excellent hitter. 12 national titles, 1 world championship (1974) and 8 MVP awards (most valuable player in US championship).

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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