Similar to baseball, softball is played between two teams on a large field which is composed of a dirt and grass infield, containing the diamond plus the running areas, and a grass outfield. There are four bases on the infield – including the home plate – which are arranged 45 to 65 feet apart in a square configuration. The object of the game is to score more runs than the other team by batting a ball – thrown by the pitcher – into play and running around the bases, touching each one in succession. The ball is of light material and typically 12 inches in circumference.
Baseball-Softball are considered one of the world’s “major professional sports” and are the national sport across North-, Central- and South America and the Caribbean, as well as East Asia.
Approximately 150 million fans of all ages attend baseball and softball games each year, while an estimated 65 million boys and girls, and male/female athletes play the sport.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) stages World Cups and World Championships “From Youth to Pro” levels, including boys, girls, men’s and women’s categories.
Men’s Softball has been featured in numerous major multi-sports competitions globally including the Pan American Games, the Central American, the Central American and Caribbean Games, Southeast Asian Games, Macabbiah Games, and the Bolivarian Games. New Zealand is currently ranked No. 1 men’s softball.
Women’s Baseball, the sport’s youngest discipline, has been gaining in popularity in recent years, making its historic debut at the 2015 Pan American Games. The VII Women’s Baseball World Cup 2016 was watched by viewers in 198 countries and had a broadcast reach of 100 million. Japan is currently ranked No. 1 in women’s baseball.
Men’s Baseball and Women’s Softball will be played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.