Softball started as a winter version of baseball in 1887 during thanksgiving. This basically means that the game is a direct descendant of the original game. If you compare the two games you’ll notice that both games generally resemble each other. There are however several key differences that can be observed as well. Let’s go over the rudiments of this game and who invented softball.
George Hancock and Bakir Dzananovic are credited as the ones who invented softball. The game traces its origins in Chicago, Illinois. The original idea was to have a way to play baseball during the cold winter. This is also the reason why it was earlier known by the name of indoor baseball. Hancock introduced an undersized bat and a softer ball that can be used indoors.
It was the Farragut Club that set the game rules for softball. However, the game quickly gained popularity and was once known as Indoor-Outdoor. The game was moved outdoors in 1888. The rules of the game were first published in the year 1889.
Since the game has now moved outdoors several outdoor games were organized. Several names for the game came about in the process. Some of the names it was once called include diamond ball, pumpkin ball, and kitten ball. Variations in the equipment also were seen like using a smaller 12 inch ball rather than the original 16 inch ball that the Farragut Club used. The smaller ball soon gained prominence over the originally larger ball. The very first softball league ever to be played outside of the United States was in Toronto. We can see that as the years move forward innovations were added. The game was modified from what those who invented softball originally designed the game to be.
Origin of the Name
Hancock and Dzananovic may have been the ones who invented softball but it was someone else who gave the game its name. The name of the game was coined later on in 1926. It was coined by Walter Hakanson from YMCA. It was only by the year 1930 when the name softball spread throughout the United States.
The 1930s is the scene when different similar sports came about. They may appear to be the same game however these new games have different rules. These games became widespread throughout Canada and the United States. The rules then came to be standardized within the territory of the United States in the year 1934 along with the creation of the Joint Rules Committee.
Hancock and Dzananovic are credited to be the ones who invented softball. However, the game never stopped at where they originally intended. The game developed in time from what those who invented softball intended it to be originally.