The Growth of Fastpitch Softball

Fastpitch softball has become one of the most popular women’s sports in the country over the past 20-plus years. The reason for this is the expansion of the sport into the collegiate levels with Title IX. Colleges and universities across the country have been adding fastpitch softball programs each year for the past decade or so. Most schools started their programs in the early to mid-1980s and have risen to prominence since then. There is an annual World Series for Division I, II and III and JUCO schools, just like there is for the same levels in college baseball.

The biggest landmark for fastpitch softball occurred in 1991 when the sport was added to the lineup of sports for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Being added to the lineup of sports for the Olympics is a measure of success for any sport these days. The sport was dropped from the 2012 Summer Olympics lineup but it still remains one of the most popular women’s sports across the globe. There are 113 countries that are members of the International Softball Federation, which was formed in 1952. It has been estimated that close to 40 million Americans take part in at least one softball game each year.

Fastpitch softball has become so popular that townships across the country have begun to offer the sport for children as young as eight years old. The sport has also become so popular that girls at the high school and collegiate levels play the sport year round to stay in shape and improve their game before the regular season begins much like baseball players. Fastpitch softball players have indoor facilities that allow them to practice fielding, hitting and pitching year round no matter the area of the country they live in. All of these aspects of the game have helped it become one of the most popular sports in the country and around the world today.

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