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History Of Softball

Softball was first introduced on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 at a Harvard-Yale football game. The size of the bat and ball as well as the rules changed as much as the name. There were softball gloves for fastpitch, slowpitch, and many variations of sizes and netting. In 1996, women's softball hit its highest peak when it became an Olympic medal event. The 1996 Olympics also marked a key era in the introduction of technology in softball; the IOC founded a landmark biomechanical study on pitching during the games. The US women's team has won all three gold medals awarded in the sport. More than 25 million people in the United States alone now actively play the game of softball. Unfortunately, softball and baseball were voted to be dropped from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

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Olympics Drop Softball

On July 11, 2005, the IOC voted to drop softball and baseball from the Olympic games for 2012, a decision that was reaffirmed on February 9, 2006. The removal of softball from the Olympics has had an adverse impact on the game. Australia's government gave less funding to the sport as a result of the decision. This means players are able to do less international travel and compete at the highest levels of the sport. It was officially decided in August 2009 at an IOC board meeting in Berlin that softball would not be included in the 2016 Summer Olympics. The decision to remove softball from the Olympics in advance of the Beijing Games created a sense of urgency for some development players to make their senior national teams by 2008 as they would not otherwise have a chance to compete at the Olympics.

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