You may have been playing fastpitch your entire life, but do you know everything about the sport we all love? Here are a few Fastpitch Facts that you may be unaware of. We’ll put them in the form of a Q&A so you can test your knowledge as we go. Ready?
Which woman threw the fastest pitch in softball and how fast was it?
There are two records, actually. Zara Mee of Sydney, Australia holds the Guiness Book of World Records for fastest fastpitch softball pitch thrown at 68.9 mph in 2005. However, Ringor athlete Monica Abbott was recorded throwing 77 mph in a National Pro Fastpitch game in 2012. While the record book was not on hand to record it themselves, this is regarded as the fastest pitch thrown in the sport of women’s fastpitch softball.
In which Summer Olympics was fastpitch included?
1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. The US team won three consecutive gold medals in the Olympics (’96, ’00 and ’04) and Japan took the final gold in 2008. Regarded as the pinnacle of achievement for athletes during those years, people throughout the sport, worldwide, are working hard to bring fastpitch softball back to the Olympics. In the meantime, the Wold Cup of Fastpitch serves as the premier international tournament every four years, pitting the game’s best against each other on the big stage.
What’s the circumference in inches of an official NCAA softball? (Bonus: what’s the official color called?)
12 inches and Optic Yellow. The NCAA and other leagues made the transition from white to optic yellow. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association adopted the optic yellow ball in 1999 and it quickly made it to amateur and pro leagues.
About how many youth softball players take the field each year?
The ASA claims that more than 1.3 million youth fastpitch athletes, on 80,000+ teams play the game each year. That’s a lot of participation! The sport is continually growing, especially internationally with greater participation in Asia and Europe. As the sport grows, the opportunities for athletes will continue to increase. In fact, the main reason the International Olympic Committee cited in their vote to remove softball from the Olympics (actually it was a 52-52 even vote that needed a majority) was that softball was not popular enough internationally. Little League Softball claims twenty countries officially participating in affiliated leagues. With numbers like these, it will only be a matter of time before fastpitch returns to the Summer Olympics.
What are your favorite lesser-known softball facts? Let us know in the comments below!.