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Softball at the Summer Olympics

Softball at 2008 Summer Games: Softball has much similarity with baseball. The sport is considered to be the direct successor of baseball. Softball is a team sport in which, a ball is thrown by the pitcher towards the hitting area of a

batter. The batter's aim is to hit the ball with a bat. The bat used in the sport is a smooth round stick. Generally the bat is made from metal or wood. A team accumulates scores at the time of batting. The batter has to run touching a series of three markers set at the corners of a diamond to make scores. The markers are called "bases". At the end of the run, the batter also has to touch the final marker called "home plate". The International Softball Federation or the ISF is authorized to govern the sport at the international level.

Softball in the Summer Games: Softball is contested by only women at the Summer Games. The sport was included in the program at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. In the Olympic softball competition, eight teams contest for the title. The teams play in a single group with the top for teams moving forward to the semi-finals.

Categories of Softball: There are various categories of softball contested at the international level. Some common categories contested during the softball competition are -

  • Slow softball
  • Fast softball
  • Modified softball

There are two more categories of softball, which are not contested so widely at the international level. The categories are -

  • Arena softball
  • Wheelchair softball

Rules of Softball: The International Softball Federation or the ISF sets rules for softball at the international level. Some of the rules followed during the international softball competitions are -

  • The field, where the game is played, is called a diamond. The shape and size of the diamond are specified by the ISF, in its rulebook.
  • For each softball divisions, the pitching distance on the diamond is determined by the ISF rules.
  • The diamond should be properly marked during the game.
  • The size of base used in the softball event is determined by the ISF.
  • All the equipments used during the softball competition have to be approved by the ISF. The sizes of the equipments are predetermined by the ISF.
  • The distance between two consecutive bases is specified by the ISF rules concerning the game.
  • Any player of the defending team cannot use any illegal method while defending.
  • Umpires are appointed during the game to monitor the play.

Medal winners in Softball: The United States of America, Australia, China and Japan are the leading countries in the field of softball at international level. Jenny Topping, Tanya Harding, Lisa Fernandez, Dot Richardson, Laura Berg, Stacey Nuveman , Leah Amico, Jennie Lynn Finch, Tairia Flowers, Amanda Freed, Jessica Mendoza, Jenny Topping, Naoko Sakamoto are some renowned softball players who will be seen in the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

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Last updated on: May 23, 2016

Team USA defeated team Serbia to win its third straight basketball gold medal in Men’s Basketball tournament. The winning team’s coach Mike Krzyzewski was utmost delighted with his team’s victory on the final day of Rio 2016 Olympic Games. USA won by a 19-15 lead and this is their 25th straight victory at the Olympic Games in addition to the 15th straight victory in the basketball tournament. 

Mo Farah of Great Britain has bagged the gold by winning the 5000 meters final and completed the double double. According to media reports, with this victory Farah has become the second man in the history of Olympics to be able to successfully defend his 5000 and 10000 Olympic championships. His victory is being hailed on Twitter with some calling him the greatest long distance runner of all time. Meanwhile, the silver medal has gone to Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo and Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia has bagged the bronze.

In the women's event, Caster Semenya of South Africa won the Olympic gold in the 800m. She won in one minute 55.28 seconds.  Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi won the silver medal and Kenya's Margaret Nyairera Wambui bagged the bronze.

Chen Long of China has taken gold medal in the Rio Olympics 2016 after defeating Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who has won a silver in men’s badminton today. Lee was facing pressure not to lose the match. He beat Lin Dan of China in the semi-final. Lee and Lin, both are considered to be the best players of their time. With Lee’s defeat, Malaysia has missed out the chance of getting an Olympic gold medal.


Italy came up with a win and is heading to men's volleyball final against Brazil, after defeating USA. The US men's volleyball team tried all their survival skills, but could not stand in front of Italy. The winning team's thriller was 30-28, 26-28, 9-25, 25-22, 15-9. After it was over, US coach John Speraw said that the team was not skilled enough and they did not execute on some of the opportunities, which Italy flawlessly did

French boxer Estelle Mossely celebrated her 24th birthday by winning a gold medal in Women’s lightweight boxing championship. She defeated China’s Yin Junhua after the end of four rounds that had the two defending champions leveled on the scorecards of three judges. The bronze medals were earned by Mira Potkonen of Finland and Anastasia Beliakova of Russia.

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