1 – The female version of baseball
Softball was originally created (first game in 1887) to allow baseball players to continue training indoors in the winter. The positions are identical to those in baseball, such as bowler, catcher, and first, second and third base players. The differences lie in the smaller dimensions of the playing area, the larger the ball, which is also softer than a baseball.
2 – different throws
Visually, the most striking difference comes from the throw. The movement of the bowler in baseball is over the shoulder. In softball, bowlers throw the ball from below with an outstretched arm movement, passing it under the hip.
3- Returning after 13 years of absence
Softball, introduced into the Olympic program in 1996 in Atlanta (baseball debuted in 1992 in Barcelona), disappeared from the radar screens after Beijing (2008). Its presence in Tokyo will thus put an end to 13 years of famine.
4 – The Japanese like
Softball, which was introduced to Japan in 1872, is one of the most popular sports in the country. The Japanese are the reigning Olympic champions since winning the gold medal in Beijing. The goal would be to win the championship at home and beat the favorites United States. While preparing, the Japanese turned to virtual reality with data on American launch pads.
5- Departure before the opening ceremony
The tournament will start on the night of July 20-21, before the opening ceremony (Friday 23 at 1pm French time). To respect the break times between matches (17 in total), the final takes place on July 27. Six teams in ranks: Japan, the United States (triple Olympic champions in 2004, 2000 and 1996), Canada (present in all Olympic tournaments), Australia, Italy and Mexico.