It was eye popping! err…opening for me to find out how many softball governing bodies there are. I never knew softball was SO popular. Not just in the United States but all over the world. See the map below which is published by the ISF (International Softball Federation) which shows the number of countries playing softball. If you click on it you can go to the site that shows who to contact for softball in each particular country.
ISF-International Softball Federation: Is a member of the WBSC (World Baseball Softball Confederation) which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Even though Softball got removed from the Olympic games together with Baseball, the ISF still organizes a LOT of games internationally and sets rules for games for Women’s and Men’s fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch games, junior women’s and men’s fast pitch games. I have noticed a lot of folks checking out this site from all over the world. To be exact from about 21 countries this month and now I understand why. I guess softball is a pretty popular sports.
Now coming back to United States, I thought there was the ASA (Amateur softball association) that controlled all the softball in the United States but that is not true. There are SO many other governing bodies within the US. Here is a list.
ASA (Amateur Softball Association): Called ASA/USA Softball is headquartered in Oklahoma city was founded in 1933 and is the biggest organization within the US. ASA was named as the national governing body in the US by the United States Olympic Committee in 1978. ASA/USA has about 15 regions with about 245,000 adults and kids enrolled in it. Click on the map to go to the ASA website.
You notice ASA promotes Red, Blue and White in their games. The umpires for the ASA games wear blue uniforms.
USSSA: United States Specialty Sports Association: It was harder for me to find good information on how USSSA got started. Even their own website doesn’t give much info. From reading through several websites, I found that a group of frustrated softball managers founded this organization after their ideas were turned down by the National Softball Association. They started in 1968. They are now headquartered in Kissimmee, FL and used to be called United States Slow-pitch Softball Association but in 1998 the organization expanded into other sports and renamed themselves United States Specialty Sports Association still with the same USSSA acronym except now they are a multi-sport governing organization. If you notice in the field, the umpires for USSSA games wear red.
NSA (National Softball Association): Okay, we are not talking about the now infamous National Security Agency here. NSA was formed in 1982 in Lexington, KY. They give softball teams the opportunity to qualify for state, national and world series tournaments.
USFA (United States Fast-pitch Association): USFA was founded in 1998 in Panama City, FL as a premier organization for girls only fast-pitch softball. In 2012, USFA has over 4000 sanctioned softball teams. They have their own world series and nationals.
IFA-VTD: Independent Fastpitch Association-Virtual Tournament Director. Both IFA and VTD were involved in girls fast-pitch softball and in 2011 they merged together to form one organization. They organize a lot of state and national tournaments also.
Triple crown sports: Their website states that Dave and his wife Annette who competed in many slow-pitch softball tournaments got tired of substandard levels and unprofessional attitude and poor communication in softball tournaments and were challenged to make it better if they could, hence the Triple crown sports was born in 1982. They pride themselves on being ‘Professional, Predictable and Consistent’.
PGF (Premier Girls Fastpitch) : PGF is located in Huntington Beach, CA. Their website states that they pride in the fact that they draw the most colleges from around the nation to showcase the talents of the players who can be recruited to play in collegiate level softball.
I am not sure if there are more organizations, there may be more that I am missing. If you are an expert in softball and think there are more than what is presented here, please drop me a line and I will include it here.
Next weekend we are playing in one of the IFA-VTD west coast world series tournaments in Stockton, CA. Hope to see some of you there. Now that you know more about these organizations, please check them out to get more information.
These last few days have been phenomenal in the number of subscribers to this site. Thanks for taking the time to sign up and for reading.
If you like what you read, please share it with your friends who are into softball. I would appreciate that.