International Softball Federation (ISF)
International Softball Federation
1900 S. Park Rd.
Plant City, FL 33563
Tel. (813) 864-0100
Background of ISF:
The International Softball Federation (ISF) is the governing body for all softball that is played worldwide. The ISF provides playing rules and coordinates world competition in men’s, women’s and juniors slow and fastpitch. Also the ISF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee to qualify teams for Olympic play.
The first meeting of the ISF occurred in 1952 with the goal of making softball an Olympic sport someday. By 1965 more than 50 countries are playing softball and the first women’s world championship is played in Melbourne, Australia with the first men’s world fastpitch championship a year later. In 1977 the International Olympic committee recognizes softball under IOC rules. It is on June 13, 1991 that the IOC adds women’s fastpitch as a medal sport for the 1996 Olympic Games. In the ‘96 games the U.S. defeated China for the first gold medal in front of an estimated attendance of 120,000 people. To this day the U.S.A. women have remained dominant in the sport.
The ISF’s home is now in Plant City, Florida and is the only Olympic sport, summer or winter, to have its headquarters in the United States. The ISF website (www.internationalsoftball.com) provides a great deal of information on topics like championships, coaching, rules and standards, and more.