Softball, although having similarities to baseball, originated as a result of the Thanksgiving Day football game of 1887 between Harvard and Yale. Alumni from both schools casually used a boxing glove as a ball and a broom handle as a bat after waiting for the results of the football game.
Originally, promoters of softball advertised the game as an indoor version of baseball, allowing baseball players to keep their skills sharp during the winter months. The Joint Rules Committee on Softball established standardized rules in 1934, and in 1991, the sport became part of the 1996 Olympic Games.
While softball and baseball both use the same nine fielders around the diamond, softball lasts seven innings rather than baseball's nine.