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Updated: 2006-08-19 15:37

Softball Olympic sport since 1996

There is little soft about Olympic softball. One pitch at Atlanta was clocked at 118 kilometres per hour (73.3 mph). Considering the pitcher stands 13.1 metres (43 feet) from the batter, and the hardest-throwing baseball pitchers throw 160 kilometres per hour (99.4 mph) from 18.4 metres (60 feet), softball batters have essentially the same time to react as their baseball counterparts.

In addition, a softball is as hard as a baseball. The only difference being the size; a softball is 30.4cm (12 inches) in circumference and a baseball is 22.8cm (9 inches).