CNB Ravens Fastpitch Softball offers many competitive divisions for girls, aged 6–18, that will prepare them for competitive fastpitch softball at the local, regional, and national levels. We have a dedicated group of coaches, parents and players that are determined to provide the best possible opportunity for the young ladies of our community. The Cranston Ravens play in the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and our Rec program participates in Little League Softball. Our top teams play in numerous fastpitch softball tournaments in Rhode Island and travel to outside softball tournaments in neighboring states and beyond.
Our Mission Statement
We strive to instill the right balance of competitiveness and sportsmanship, to help the young ladies become good citizens of our society and ambasadors of fastpitch softball. We believe that our greatest contribution is in teaching young people the values of competition: to make a commitment, to work hard, to strive for excellence, to sacrifice to make the team better, and to be the best you can be as a person and as an athlete. We believe that our job is to develop the total person, and not just the athlete. Our players learn to respect the game of fastpitch softball and all who are involved in it. It is our desire to provide the best guidence, coaching and opportunity for our players to play at the highest levels of fastpitch softball well into their future.
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Softball in America
Softball is now the top team participant sport in the United States, featuring more than 40 million players annually. More than 100 National Amateur Softball Association championships are held accross the USA annually, ranging from 10-and-under fastpitch to 75-and-over slow-pitch divisions. The ASA youth program, also known as the Junior Olympic program, boasts over one-million players and has grown ever single year since its beginning in 1974. Fastpitch softball was dominated by men’s teams in the 1930’s and 40’s, but has declined since the mid-50’s and is now almost entirely played by women’s teams. National Pro Fastpitch, formerly the Women’s Pro Softball League, is working hard to establish more teams, providing quality play and role models for the softball youth of America.
The International Softball Federation (ISF) recognizes three types of softball pitching styles: “fastpitch”, “modified fastpitch” and “slow-pitch”. Fastpitch softball is played at the highest competition levels including Olympic, international play and women’s college competition. At the elite level of skill, pitches can reach speeds of more than 75mph, which is would be 106mph in professional baseball! Eddie Feigner, famed pitcher of the “King and His Court” exhibition fastpitch softball team, was clocked at 85mph at the 43-foot distance, the equivilent of a 125mph Major League fastball. He once consecutively fanned Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente when they played an exhibition game against the Major League Baseball all-stars. Jenny Finch is widely considered one of the best players to have ever played and was consistently clocked at 70mph, helping the US team dominate during her time. Finch, in the 2004 Pepsi All-Star Softball Game, struck out Major Leaguers Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza and Brian Giles, prompting Giles to remark that it was the fastest pitches he had ever seen.
The Amateur Softball Association Brief History
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the national governing body of softball, providing the original foundation of consitent rules and standardized playing formats. Played in every state, the ASA now oversees more than 250,000 teams in 15 regions and enjoyed by millions of players around the world. The ASA provides an opportunity for competitive slow-pitch, fast-pitch or modified-pitch at many different skill and age levels, promoting teamwork, fair play, common good, promotion and education values.
George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, is credited with the creation of softball in 1887. Adding special softball rules to his game and playing on fields too small for baseball, it slowly spread throughout the country and was known as “indoor-outdoor”. Soon after, Lewis Rober, a lieutenant in the Minneapolis Fire Department, introduced a small medicine ball and thinner bat, which was an instant success known as “Kitten Ball”. In 1926, Walter Hakanson, a Denver YMCA official, suggested “softball” as the official name, which later became the “Amateur Softball Association”. Capitalizing on the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, Leo Fischer and Michael J. Pauley, a Chicago Sporting goods salesman, invited 55 teams to participate in the first ever national softball tournament. Split into three divisions, “fastballers”, “slow-pitch” and “women’s” groups played the single-elimination tournament with a 14-inch ball. Building on their success and using Fischer and Pauley’s proposal to create associations, the ASA began to flourish as thousands of teams in hundreds of leagues joined from all over the country.
In 1965, the ASA Women’s Major Fast Pitch National Championions, the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, CT, earned a silver medal at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship. What made the team special and set the Amateur Softball Association as an international sport, was their world tour promoting the game of softball and holding clinics, visiting ten countries during a month-long trip. The following year, the Sealmasters of Aurora, IL, the 1966 ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Champion, captured the first American fastpitch softball gold medal, going undefeated at the ISF World Championships in Mexico City, Mexico.
In 1991, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that women’s fastpitch softball would be added to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. ASA softball officials worked tireslessly, establishing committees to assembel a national team with the best coaches. Competing at tournaments all over the word, including the prestigious Pan American Games and ISF World Championships, the National teams have represented USA with great pride. In international play, team USA has captured gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and a silver in 2008. Sadly, the IOC has removed softball and baseball from Olympic competition due to the perception that global participation and depth of talent was too little to merit Olympic status. Born from this disappointment, the ASA, in 2005, created the hugely successful World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, NE. With the ever-growing crowds and television ratings for this tournament, accompanied with the continued efforts of the ISF and other groups aiding and promoting softball to other countries, softball and baseball will hopefully be added back into Olympic compitition for the 2020 Games.
Below are websites that were used as reference for the information above.