After a 13- year hiatus, softball has returned to the Olympic stage, with one frustrating difference: games are played on baseball fields rather than softball fields.
Fans and players alikeclearly expressed social media disappointment this week. One of the main differences is that a softball field is smaller than a baseball field, usually with an infield made entirely of dirt. Baseball fields are made of a mixture of earth and grass or artificial turf.
Others, however, are less disturbed.
"I don't care what the field looks like, we are happy it is back and have been waiting a very long time ", Danielle O ' Toole Trejo, who plays for the Mexican national team and is also a player in the Athletes Unlimited pro league in the United States, written on Twitter. "Our game WILL NOT CHANGE. We are GOOD enough to adapt.
During the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games, host cities built softball fields as part of their Olympic infrastructure.
Still, Jennie Finch, former US pitcher and Olympic gold and silver medalist, said playing on baseball diamonds was normal, adding that 'she had played on baseball fields several times in her career.
Now is the time for softball: it has become an Olympic sport for the first time in 1996, and it appeared at every Summer Games until 2008, after which it was discontinued. It has a growing global presence , and in the US it 'sa competitive collegiate business without a major league home. Softball was the inaugural sport of Athletes Unlimited last August, but even this season only lasted six weeks.
"Our sport needs it, "Finch said in an interview this week. “It is crucial for our sport on a global scale to be at the Olympics, to be present and to have the platform to show how awesome it is. "