OKLAHOMA CITY – A milestone is fast approaching for USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, as it celebrates its 90th anniversary since its formation in 1933. Organized to provide softball with the solidarity and foundation it needed to grow and develop across the country, USA Softball’s network of associations have enhanced the sport across all 50 states with a membership of nearly one million players, coaches and umpires while also fielding six National Teams for international competition including World Championships, Pan American Championships and the highly touted Olympic Games.
Since the organization’s inception in Chicago in 1933, USA Softball – formerly ASA – has tabbed Oklahoma City (OKC) as the Softball Capital of the World® after relocating its offices to downtown OKC in 1966 and eventually opening its headquarters in the Adventure District (2801 NE 50th Street) in 1973. The organization then joined the ranks of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) after being named the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of softball in 1978 – a feat that elevated USA Softball as the only softball organization with the opportunity to field an Olympic softball team.
Building on its foundation in Oklahoma City, USA Softball added the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex – also known as the Mecca of Softball® – to its headquarters in 1987. Since it was built, the complex has played host to some of the most outstanding softball events in the United States, including the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS), the World Cup of Softball, Border Battle, Olympic tour stops and various USA Softball National Championships. Following five phases of renovations, the complex now amasses four fields – including the legendary USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field, which recently received a $27.5 million facelift with added seats and amenities to provide an improved experience for everyone involved.
USA Softball’s NGB status continued to persevere throughout the late 1990s as the Olympic Dream became a reality for softball players, coaches, umpires and fans across the globe with the sport’s first Olympic appearance in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Igniting the world’s passion and excitement for the sport on the biggest stage, the U.S. Women’s National Team (WNT) posted a dominant 8-1 record en route to being crowned the first-ever softball Olympic gold medalists. After five Olympic appearances, the U.S. WNT has advanced to every Olympic gold medal game in the history of the sport, claiming three consecutive gold medals at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and two Olympic silver medals at the 2008 and 2020 Olympic Games. After a 13-year hiatus from the Olympic program, the sport of softball returned to the stage in 2020 before being removed from the list of sports in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. With a desire to provide the Olympic Dream to athletes across the globe, the sport will continue its mission to return as an Olympic sport for the LA28 Olympics.
As the sport continually evolved throughout the first 80 years of ASA/USA Softball, the organization underwent a rebrand and rename in 2017, which focused on the USA Softball brand in effort of better reflecting the legacy that the organization had established as the leader in the sport. In addition to rebranding, ASA/USA Softball also unveiled a redesigned logo containing several key elements of previous ASA/USA Softball logos, while clearly identifying the USA Softball brand as the organization evolved towards the future. The home plate shape embodies the sport, while bold, block USA Softball lettering symbolizes USA Softball’s authority as the NGB. Along with the redesigned prominent features of the logo, the stars and stripes pay homage to the U.S. flag and classic American iconography, connecting fans and members with the USA Softball brand. Several subtleties also lie within the new logo, as the three red stripes reference 1933, the year ASA/USA Softball was founded, and the stars represent the four territories of ASA/USA Softball.
Since its founding, ASA/USA Softball has become one of the nation's largest and fastest growing sports organizations with a mission to continue paving the way for softball across the country. USA Softball has served as a leader in the softball community with certified equipment standards, coach education and umpire training while providing the best-of-the-best softball across all levels. It’s everlasting imprint on the sport, athletes, coaches and umpires have created many “firsts” for the game, including the first set of unified rules, the first set of standardized umpire uniforms as well as a Hall of Fame to honor those individuals who have left an impact upon our sport.
The milestones achieved over the last 90 years are a testament to USA Softball members across all its associations and National Teams. The story of who USA Softball was, is and aspires to be is within those who choose to Play USA Softball. Whether as an athlete, coach, umpire or fan, USA Softball celebrates all who have contributed to 90 years of growing and developing the game across the country.
In celebration of USA Softball’s 90-year anniversary, the organization has launched a 90th anniversary logo. The logo highlights the foundation the was laid in 1933 with the use of the original ASA logo while tying in modern elements of the current USA Softball brand to resemble the organization’s evolution over time.
Follow the hashtag #WeAreUSAS90 across all USA Softball social media platforms in honor of highlighting the milestones of not only the organization, but also, its members throughout the last 90 years.