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American Sign Language: "softball"


The sign for "softball" is based on the generic sign for BALL.

SOFTBALL / BALL:


Notes:

The specific meaning of this sign relies on context.  For example, suppose I ask you if you are going to the ________ tournament this Saturday?  Which concept would fit? Obviously there is no such thing as a "ball tournament" and you would understand that I was talking about a softball tournament.  If there is any doubt if you are signing softball, you can just do the sign "baseball" and then follow it up with the "softball" sign to show that you are talking about the version of baseball that uses the larger ball.


 

Regarding the sign for softball:

Someone mentioned in an online group that they use a small, underhanded throw double movement for "softball."

Sure.  You'll see variations out there.

I'm going to stick with using the BALL+(context) version of SOFTBALL for now.

I recall seeing / using the "BALL"+(context) version of SOFTBALL in Utah, Texas, and here in California. So I would perhaps suggest that the citation (regular) version of SOFTBALL is the softball-sized BALL sign and any other versions might better be listed as regional. Of course I'm open to someone changing my mind though.

The BALL version just seems to be very common.

For example see 2:03 here:
https://youtu.be/FYdKjJCcQcw?t=123

and 23:53 here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjuB-bDKljs&feature=youtu.be&t=1431

and 8:40 here:
https://youtu.be/GJJQpVbTFoE?t=518

And then there's this clip of a Deaf softball player (Jill) who is definitely "into" softball:
https://youtu.be/bEMJrv36lRw?t=42

IMHO: a palm down "throwing of a ball" single movement would seem to be a verb meaning "lobbed the ball underhanded to..."

A double movement of that would be a regionalism or a neologism.
Note: I don't care which version wins or becomes popular.  Remember I just like to describe what I see.
The fact is a one-handed / depictive version of SOFTBALL is would seem to be a natural evolution.
Time will decide (not me).

 


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