United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA)
Rules and regulations: http://softball.isport.com/softball-guides/slowpitch-softball-rules-regulations
A group of frustrated softball managers in Pittsburgh pioneered the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association (USSSA) in 1968. Disenchanted after most of their ideas were turned down during a national softball association meeting, USSSA founders Robert Mueller, James DiOrio, Ray Ernst, Frank Ciaccia and Ted Mazza decided to organize an experimental world tournament in 1968, under the banner of a new organization. Thus, before 1968 was over, USSSA was formally established.
To advance slowpitch softball, the founders implemented developments previously turned down by the national association. They constructed longer fences, implemented 65-foot base paths and smaller batter’s box; widened media coverage; and solicited greater financial support. The founders also ensured the completion of the association’s constitution and rule book.
The experimental world tournament held before the close of the 1968 season was a huge success, with 50 teams participating from 15 different states. The succeeding five years of USSSA, however, was a struggle for survival due to financial difficulties. The year 1971 was a critical time for USSSA, with overwhelming debts and directors resigning. The organization fortunately recovered from this crisis in 1972, and things started to head up from there.
By 1997, USSA was overseeing not only slow pitch, but also fast pitch softball, baseball, basketball, and golf. It was also in 1997 when the association changed its name to what it is known today: the United States Specialty Sports Association –becoming the first multi-sports governing body.