Softballs: Everything You Need To Know

By | June 3, 2022

 everything you need to know about softball

For many first-time softball players, a softball may appear to be a universal piece of equipment that can be used for both fastpitch and slowpitch softball. However, as you learn more about the sport, you’ll see that not all softballs are created equal. Softballs are regulated to a certain set of measurements by each league. These criteria can include things like size, density, weight, and even color. As a result, learning about the ball that your league uses will help you choose the best softball bat to use during your games. Let’s take a look at everything there is to know about softballs.

Compression and COR

Knowing the compression and COR specifications of the softballs used in your slow pitch league will only help you.

The amount of force required to compress a softball by a quarter of an inch is referred to as compression. The more force required to compress the ball (greater compression), the harder the ball is by nature, perhaps generating a trampoline effect on the barrel of a softball bat and increasing the distance of your hits.

A softball’s COR (or Coefficient Of Restitution) reveals how much energy the ball retains after deflecting off of a solid, immovable object (like a wall). COR can also be seen of as a measurement of a ball’s “bouncyness.” Balls with greater COR values typically have lower compression ratings and are unable to compress a softball bat barrel effectively. As a result, high COR balls (such as the USA slow pitch 52 COR/300 Compression balls) will not allow for the most distance hit balls. The COR and compression of a softball are typically found to work in opposition to one another.

SLOW PITCH TIP: When hitting a softball, keep in mind that there are three elements to consider aside from the batter:

  • The ball has a COR.
  • Compression of the ball
  • The bat that was utilized.

Each will influence the distance the ball travels as a result of your swing. There are many different slow pitch softballs available, but your league will most likely require all three of the previously described elements, so make sure you follow the rules.

FASTPITCH TIP: Fastpitch softballs have compressions that are slightly higher than slowpitch softballs (and usually lower CORs). Fastpitch softballs, on average, fly off the bat a little faster than slowpitch softballs.

everything you need to know about softball


Did you know that the dimensions of fastpitch and slowpitch softballs differ? That’s right, fastpitch softballs must be 11″ in diameter. Slow pitch softballs must be 12 inches in diameter. Although the difference in size may not be evident to all players, it is worth noting for former fastpitch players considering joining an all-or women’s coed slow pitch softball league.

Fastpitch softball is usually started by youth softball players with a 10 inch “soft” softball. This makes it easier for younger players to field and toss the ball around the diamond. Smaller hands are accommodated by the 10″ size, and the softer core decreases the risk of injury. A baseball is around 9″ in diameter as a comparison.

everything you need to know about softball

What is the Core of a Softball Made of?

The core of a softball is made of a polyurethane blend. Cork and rubber combine to form a stiff but squishable ball. To protect the longevity of their bats, most softball players prefer to swing composite softball bats.

Difference Between Fastpitch and Slow Pitch Softballs

There are a few distinctions between fastpitch and slowpitch softballs that should be noted.

  • When compared to fastpitch softballs, slowpitch softballs are larger (12 inches) (11 inches)
  • Fastpitch softballs are made to be hit harder and to travel farther than slowpitch softballs.
  • Fastpitch softballs are now all neon yellow, whereas slowpitch softballs are available in neon yellow or white.
  • Slow pitch softballs in some leagues (Windy City or Clincher softballs) can be as large as 16 inches in diameter.

Softball vs Baseball Comparison

A softball is notably larger and heavier than a baseball, as we briefly covered before. A normal softball has a diameter of 12″ and weighs between 6.25 and 7 ounces, whereas a baseball is regulated to be between 9″ and 9 1/4″ in diameter and weigh between 5 and 5.25 ounces. That translates to a circumferential size difference of three inches and a weight difference of one to two ounces.

Did you know, though, that the barrel diameter of softball bats cannot exceed 2 14″? Meanwhile, the barrel diameter of USSSA baseball bats can be as large as 2 34″. Baseball bats are larger since they are attempting to hit a smaller object. Fastpitch softball bats, on the other hand, are smaller and attempt to strike a larger object.

That’s everything you need to know about softballs, according to us. Please contact our staff of Bat Experts immediately if you have any questions or would want to learn more about the best bat to swing for your league. You can reach them by phone at 1-866-321-2287, email at [email protected], or by LIVE CHAT on our website. We’re JustBats, and we’ll be there for you from start to finish!

everything you need to know about softball


everything you need to know about softball

What should I know before playing softball?

Most softball games are seven innings long, with two halves in each. The visiting team bats in the first (or “top”) half. The host team bats in the second (or “bottom”) half. The fielding team must put out three batters or baserunners in each half-inning.

What are the basics of softball?

Softball is a sport in which two teams of nine players compete to score more runs than their opponents by round the bases and crossing home plate as many times as they can. The batting team does not bat again until the fielding team has struck out three hitters.

How long are softball games?

The average NCAA collegiate softball game lasts roughly two hours. Extra innings can make a game last longer, but for softball teams, seven innings is the traditional game length. A game will not last longer than one hour and 45 minutes, according to CAA High School softball rules.

Where is softball most popular?

The United States and Japan are once again the top-ranked international softball teams in the world, according to the current World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) rankings.

Who invented softball?

“Indoor baseball” was invented by George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, in 1887. The game had expanded outside by the spring of 1888. Softball was first known as mushball, kittenball, or indoor baseball, but by the 1920s, it had taken on the term softball.

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