For those of us who play softball with a league or just with friends and family, we know how frustrating it can be when you start running out of balls. That’s why it’s smart to get some extras to have on hand. So which are the best softballs in 2021 for you? To someone vaguely familiar with softballs, all of them look pretty much the same. However, there are some key differences that you must consider to ensure you get good-quality ones, such as size, COR, and compression, to name a few. To help you make the right choice, we have listed below our top picks for this year. These options have been chosen by our team for their excellent size, brilliant compression, and optimal COR measurements.
These softballs have the official 12-inch circumference and weight so you can practice exactly as you’d play in a real game. The long-lasting synthetic cover, combined with the solid cork interior means that you will be able to use these softballs over and over again without tearing them apart. Not only that, but the flat seams mean less air resistance, allowing you to throw the ball for maximum distance.
The bright yellow cover makes it easier to track the balls both in the daytime and under the lights. Each ball weighs just 6.5oz, making it perfect for use by both adults and children. Also, these balls deliver an impeccable bounce on the field, with a .44 COR rating and a total compression of 300lbs. The compression is on the lower side to ensure the balls are flexible upon impact.
These balls come with a zippered carrying case that makes them very easy to store and transport. Plus, this set includes four balls, so you always have a spare in case you somehow manage to damage one.
Long-lasting synthetic cover
Flat seams minimize air resistance so they’ll fly farther
This pack of a dozen softballs is a must-have for your next family or office softball game. They come with a circumference measuring 11 or 12 inches, providing a more customized fit and feel. The bright yellow coloring means you will never have to worry about finding this ball when you practice as they are very easy to spot. Moreover, the stitching is solid and secure, allowing for a great grip, especially for pitchers.
The center of these balls is made with a poly graphite material that ensures towering homers and hard line drives. The solid leather cover provides exceptional durability, ensuring these balls last you a long time, match after match. Plus, the design has been approved by the ASA, hence these balls are perfect for use in both amateur league games or for tournament play.
This set includes 12 balls, enough to last you plenty of games. Each ball has a .47 COR and maximum compression of 375lbs, so it provides solid pop off the bat, allowing even beginner players to knock it out of the park.
Bright yellow cover makes it easy to keep your eye on the ball
Made with a premium high-density cork core and patented seam technology, this is an excellent pack of softballs to get for your next fastpitch game or practice. The softer core means that these balls don’t hurt quite as much if you wind up getting hit by one, all without sacrificing the feel and grip of a standard softball.
These balls are also regulation size, so you can practice and play in confidence. The leather cover has raised seams, making it much easier for you to grip and throw the ball with greater movement. These softballs have a .47 COR and maximum compression of 375lbs, offering a nice bounce that can enhance your overall gameplay. They also sport a high-visibility yellow cover that makes them very easy to spot on the field.
This box of 12 offers a neat cost-effective solution to your softball needs, so you can stock up without worrying about putting a dent in your wallet. They are ready to use right out of the packaging without needing any preparation, and they offer lasting durability so this one pack is bound to last you a long time.
Sponge-like feel so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by the ball
Great for all kinds of softball drills
Regulation softball size
Some users might find the balls slightly heavy and the seams moderately high
If you are working with a JUGS Lite-Flite machine, then these softballs are perfect for you as they are specifically designed to work with it. They work for batters of all ages. The balls are regulation so you can play and practice just like you would while playing in a league game.
The sponge-like texture of these balls allows you to safely play with them indoors even if you don’t have a batting cage. The balls are exceptionally lightweight, weighing just a few ounces, yet they perform very well even when you pitch at regulation distances. Also, these balls don’t sting the players, making them ideal for both defensive/offensive drills.
You get a dozen softballs in this package, enough to last you a long time. All of the balls are regulation size, although you can choose between 11 and 12-inch variants, depending on your preference. However, as these balls are so lightweight, they might not be suitable for catching practice as they can pop right off the glove, making it tougher for the fielder to catch them.
Sponge-like texture makes them safe for indoor play
Excellent for offensive/defensive play
Lightweight design, great for practicing hand-eye coordination
Pop off the glove due to their lightweight design, making them tougher to catch
Softballs may seem like an easy and straightforward purchase to an ordinary admirer of the sport. Still, there are several factors to consider when you are in the market for the best softballs, such as COR, size, weight, compression, and color. Evaluating these factors can help you differentiate different brands of softballs. Also, their build has dramatically changed since the start of the sport.
Note that the features and design of a softball have a substantial impact on the player's performance. This guide will explore all you need to know to find the best softballs in the market.
Types Of Softballs
The first thing you should know, especially if you are a newbie with softballs, is that there are two kinds of balls. These include fast-pitch and slow-pitch balls.
This ball type is created to travel the pitch faster off the bat. However, please note that if a ball comes with a slow-pitch label on it, this doesn't mean it aligns with the rules of your league. It would be wise to be more concerned about the ball's size, COR ratings, and compression to ensure it aligns with the league's specifications.
Unlike the slow-pitch ball, the fast-pitch ball is created to have a more incredible speed off the bat. You will know the rate through the COR and compression ratings. Again, note that just because a softball is designated as fast-pitch doesn't mean it will align with your league's rules.
Factors To Look Out For While Buying A Softball
Before deciding on which softball to buy, here are a few things you should consider to make your choice easier.
The core of a softball is composed of a synthetic mixture made using either kapok or polyurethane, a blend of rubber and cork. The core's circumference differs based on league set standards. However, the materials are similar with all playing levels.
When searching for a softball, one factor you shouldn’t ignore is the exterior cover of the ball. Usually, the material is either synthetic or natural leather. These leather swatches can be gotten in either optic yellow or white. In competitive cycles, note that yellow is regarded as the official color while white is seen as more suitable for slow pitches and recreational leagues.
Seams and stitching
The linen or color string stitching can be added in a raised or run-through line on the cover to enhance the grip. The seams are usually black, red, monochromic, or blue if the cover is made of leather material.
Makeup and materials
Baseballs and softballs are alike in build, although they have some slight variances in some departments. Softballs are generally made up of a cover and core sewn together by stitching but do not have the midsection of yarn that you will find in a baseball.
COR and compression
COR and compression talk about how far the ball will move when hit with a certain amount of power. The reduction in the amount of force required to compress the ball by a quarter of an inch. On the other hand, COR is the measurement of the ball's bounce, and softballs that have a more excellent COR travel faster and farther.
The league you are playing softball in will determine the size of softball ideal for play. Usually, competitive softballs measure between 10 inches and 12 inches. While in some slow-pitch city leagues, you may be expected to play with softballs measuring as big as 16 inches.
For young people, softballs measuring between 11 inches and 12 inches are the most suitable options. It's a plus if they are also lightweight as that makes them easier to handle.
How Much Do Softballs Cost?
One unique thing about softballs is that they are pretty affordable and are cheaper than a bat or glove. You should, however, know that while you may use a glove or bat for a few seasons, you will need to use dozens of softballs in the same period, thus adding up to the overall cost. Hence, it's better to purchase softballs in bulk.
You can get a new softball between $4 and $10 each. The leather balls generally cost more than synthetic ones. Also, note that there isn't much difference between the slow-pitch and fast-pitch balls.
When buying multiple softballs, note that the ideal way for you to save money when buying them is to buy them in the dozen. Practice softballs are relatively cheaper, with some going for as low as $2.
Non-traditional softballs are created for younger players, and they come with a soft exterior that has semblance with a tee-ball, and they cost almost the same as regulation softballs. Training softballs are usually heavier than their regulation counterparts and are designed to boost the pitcher's arm strength. Such softballs can go as high as $15 and cost as low as $8.
The last category is the dimpled softballs that look like a softball but with large seams. They are created for batting practice purposes, especially for auto-pitching machines. You can get dimpled softballs for between $25 and $50.
The game of softball is easy, fun, and exciting. The softball rules are easy, and the equipment is relatively inexpensive, making it the ideal sport for newbies and pros alike. One way to sustain the fun and excitement of playing softballs is to use the right equipment. The tips in this guide should help you find the most perfect balls that are best-suited to your needs.
FastPitch Softball FAQ
When do I replace my softball?
Majority of softballs can withstand numerous bat strikes before they sustain any damage. However, when you observe nicks in the ball cover, you may need to get the ball replaced. You will notice that some of the holes for the seams may increase in size as the ball begins to wear out.
Is it ideal for me to use any softball for games?
Note that the type of softball used depends on softball games. If you use the wrong softball for your game, the umpire may be prompted to remove it from play. Your softball league ought to inform you about the specifications of your softball as required for the game.
What makes softballs bigger than baseballs?
Due to its large size, players may not be able to throw a softball as fast as they would a baseball. Note that the exit velocity of a softball off the bat is usually lower than that of a baseball because the size is more significant.
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