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Discussion: Softball Specs

Posted Discussion
Feb. 9, 2006
Men's 55
9 posts
Softball Specs
Can someone tell me where I can find an explation of the various ways balls are classified...Compression, Core, Lbs? I need to make an intellegent decision for our league and I can't find any websites that have the info. Thanks.
Feb. 9, 2006
Men's 50
28 posts has a good explanation.
Feb. 10, 2006
Men's 65
3146 posts
Check out the message boards at and There are usually discussions there on the best ball for league, bp, etc.
Feb. 10, 2006
Men's 65
440 posts
Tale a look at this link:. It explains balls vs bats pretty well.
Feb. 10, 2006
Men's 65
440 posts
Sorry Phils57...I seen your comment after I posted mine.
Feb. 11, 2006
328 posts
It is not to tough to explain.

Compression is rated at PQI (pounds per quarter inch)

A 375 compression ball takes 375 pounds of pressure to compress it 1/4 inch. A 525 ball takes 525 pounds.

COR (coefficient of restitution) measures how much "bounce" it has.

A 50 COR ball, when shot at a wall @ 100 MPH, will bounce back @ 50 MPH. It has 50% of its speed.

A 40 COR ball will come back at 40 MPH (40% )

A ball coming straight back at you on the rubber is too damn fast no matter WHAT COR or compression.
July 4, 2007
Men's 55
9 posts
Belated thanks.
July 4, 2007
Men's 50
535 posts
HOT ROD: Here is an ol' post & some tech data... This is some what long....

Experts Warn that Lower COR and Compression Softballs Won't Solve Safety Issue courtesy of Softball News Report
2003 is shaping up to be the Season of the Ball.
And some ball experts are warning that most major national softball organizations are making a dangerous mistake by lowering ball COR and Compression ratings to make up for hot bats.

“Associations aren’t paying close enough attention,” said Kevin Schullstrom, national sales manager for TRUMP Softballs . “They think by simply lowering the COR and Compression requirements they have made the game safe. It’s not that easy.”
This year, most of the National Softball Organizations are changing their ball standards, requiring .44 COR balls with a low (375 per square inch) Compression rating.
Those standards, however, may do nothing to make the game safer for pitchers and infielders, according to the ball experts.

“ In the first 60 to 70 feet from the point of ball-bat impact, the travel distance is not going to change.”
Decker said the only change will be the distance the ball will travel from home plate to the fence - not it’s speed through the infield.
“The net effect for reaction time for the infield is no different. If they get hit in the head with 44 COR it will be just as fatal as if they get hit in the head with a 47 COR ball at the same speeds.


According to at least one expert, the lower COR balls may create an even more dangerous situation.
“If safety is the objective, associations should require a more elastic or rubbery .50 or .47 COR ball with lower (375) Compression,” said Trump’s Schullstrom. “That’s because the lower the COR the less elastic - the harder - the ball.”

The COR of a ball is determined by the distance it rebounds after it is hurled against a wall. The farther it rebounds, the higher the COR rating. Thus, the more it rebounds, the more elastic, lively or “rubbery” the ball.
The Compression rating tests hardness: it is the amount of pressure it takes to compress a softball one-quarter inch.
“The bottom line is that associations are trading the .47 COR for a more dense .44 COR, exactly the opposite of what they should be doing,” said Schullstrom.

A recent report showed that lower COR balls actually came off the bat faster than higher COR balls.
The report, “The Effect of Softball Compression and Coefficient of Restitution on Batted Ball Speed,” was based on a new study technique that used actual bat speeds and new high-tech bats.
Using the new, more realistic techniques, a .40 COR ball came off the bat 3.57 miles per hour faster and went 11-12 feet farther than a .47 COR ball.


While the new tests raises questions about ball COR ratings, Compression ratings have emerging problems of their own.

One of the biggest issues is consistency.
A recent set of tests by a major ball manufacturer that found ball compression differed markedly on each of the ball’s four sides (6 SIDES & NOT 4 SIDES). That means that a ball may meet the compression standard on one or two sides, but be too hard on the other two sides.

While ball experts have known that compression varies from ball to ball, this is the first test showing an individual ball can vary from side to side.
The tests, done by Prof. William Brandt, director of the Sports Science Center of New York University for Anaconda Sports , maker of TRUMP softballs, found significant variation in individual balls.
The test of 21 TRUMP balls found Compression varied on 375 compression balls from 314 to 374. That variation in the test varied from 270 on one side to 360 on another side of the same ball.
The COR on balls varied from .45 to .47 on different sides of the same ball.
To put this in perspective, these differences in COR and Compression can change bat performance markedly: from a 1.10 bpf to a 1.20 bpf.
“In an extreme case,” according to one bat manufacturer who asked to remain anonymous, “it means that a bat will meet the standards if you hit one side of the ball, but not if you happen to hit the other side.”

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