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Baseball

Best Softball

All softballs may seem similar to the untrained eye, but there are differences that you should know about before you buy some for your team or league. Size, COR, and compression are the main things to be concerned with.

Size is the first measurement to consider. Size will depend on the rules of your league. Softballs come in different sizes. In fastpitch, the standard size is 12”, but younger youth leagues may use an 11” or even a 10” ball. In slowpitch softball, either an 11” or 12” ball is used. If you are from Chicago, you may know that the game was first played in the Windy City, and that 16” softballs were used. They were perfect for small neighborhood parks as the ball did not travel as far. In Chicago, the game is still played with 16 inch balls and no gloves.

The COR measurement tells how bouncy a softball is. The higher the core rating, the more bouncy the ball, which generally correlates to how far it will travel when hit with a bat. Here is what the measurement means: If a softball is thrown at a wall at 60 miles per hour and it bounces off that wall at 30 miles per hour, its experienced a 50% reduction in speed. The COR would be measured at .50. Most leagues use a ball around .44 or .47 COR. A change from a Cor of .44 to a COR of .47 would result in a 6% performance increase. This means that a 240-foot out with a .44 COR ball would turn into a 254-foot home run with a .47 COR ball.

The last measurement to be concerned with is compression. This is basically a measure of how hard the ball is. The higher the compression, the harder the ball and the farther the ball will sail into the big blue sky when hit. Compression measures how many pounds of force is required to squeeze two sides of the softball in by one-quarter of an inch. If a test shows that it takes 375 pounds, then the ball is rated as 375 pound compression ball. Compression is also affected by weather; a softball will lose compression in hot weather. A wet ball will initially experience an increase in compression, but as more moisture is absorbed, compression will decrease.

Once you know what ball you need for your team or league, go online and look for the best prices. Balls are often sold by the dozen or by the bucket. To help you make your decision, check out these lists of the best softballs on the market today.

Worth Launch 650 Softball

Worth Launch 650 Softball

The Worth Launch 650 slow pitch softball is rated .50 COR with 650 pounds of compression. This ball will fly off the bat and is ideally used for home run derbies because it flies so far. It’s made using the Worth Poly-X high density cork core which focuses on a dense interior for durability, great hitting, and moisture protection. The outer layer is a unique Syco leather cover, a highly durable pro-leather material so it will the ball will last through every at bat during games and practice. The entire ball is treated with the proprietary C-LOK adhesive and moisture barrier to enhance sealing of the interior thus ensuring the ball will stay together no matter the abuse your team puts it through.

Dudley Thunder Heat

The Dudley Thunder Heat is a slow pitch softball with a rating of .44 COR and 375 pound compression. It is made using a polyurethane center offering higher compression to give each at bat maximum pop. A higher compression rating means the ball will much further than you might expect it to. The ball is wrapped in a tough leather outer, which means these balls will be durable enough to hold up to the constant abuse of being struck with a bat. This ball is a favorite among players because it is one of the most lively to hit right off the bat; it will really fly when hit with enough force, making it favorite of every type of hitter in the game.

Worth Hot Dot Slowpitch Softball

The Worth Hot Dot slow pitch softball is rated at .52 COR with 300 pounds of compression. It’s manufactured using Worth's Poly-X high density cork core which provides a dense interior for great hitting and maximum pop off the bat. The outer layer is a ProTac leather cover, a highly durable leather wrapping ensuring the balls will last through multiple batting practices or actual games. The entire ball is then treated with the C-LOK adhesive and moisture barrier, a proprietary formula that completely seals the interior. This ball also features the famous Hot Dot technology which prevents the reduction of compression in high heat, offering consistency to every player at bat. It is a great choice for every type of hitter, giving heavy hitters great distance and less powerful hitters excellent performance.

Decker Red Shark SuperGrip Softball

The Decker Red Big Shark is a slow pitch softball with a rating of .52 COR and 300 pounds of compression. The Red Big Shark is a favorite among players because of its durability. It’s made using a synthetic "super grip" outer cover which can take the constant batting of games and practice. No matter what temperature or weather conditions, the Decker Red Big Shark was made to last, withstanding hot heat and humid temperatures while delivering great pop to players at bat.

Dudley Thunder ZN Slow Pitch Composite Soft Ball

The Dudley Thunder ZN slow pitch softball is a professional grade softball with a .44 COR 525 pound compression rating. This ball is made of a high density polyurethane wrapped in a composite material outer with flat seams. The ball gives players lasting performance giving players great at bats. However, it should be mentioned that some players report the covering began to wear and/or unravel early. Still, this is a great practice ball for any slow pitch league.

Worth Fastpitch Red Dot 12" Leather Ball

The Worth Red Dot is a fast pitch softball with a .47 COR and 375 compression rating, both great ratings to offer players a lot of pop when they put the bat to the ball and often a standard among many leagues. The softball has a Poly-X high density cork core made using proprietary dense cell formulation, which ensures a strong, solid interior that will offer great pop for better hitting and high durability.

The outer layer is made of a highly durable pro-leather cover which means the softball can take a great number of hits without falling apart like many cheaper options made from synthetic materials that don’t last as long. Worth softballs are made using three-piece technology, unlike other manufacturers that use two-piece construction.

The Red Dot interior is wrapped in a C-LOK adhesive and is treated with a moisture barrier which offers enhanced sealing of the interior and ensures the ball with stay together. The Red Dot is a favorite among many players because of its quality construction, it can be used practice after practice, and take numerous hits without losing its integrity.

Dudley ASA SB 12L 12" Softball

The Dudley SB12, like the Worth Red Dot, is a fast pitch softball rated at .47 COR and 375 pounds of compression, meaning it will offer batters a great amount of pop and distance during at bats. Its high ratings offer real sluggers the farthest possible hit. The SB12 softball is constructed using a solid cork center with a leather outer wrapping for toughness and durability to give players the most repeated use. Cork materials ensure repeated use will not wear on the ball and the leather outer material will keep the entire ball held together hit after hit. This softball is also a favorite among pitchers because of the thick stitched raised laces. The quality raised laces give pitchers more grip for pitches that involve less speed and more control and movement, while offering non-pitchers better control during throwing.

Worth Dream Seam Fastpitch Softball

The Worth Dream Seam is another fast pitch softball with a .47 COR and 375 compression rating. These ratings are typical among ASA rated leagues, offering batters greater distance and pop at each at bat. Much like the Worth Red Dot, which is a favorite among many players, the Dream Seam also has a Poly-X high density cork core using proprietary dense cell formulation, which ensures a dense interior for great hitting and high durability. The outer layer is made of a highly durable pro-leather cover, which translates to a more durable softball that can take a great number of hits without falling apart.

Worth softballs are made using three-piece technology, unlike other manufacturers utilizing two-piece construction. The interior is wrapped in a C-LOK adhesive and moisture barrier offers enhanced sealing of the interior, ensuring the ball with stay together. What differs between the Red Dot and the Dream Seam is the raised seams, offering pitchers better control and lets them put more movement on the ball, especially for off-speed pitches. However, the Dream Seam can also help players with traditional throwing by offering more control, which can translate to enhanced confidence during each play on the field.

Decker Red Shark SuperGrip Softball

The Decker Red Big Shark is a slow pitch softball with a rating of .52 COR and 300 pounds of compression. The Red Big Shark is a favorite among players because of its durability. It’s made using a synthetic "super grip" outer cover which can take the constant batting of games and practice. No matter what temperature or weather conditions, the Decker Red Big Shark was made to last, withstanding hot heat and humid temperatures while delivering great pop to players at bat.

Evil Ball 44/375 HOT

The Evil Ball 44/375 HOT is another one of the best ASA rated fast pitch softballs on the market. Like many others on the list, it is rated at .44 COR, slightly less than the others, and 375 compression. Evil Sports markets this ball as offering batters the highest speed right off the bat. Each hit will offer players high velocity and a great amount of pop.

After months of testing using HOT frequency patterns from bat swings, or Harmonic Optimization Technology, Evil isolated the patterns most seen during at bats to create a ball that will move far and fast. The ball is constructed of a polyurethane core wrapped using Vapor Block technology, protecting from effects of moisture and humidity. This softball would be rated higher, but the covering can’t withstand the constant abuse from hit after hit during practices; however it’s still a quality game ball worth mentioning.

Martha Garcia
Martha Garcia is a freelance writer living in the greater Los Angeles area. She is passionate about health and sports. She has played softball and basketball for more than 20 years, using her love of the sports to coach both boys and girls teams of all ages, and continues to play co-ed softball managing a local team. She enjoys learning about new things, staying healthy and active and inspiring others to improve their lives.
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