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Author TOPIC: Got Balls
softball.com

August 16, 2005
9:52:18 PM

Entry #: 997750
I will try here to simplify a complex issue. We all know about the hype surrounding bats and their bannings etc., but what about balls? It's probably more confusion rather than hype. First whats more important Ball core or compression? Answer: compression.

COR is simply the rate at which a ball will reflect back after being cast against an immovable object. So the higher the core the higher the reflectivity or the higher the bounce if you will. Core 47 has a higher bounce than a core 40. But core is not as important as compression, although if you could choose a core 47 with low compression (which would be the ultimate mush ball) this would be a good ball for a stiff walled bat like a stock techzilla to hit for example.

Unfortunately low compression balls (375lbs.) are many times paired up with 44 and 47 cor. making the ball that much softer. This is why it is important to separate the two. The compression is much more important and it's as simple as this : 375lb. comp balls are softer or "compress" more than 525 lb. balls. It takes 525lbs. of pressure per sq.inch to compress a 525lb. ball 1/4". It takes only 375lbs. of pressure to compress a 375lb. ball 1/4". So the higher the compression the harder the ball and the harder the ball the farther it will fly WITH THE RIGHT BAT. What is the right bat? Well lets look at a bit more.

If you could choose and I know many times you can't unless it's your own practice, but if you could the ultimate ball for lets say a Miken ultra or another high flex bat it would be high comp. 525lb.ball with 40 COR as opposed to 47 COR. Most times though 525's are paired up with 47 COR and most people think its the core 47 that is allowing the ball to fly farther, but it is in fact the compression not the core.

Lets look at a low comp ball 375lbs. and a bat with a lot of flex ie: ultra,rocket tech,synergy,pst,etc., Typically a low comp ball and a bat with a lot of flex is not a good combo especially over time(time being the more the ball is hit the mushier it gets). A better pairing is those above named bats and a hi comp 525lb. ball. Hard ball meets 'soft' bat = long hit. Simple.

OK, so what would a better bat be for the low comp 375lb. with core 44 and 47 balls? Something that dosen't flex as much and guess what, this is how the world record of 530 some feet was broken back in the 70's. A 'hard' bat (no flex) was used with what kind of ball? Answer: more like what the low comp balls are becoming. Back in the 70's the balls flexed incredibly and made of a type of 'Surilyn'. The flex on the ball was incredible and rivaled what a superball is like today. They quickly were outlawed and now the bats of today are the focus of bannings like the balls were in the 70's.

So now we as players, should find out what comp balls are being used in our leagues and tournaments so we can match a better bat to the ball we are using. In fact a better bat now for the low comp balls, which are becoming more prevelent may in fact be the bats of long ago that didn't flex as much. What new bats out there now don't flex as much? The original Techzilla comes to mind immediately. It flex's for the very hard hitter, but for the average hitter who can't flex it as much, it may be exactly the bat that the Dr. ordered for these low comp. balls, for even the average hitter.

The New Anderson CK(Composite Killer) line however, is the company to come out with a bat expressly made for hitting mush balls like no other. The new Rocket tech CK is a bat that is a must have is you play asa and hit mush balls. It is rated in the top ten of all bats of ALL TIME already, on bat review sites and it only hit the market in August of 04! It is the only ASA bat rated this high.

Now having said all of this what is the real difference in distance between a low comp and a high comp. ball? My experience has been around 25 ft. or so It may not sound like a lot, but for some it's the difference between hitting a HR and hitting a long fly out. Also different ball mfg's will make a difference in performance. There are too many to mention here, but suffice it to say, some companies put out pure junk while others even though they are low comp. still may fly pretty good.

Some more info to help you to choose a new Anderson bat is as follows with different balls being used:

Using strictly low compresson (375lb. balls) with any core in the ASA use the new 04-05 Rocket Tech CK
Using strictly high compression (525lb. balls) with any core in the ASA use the new 04-05 techzilla ck.
Using mid compression balls with any core in the ASA still go Rocket tech ck.

If you are non asa your choices are much more, because there are a lot of good bats, but the fact is composites in the ASA are not as good because they are all detuned and plugged up, unlike an Anderson bat, which in many regards is actually juiced and endloaded from the factory. But my favorite current bats for non asa are the Combat B1, miken freak plus,mizuno blur advanced and synergy plus, unless using mush balls then my favorite is still that RTCK. But many non-ASA leagues are still using harder balls

The following should help you in understanding the ball compression and how it relates to certain bats. I have broken it down to what I hope is an easier to understand format, because I know it can be confusing.

375lbs low compression = more flexible or 'mushy' does not perform well with high flex bats.
400lb-475lbs. mid compression = medium flexibility still performs OK with most bats.
525lb. compression= harder ball-performs well with almost any bat on the market, but especially juiced or high flex models etc.

Core 47= more flexible bouncy or 'mushy'
Core 44= medium flexibility
Core 40= less flexible

As you can see here if you were to have a core 40 with a low compression ball you still will have decent almost mid performance, which I have found to be true in my own testing as well. But as soon as you pair up low comp with core 44 or 47 now you have much more loss in performance with the high flex bats and why I now recommend the RT CK with those balls. Anything mid and above will perform well with high flex bats and juiced bats. The ultimate for ball hardness would be 525lbs. paired up with core 40 not 47. I know many balls are paired more with 525lbs. and core 47, but the 47 is not what makes those balls fly so far, it is the compression.

Endloaded bats will in all instances make any ball fly farther, but in the case of low compression with core 44 and 47, it may not be enough to overcome the loss in performance that is experienced from the flexibility of the ball.

Outside temperature and the climate you may play in will also effect performance. Cooler temps will keep the ball harder and flying farther. Warmer temps will keep the ball more flexible and mushier.

Also bat weight also factors into hitting a ball for distance. The heavier the bat and the heavier the endload you can swing the better for distance, even and or especially on the mush balls. This is proven with the players who hit 14" & 16" balls. If you have ever hit a 16" softball you know it is very soft and flexible to where you don't even need fielding gloves to catch it. Using a miken ultra with these balls is almost useless. Most players using these balls go with the heaviest stiff walled bats they can find or now the new RT or TZ CK by Anderson.


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