Legal bats and balls for the 2015 slowpitch season
Sun 29 Mar 2015
Below, BASU umpire and BSF Technical Officer Chris Moon sets out which bats and balls will be legal in British softball in 2015 – and it turns out to be the same as last season.
In 2013 the ASA introduced a new certification mark for slowpitch bats, but this does not mean that the previous marks from 2000 or 2004 (all shown on the right) are obsolete. All bats that have one of these ASA certifications – or the current ISF certification mark, also shown on the right – are legal as long as they do not appear on the current ASA non-approved bat list.
These marks are also recognised as the ESF standard.
Please note that this list is liable to change at any time. The ASA has a rolling programme of bat testing and bats may be added to the list during the season.
What does COR and compression mean in simple terms? COR is the coefficient of restitution – simply put it means that if a softball is shot at a wall at a speed of 60 mph and comes off the wall at 30 mph, then speed has been reduced by 50%, ie 0.50 COR. If the ball comes off at 27 mph, the COR would be 0.47.
Compression is measured by how many pounds of force are required to squeeze the ball by a quarter of an inch. So a ball with 375 compression means that 375 pounds of force had to be
applied to squeeze the two sides of a softball by a total of a quarter inch.
A new ASA ball was introduced last year which is .52 COR and 300 compression. This means it has a harder middle bit and a softer outside, which makes it a bit safer without reducing performance. All balls are still legal for play if they meet ISF or ASA standards -- i.e. .44/375, .47/375 or .52/300 – but the point to be aware of is that newer ASA bats could be prone to damage by 375 compression balls.
The BSF will be selling .52/300 balls this year (2015) and the BSF recommends using or switching to these balls.
However, please do not mix balls during a game – either use new or old spec.
ESF will again use the .52/300 balls at the European Slowpitch Championships in 2015.