May 28, 2013 in SloPitch Central
An Article on Softball COR and Compression in Relation to an Impact Injury
The Following is an Article written by Kevin Schullstrom of A.D. Starr Sporting Goods addressing the 52/300 Softball.
COR is the ability of the ball to rebound away from the impact area. The lower the COR, the higher the impact Therefore when a player gets struck by a lower COR ball, the impact drives into the body instead of wanting to rebound away from it. When a ball drives into the impact area it is transferring the energy into the impact, creating a much more severe impact.
Compression is the hardness of the ball. When high compression and lower COR are combined, the impact rises to a point that it is beyond severe levels. The harder the ball the less flex it has on impact. An impact of a .44/375 ball has the initial impact of about the size of a quarter. Now the force of the ball is transferred into the impact that spot. The ball does flex somewhat after the initial impact but the damage has already occurred.
High COR balls:
A high COR softball will reverse direction much quicker on impact lessening the force transferred to impact spot. By the ball rebounding away from the impact spot the damage is reduced by a great deal.
Now lower the compression with a high COR ball and you now have an impact spot about 2 times the size of a low COR ball.
Scary Part I
Severity Index (SI) is the measurement of the impact on a National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) head form. Anything above 1200 SI can kill you. Anything close can kill you. During testing using an American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) accredited NOCSAE approved test facility testing was performed for head form studies. These tests were performed on NOCSAE head forms and impact data collected through force load transducers.
.44/375 softballs were constantly testing above 1800 SI. Many tested above 2400 SI. And some tested as high as 3600 SI. Now it is proven that SI’s above 1200 will break the skull and or cause severe brain trauma. This is unacceptable in recreational sports.
Now the .52/300 balls using the same test and the same facility yielded impacts of less than 500 SI, and while testing the balls at different weights none of the ball that were within an approved spec tested above 500 SI.
Also tested were a couple of .50/525 balls and were found less dangerous than a .44/375, but still way above the 1200 SI.
Peak G’s is the G force that the Brain can take before you have severe brain trauma. 180 peak g’s will cause a severe brain trauma. Anything below 170 is acceptable. With the new .52/300 balls they tested around 157 to 165. Extensive testing was done on different weights. As long as the balls are made at less than 6.7 ounces they will pass the peak G’s no problem.
So a brief review:
We can make a ball that is safer for play. Keep 300 foot fences in play and not lose the home runs. Have a ball that is much less sensitive to cold or heat, and allow softball players to go out and have fun like we used to do without the fear of dying every time a ball is hit at them.
Scary Part II
NOTHING is safe traveling at you at 100 MPH, even a tennis ball can kill you if it hits the exact spot at the exact time. But the .52 COR 300 compression ball is much safer than what we have made in the past. Nose, fingers, and other bones can still be broken but the skull structure will be much less affected by this ball than before.
reprinted from The Torrington Softball Forums