Softball became a popular indoor sport in the late 1880s. It originally began at Farragut Boat Club in Chicago and was played with a rolled-up and tied boxing glove and a broomstick. The concept of slow pitch softball was developed from that and gained popularity in the 1950s. As the name suggest, the pitcher in the slow pitch softball needs to throw the ball underhand. It must be done without a windmill motion in order to deliver the ball to the batter in a high arc. The batter usually use an almost uppercut motion to hit the ball. Thereby, the arc needs to be minimum six feet from the ground.
The slow pitch softballs are larger than the balls that are used for baseballs. These balls are either 12 inches or 16 inches in their diameter. However, the 12-inch circumference balls are more common for this game. The 16 inches circumference balls are generally softer and are often referred to as mush balls. While using this type of ball the fielders do not wear mitts or gloves.
Though a number of materials are used to make these sports accessories, the most common are balls made from polyurethane, kapok, cork and rubber. It is also wrapped with a yarn. The manufacturers usually use rubber or latex cement to seal the ball.
In spite of its name, slow pitch softballs are not soft. Generally, they weigh between 166.5 g and 173.6 g for slow pitch. Some of these balls also come with a raised seam. They are most often covered in yellow or white leather in two pieces. They roughly form the shape of the figure-8. These leathers are sewn together with a red thread. However, other coverings are also permitted.
It was in the year 2002 the high-visibility yellow covering became standard for the competitive plays. Generally, the yellow covering was used for the restricted flight balls for co-ed recreational leagues. In fact, the yellow softballs are now becoming the standard for every level of softball. They are particularly used for the girl’s and women’s softball. However, the white balls are more commonly used as slow pitch softballs.
The following are some tips that will help you purchase the right kind of slow pitch softballs:
* It is always better to buy one that has synthetic leather cover. It ensures extreme durability.
* Look for balls that come with coated cover and have 2-sided adhesive as they can have longer life.
* You can also opt for balls with 3-piece core as they provide tighter as well as more stable compression