Age Appropriate Types of Baseballs and Softballs

    An updated version of this post has been now published. Please click here to read a post titled, DIFFERENT TYPES OF BASEBALLS FOR DIFFERENT AGES”    


Although they look fairly identical, there are different types of baseballs that are used for certain age groups.

Where are baseballs made today?
Rawlings, founded in 1887, has had an exclusive contract to supply the major leagues with baseballs since 1977. Mr. West says the Costa Rica plant makes about 2.2 million balls a year and sells about 1.8 million of them to the majors.

Safety Baseballs

Safety baseballs are designed for very young players from age 4 to 8 in starter leagues such as tee ball. They are noticeably soft on the surface compared to other types of balls and are lighter. Safety baseballs are inexpensive and usually built entirely of man-made materials. They are designed for small lightweight aluminum bats.

Reduced Injury Factor Baseballs

Reduced Injury Factor baseballs are higher performance than safety baseballs, but have a poly core and are softer than a regular youth hardball, reducing the risk of injury. RIF baseballs are available for different age levels, and are often used for practice.

Youth Tournament Baseballs

Youth league baseballs have a cushioned cork center and are wound less tightly than balls designed for adult play, but they’re not soft. Youth league balls are designed for experienced baseball players from 8 to 14 and are used in Little League tournament play. A youth tournament ball may have a leather cover and wool windings on the inside. They are designed for youth-sized aluminum bats.

High-School and College Baseballs

Baseballs used at the high-school and college level are similar to professional-grade baseballs, but have a slightly lighter density and are designed for aluminum bats, not wood. They are usually made with a cork core, wool windings and a leather or high-quality synthetic cover.

Professional Baseballs

Major and Minor League baseballs are the densest and highest-quality balls made. They have a high-grade leather cover and rolled seams that are neither flat nor raised. They are designed for wood bats. Official baseballs are a requirement in major, minor and some other leagues.

Practice Baseballs

Players on all levels may use inexpensive balls made with lower-quality materials for practice. Though they are lower in performance, these balls can be cheaply replaced if lost or worn out.

The iconic seams, or stitching, come in three types in most cases, flat, rolled or raised. The raised seams are used primarily for beginners. The ball will grip the air better and make for easier control. The MLB uses a rolled seam which allows faster throwing due to the reduced air friction. The flat seams, which work as you would expect, are not great for any flashy pitches, but work perfectly for batting practice as they are most commonly found in pitching machines.

If you remember back to your little league days, you will probably remember the fear of an errant pitch slamming into you. The balls back then were hard and hurt when they made contact with any part of your body. Today, the R.I.F balls, or reduced injury factor, are specially made to be softer but still feel the same as a regulation ball. They use a polyurethane core in most cases and are offered in both reduced and regulation weights.

Pitching Machine Ball s
Bat makers will not honor warranties on damages caused by hitting non-baseball off of a pitching machine (especially USABaseball bats)


What does “CROLB” stand for on a baseball?

CROLB is the designation used by Rawlings. “C” denotes split leather cover (not 100% leather), “R” denotes rec balls or for practice; OLB is Official League Baseball (which really doesn’t mean anything

What is the official baseball of Little League?
The Spalding Little League World Series Official RST Baseball is used during tournament play and in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This ball has a full grain leather cover, gray wool winding, and cushion cork center.

What size baseball is used in high school?
It is 9.00–9.25 inches (228.60–234.95 mm) in circumference, (2.86–2.94 in or 72.64–74.68 mm in diameter), and masses from 5.00 to 5.25 ounces (141.75 to 148.83 g). The yarn or string used to wrap the baseball can be up to one mile (1.6 km) in length.

What are olb3 baseballs?
Rawlings OLB3 Official League Baseball-Single. The Rawlings OLB3 Official League Baseball features a durable synthetic leather cover with Rawlings Major League Seams for a professional look and feel. The OLB3 Official League Baseball also features a solid cork and rubber center.

Are all baseballs the same size?
Size: Baseballs vs. Softballs – Baseballs measure up to 9-1/4 inches in circumference, and weigh about 5-1/4 ounces. Unlike baseballs, which are all the same size regardless of league, softballs come is a variety of circumferences: 16-inch, 14-inch, 12-inch (standard), 11-inch, and 10-inch.

Are baseballs made by hand?
TURRIALBA, Costa Rica (Reuters) – The average baseball is only used for a few pitches in the U.S. Major Leagues, but for the Costa Ricans who make them each ball is the result of hours of painstaking stitching by hand. … The finished balls are boxed up and shipped to Miami

Why do they change balls in baseball?
Balls that come in contact with the infield dirt are usually replaced because the scuffed cover can sometimes give a pitched ball unusual movement. … Part of it, at least, is because a pitcher could attempt to waste a pitch in the dirt in hopes of getting a scuff that he likes.

How much does the MLB pay for baseballs?
Thankfully 900,000 balls are not simply thrown out each year. However, some would argue they are still a complete waste given the price tag. If you calculate in tax and shipping, the average cost of a dozen baseballs is $72.00. That means the MLB is spending around $5.5 million dollars each season on baseballs alone.

What is the weight of a little league baseball?
The actual standard weight for a typical baseball is 5 ounces (or 141.75 grams). However, it can also weigh as much as 5 ¼ ounces (or 148.83 grams). The ball, which is currently machine-made, can also weigh anywhere between 5 ounces and 5 ¼ ounces.

How many baseballs are used in a MLB game?
There are 30 teams playing each other in 162 games each. So there are (15 x 162 = 2,430) games per season, (you have to divide the total number of teams by two, since each game has two teams in it). That equals: (2,430 x 65) baseballs used per season, which totals 157,950 baseballs used during games per regular season.

How many baseballs are rubbed up for a game?
At the MLB level the home team is responsible for providing balls ready for play. Pro games average 8 dozen baseballs, since pitches in the dirt are immediately removed to prevent pitchers from using that technique to scuff a ball – add an uneven wind resistance to enhance certain pitches.

Why are there 108 stitches on a baseball?
There are 108 double stitches on a baseball. The first and last stitches are completely hidden. They are sewn by hand, using 88 inches of waxed red thread per baseball.

What kind of leather are baseballs made of?
A baseball is a ball used in the sport of the same name. The ball features a rubber or cork center, wrapped in yarn, and covered, in the words of the Official Baseball Rules “with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together.”

What’s the average life of a baseball?
90 new baseballs are required at the beginning of the game. Between 60 and 70 balls are used per game. The average life of a major league baseball is 6 pitches.

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