The Physics
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Mass of a Softball

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Softball. 29 May 2001. "The official softball is a smooth-seam ball 12 inches in circumference, weighing between 6.25 and 7 ounces (177 and 198 g)." 0.177–0.198 kg
(12-inch ball)
"Another variation, popular especially in Chicago and other Midwestern American cities, is played with a ball that is 16 inches in circumference (weighing 9-10 ounces)." 0.2551–0.2835 kg
(16-inch ball)
"Softball." Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Microsoft, 1998. "The '12-inch' ball measures between 11.88 and 12.13 in (30.2 and 30.8 cm) in circumference and weighs between 6.25 and 7 oz (177.2 and 198.4 g)." 0.1772–0.1984 kg
(12-inch ball)
Softball. Compton's Encyclopedia Online v3.0. The Learning Company, 4 June 2001. "Ball: smooth seam, not less than 11⅞ inches or more than 12⅛ inches in circumference. Weight not less than 6¼ ounces or more than 7 ounces." 0.1772–0.1984 kg
(Standard Issue Ball)
Amateur Softball Association. Official Rules of Softball. 2001: 60-61, 1995: 62. "F. The 12-inch (30.0 cm) ball shall be between 11⅞ inches (30.0 cm) and 12⅛ inches (31.0 cm) in circumference and shall weigh between 6¼ ounces (180 g) and seven ounces (200.0 g)." 0.180–0.200 kg
(12-inch ball)
"G. The 11-inch (27.0 cm) ball shall be between 10⅞ inches (27.0 cm) and 11⅛ (28.0 cm) in circumference." 0.165–0.175 kg
(11-inch ball)
2000-2001 USSSA SLOW PITCH PLAYING RULES. United States Specialty Sports Association. 29 May 2001. "The 12 inch ball shall have a core wound with a fine quality twisted yarn to 11⅝ to 11¾ inches in circumference. The completed ball shall be 11⅞ to 12⅛ inches in circumference, and shall weigh between 6 and 7¼ ounces." 0.170–0.206 kg
(12-inch ball)
"The completed 11 inch ball shall be between 10⅞ to 11⅛ inches in circumference and shall weigh between 5⅞ and 6⅛ ounces." 0.167–0.174 kg
(11-inch ball)

Softball is a modified version of baseball. There are only a few differences between the two sports. The rules, the pitch speed, the field, and the equipment are the only differences. There are three variations of softball, slow-pitch, fast-pitch, and modified-pitch. The equipment is only slightly different based on their specifications. The difference found in the field is its size. The softball field is smaller than a baseball field.

The pitches for these different variations are all underhand. The speeds of the tossed ball goes as the name says. In slow-pitch, there's a height requirement that must be met for the highest position of the ball. It must remain between 6 and 12 feet (1.83 m and 3.66 m) above the ground. For Modified-pitch, there aren't any flight path requirements, but there are requirements for the way the ball is tossed.

The ball used, is slightly larger than a baseball and slightly heavier. It must be thrown underhand, as stated previously. There are a few balls that are used in softball depending on the choice of the teams. Measurements for these balls are based on the circumference around the ball. The 11-inch ball (0.28 m) is used in women's softball. The 12-inch (0.31 m) ball is the standard issue ball. The 16-inch (0.41 m) ball is used frequently for softball games in Chicago.

This sport was created as an indoor sport in Chicago. It was later modified to an outdoor sport to keep firemen up to par with the name Kitten League Ball or Mush Ball. It later gained national recognition and had its name changed to diamond ball. Afterwards, it was changed to softball. The International Softball Federation was created as the sport gained international recognition. In 1996, a Women's Softball Competition was added to the Olympics.

William Poon -- 2001