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Direct Sports, Inc.
1720 Curve Rd
Pearisburg, VA 24134
Our retail store is open
Phone Lines 9-8 eastern M-F
Closed on Sunday
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the C.O.R. rating mean on softballs ?
The c.o.r. rating is a measure ment of the hardness of the ball. The higher the c.o.r. rating, the hotter the ball. This is just the tip of the iceberg. But that's the basic measurement.
What does BPF 1.20 mean?
BPF stands for Bat Performance Factor. This is determined by a ball fired at a high rate of speed, at a stationary bat. If the ball comes off the bat 20% faster than it was fired at the bat, then it exceeds 1.20. Many leagues will not allow the use of a bat that rates higher than 1.20 BPF.
What is BBCOR
Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution
Starting in January of 2011, all NCAA baseball teams had to begin using BBCOR certified bats. Starting in January of 2012, all high schools must conform to these new baseball bat regulations also. Many youth baseball organizations are also planning on going to the new rules.
This new rule replaces the old, which was called the BESR (Bat Exit Speed Ratio) rule. The BESR rule has been determined to not accurately measure the actual performance of certain baseball bats.
BBCOR and BESR Rules Compared
What is BESR?
The BESR baseball bat regulation simply measured the speed of the ball after it was struck by the bat. No "brand new" baseball bat could have an exit speed of more than 97 miles per hour. The problem with that rule came a little later, after many composite bats began to surface.
Composite bats, after a lot of use, actually begin having a "trampoline" effect on a baseball. The composite baseball bat, after compression, will literally bounce the ball faster and farther. I have heard reports of 115mph exit speeds after a composite bat became compressed. To gain an advantage, many baseball players would purchase a composite bat and then find someone with a compression machine to compress the bat for immediate benefits.
Obviously, safety became a big concern for fans, pitchers, and infielders with these bats, basically, shooting rockets all over the place. This is the main reason why the NCAA and NFHS decided to come up the new B.B.C.O.R. baseball bat regulations.
The Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution rule actually measures the "trampoline" effect of the baseball instead of exit speed. When a bat hits a baseball, the ball actually compresses, or deforms, by up to 1/3.
A pitched ball holds lots of energy. When a hitter hits the ball using a wood bat, much of that energy is lost when the ball compresses on contact. With hollow-core aluminum or composite bats, the thin walls flex slightly, the ball distorts less, which retains its pitched energy and adds to it the power of the bat speed. Hence, non-wood bats hit balls faster and farther.
The loss of energy at impact is what BBCOR measures. The less energy lost, the faster the ball speed after it gets launched off the bat. The BBCOR regulation will help keep those "launched" speeds much lower than the BESR rules.
An easy way to explain BBCOR is to have your jump up and down on a hard surface. You have to work hard, and takes a lot of energy, to get your legs off the ground. The hard surface does not help you. In contrast, jump on a trampoline... With a very minimal amount of energy, your body will bounce high because your energy isn't getting absorbed by the trampoline. Instead, the trampoline is "flexing" with contact and then "bouncing" back to its original state, which then launches you higher.
It's that "trampoline" effect off the bat that we are looking to get rid of for safety reasons. BBCOR certified bats will be much similar to wood bats which will keep youth baseball players much safer.
BBCOR Equations and Calculations
The technology in some of the new baseball bats over the past few years has increased home runs across the country. Home runs are much easier to hit over the past few years than ever before!
According to NCAA Division I baseball statistics (on NCAA site), in 2007 the per-game average of home runs hit was 0.68. That number increased to .84 in 2008, and .96 in 2009. The runs scored per game have also increased steadily since 2007 when it was 6.10 runs per game. In 2008, there were an average of 6.57 runs per contest and that rose to 6.88 in 2009 and 6.98 in 2010.
The goal of this baseball bat regulation is for college, high school and youth baseball bats to the same performance as the top wood bats that are used in professional baseball. This will help with safety concerns that arise due to faster exit speeds off of current bats. According to the NFHS, “the new standard ensures that performances by non-wood bats are more comparable to those of wood bats. It’s also expected to minimize risk, improve play and increase teaching opportunities”. NFHS also states, “After working with the NCAA and having access to its research, we’ve concluded it’s in our best interest to make this change. B.B.C.O.R. includes the BESR standard, so we’re actually expanding upon our current standard, which will be more appropriate for our age and skill level."
Who will need to make this change?
If your team plays under NCAA or NFHS rules, you almost certainly will need a new bat. Baseball bat companies have adjusted their designs and you will hardly notice a physical difference (you simply won't hit the ball as hard as often).
The BBCOR must be less than or equal to .500.
How is a ball glove measured?
Each manufacturer seems to have a different way to measure fielding gloves. Ideally, take a glove on your hand, palm facing you. Take a tape measure and run it down the inside of the glove, with the tape touching leather all the way. Take the measurement from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the heel.
Do leather softballs perform better than synthetic?
In our experience, there is no major difference in performance. Leather costs more but many players like the feel of a leather ball better. Under wet conditions, synthetic balls may be the choice because they tend not to retain water as much as leather balls.
What’s better, end-loaded or balanced?
Different types of hitters prefer different types of bat weights. A power hitter tends to favor end loaded bats while base hitters tend to like a balanced bat. However, every hitter has different preferences, so what applies to one player may not apply to another.
Why do some types of bats have a warranty and others do not?
Certain bats will offer no warranty. These bats typically have thinner walls. A thinner walled bat will tend to have greater performance, but will dent easier. Many companies offer these “Advanced Player” bats. Some offer "Advanced Player Bats with warranties, but these are basically custom bats that have the same wall thickness as stock bats.
What is the most common weight for slowpitch softball bats?
Currently, the most popluar slowpitch bat size is 27oz
What size bat should I buy?
Personal preference is a big factor here. The best weight for your teammate may not be the best weight for you. One of the latest and greatest things in slow-pitch softball is bat speed. But when all is said and done you want the heaviest bat that you can swing the fastest.
Is my softball bat legal?
With the way the associations change the standards, its best to check their websites and look for approved bats list.
Why do bat companies list a minimum temperature rating for using bats?
Because cold temperatures are guaranteed to dent thin walled bats. Most manufacturers recommend a minimum of 60-65 degrees.
Do you play ball, if so, what bat do you use?
The majority of the employees at DIRECT SPORTS play softball. We get to choose from every bat out there. And it is a rarity that all of us use the same type of bat. It all boils down to personal preference.
Can you give me a comparison between the top of the line bats? Which one will perform the best?
It would be impossible to count the times we have been asked this question. And I don’t think there is really an answer. The best bat for one player may not necessarily be the best for another. Too many factors come into play; bat weight, barrel length, handle diameter, alloy, end loading, shell wt, etc. Once again, each individual player is the best comparison. Personal preference says it all.
What's the best way to break in a ball glove?
We’ve heard everything from A-Z. Some were very good, some were not. Here are some of the best we have found: 1. Use glove oil, glove foam, shaving cream, Hot Glove etc. rub it in well then use the glove. 2. Put a ball in your glove, wrap the glove up, put it under the mattress. Ultimately, USAGE, is the best way.
Do you match prices?
If you find a bat advertised from another company, we MAY match the delivered price. Not so in all cases.. However, please check the SHIPPING RATES of other mail-order companies. In many cases we are ultimately cheaper.
How long will it take to get my package?
Most packages are shipped within 24 hrs. If you place an order during business hours, your order will NORMALLY be shipped the next business day. On the East coast you can expect your ground package in 2-3 business days. On the West coast, 5-6 business days. If you place an order over the weekend or Friday evening, your order will not be shipped until the following week. We do offer express shipping at an additional cost. If you have a backordered item, you will be notified via email. We try to keep the items that we have listed on the website in stock at all times. But at times in the year, some popular items may or may not be in stock. If you place an order and would like to inquire about whether the item you requested is in stock or out of stock, just make a comment with your order. You will be emailed back. Items that are out of stock for a lengthy amount of time will be noted on the website.
If I buy something and I don't use it, can I return it?
Any item may be returned for exchange or refund provided it is unused, in the original packaging, and is returned within 30 days of the purchase date. Please call for authorization before returning merchandise. Shipping charges are not refundable.
Can I have my order shipped to my work?
To prevent credit card fraud, we are required to verify all credit card orders and match the card holders billing address. When the cardholders billing address is verified we can ship to an alternate address.
Who do I return my defective item to?
Most items have a manufacturer’s warranty, which is passed directly to the customer. Direct Sports has no control over the terms or contents of the warranty. Items that do not have a warranty are clearly noted. Many companies prefer that you deal with them directly. If you have a defective item, we will be happy to assist you in receiving a refund or replacement as quickly as possible. PLEASE CALL FOR AUTHORIZATION.
How long does it take to get something replaced?
If your item is defective and the replacement is in stock, we will try to replace it as soon as possible. Usually your replacement will be shipped within 2 business days of receiving the defective item.
Do you give any team discounts, or and discounts to any schools? Do you offer any large quantity discounts?
Yes. We offer quantity discounts and discounts for schools. CALL FOR PRICES!!! We also offer Net 30 Days for Schools.
How do I find what I'm looking for on the website?
There a couple ways to look for items. On each page of the website, there is the navigation bar. This shows the various types of equipment that we stock. If you click on one of these items, there will be a subheading below showing each company that we have. So for example if you are looking for a slowpitch bat you would click on Slowpitch, then under the subheading you would click on the manufacturer of the bat that you are inquiring about. This will take you to the Slowpitch Softball Bat page where all the manufacturer slowpitch bats we stock are listed. You can find your bat there. Another way is to use our SEARCH, located on each page of the website.
How do I use the search on the website?
The search is set up so that it will pick up item numbers, model numbers, or keywords. So almost anything pertaining to the item you are looking for should show up.
I'm trying to place an order but nothing is in my shopping cart.
If you see an item you would like to purchase, be sure to enter a quantity before you hit add to cart. If you don't there will be nothing in your shopping cart to order. You can always check to see items in your shopping cart by looking at the top of each page, or at the bottom of the navigation bar on the left hand side of each page. It will give you a subtotal and the number of items you have in your cart. And it will change as you add to or take away from your shopping cart. If you use the checkout buttons either in the navigation bar on the left or at the very top of the page, your order will not be processed correctly.
How can I track my order.
We now offer a way for customers to create accounts, log in and check the status of orders placed. All you have to do is enter your email address and add a password to set up the account. This will allow you to store the your address information so you wont have to type it in every time you place an order. You will be automatically emailed a tracking number when you order ships. You can still place orders without creating an account, but you will not be able to track your order through the website.