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Sports organizations recently are concerned with means to control their respective games but ball testing appears not to have kept pace with changes in materials and construction. To increase ball durability, manufacturers have increased ball hardness so players are throwing harder balls today than in years past. Industry testing of sports balls has generally been limited to a few static tests and one performance test, the Coefficient of Restitution (COR). Dynamic ball hardness affects batted ball performance and varies with materials, construction, temperature and speed. Measuring dynamic hardness can require expensive equipment and sophisticated procedures. This paper discusses the use of pressure sensitive films as a cost effective method to measure the relative impact pressure and impact area of a ball impacting an object. The described test method can also be useful in evaluating the impact efficiency of protective padding.
Dynamic Hardness, Ball Hardness, Ball Impact, Pressure Sensitive Film, Ball Safety
Test Lab Manager and Vice President, Research and Development, Easton Inc., Van Nuys, CA