Remarkably, a softball consists of quite a vast array of material. Despite this, they are still less complex than their baseball counterparts. Baseballs are made up of four different components, whereas softballs are only made up of three. It is interesting to note the differences between the two, as different materials affect each type of ball differently.
Softballs are composed of three main components, and this fact is universal across the manufacturing of softballs. Each component is tied to a specific part of the ball: the center, cover, or seams. The center of a softball is comprised of polyurethane, however, many softball centers are also made of cork. The cover can be made up of many things, including leather or rubber materials. These materials are then bound to the rest of the ball via glue or cementation. Lastly, the seams of a softball, also known as stitches, are just that. Stitches are often woven out of yarn, or other taught material.
Aside from being durable enough to withstand the blows of a bat at considerable speeds, the components that make up a softball have a few other purposes. Seams of a ball can be raised or lowered to give a ball more control or distance abilities, respectively. Leather is often used to cover balls as opposed to rubber, as leather is less likely to degrade over time. Rubber balls are often used for practice instead of games because of this.
Softballs have been meticulously crafted with great attention to material taken into account. As always, the goal of softball manufacturers has been to provide durable, as well as powerful, softballs.
Here we can see a softball that has a cork inside. While many softballs are made this way, some do utilize a material called polyurethane instead. We can also observe the seams, or stitches, on the ball as well.