Monday, July 6, 2015
2007 News Archive

ISC Introduces New Softball for 2007 and New Worth Retailer for US

Thursday, February 1, 2007

ISC Introduces New Softball for 2007 and New Worth Retailer for US


For the past several years many players, administrators and fans have expressed concern about the safety of today’s hi-tech bats and balls.  As everyone knows, the game has experienced numerous incidents where serious injuries have occurred due to players being hit with a batted or thrown ball.


In recent years, we have attended many meetings and seminars, with manufacturers and testing groups about bat/ball technology and how it can be harnessed to provide maximum safety for players.  Frankly, not much has come from these gatherings and that is primarily due to the differences between what is wanted for slowpitch, compared with what is wanted and needed for fastball or fastpitch.  Remember, slowpitch accounts for far more ball sales than fastpitch.  Also remember, men’s fastpitch is the only segment of softball still using white balls.  We are a very small part of the overall softball sales market.


In 2006, based on a motion from the ISC Player Rep Committee, the Board of Directors passed a motion to have ISC proceed with locating and/or developing a safer ball.


In numerous discussions with both pitchers and hitters, the consensus was having the Worth K-Master cover on a cork center ball.  Until recently, the technology to accomplish this was not available.  Now the technology is available and Worth has worked with us to develop a new ball.


Beginning with the 2007 season, the official ISC ball for both the ISC World Tournament and the ISC II Tournament of Champions will be the newly created Worth K-Master120 Fastpitch Cork, model C120WISC.


In early December, Worth provided us with one dozen of these new balls to test, as best we could, with indoor tests in most cases but testing them with both pitching and hitting.  The balls were distributed to 10 individuals playing at the ISC World and II levels in various and diverse locations in US and Canada.  They in turn involved other players in their areas to test the new ball.  Without going into detail, all reports from this testing were positive from both a pitching and hitting perspective.


Our plan was to have 30 dozen of these new balls available for a tournament test at the January AAU Men’s International tournament at Disney World.  Unfortunately, the ball shipment did not arrive from China to use the balls at AAU.  In the meantime, Worth made a decision to go into full production for wide-spread use in the upcoming 2007 season.  Based on Worth’s commitment and the positive limited test results we obtained in December, the ISC has decided to accept this new ball for its official ball in 2007.  Shipments are expected to arrive in the US and Canada in March and will immediately be distributed to official retailers and suppliers.





Some Cautions


While most agree a cork center ball is safer than the previously used poly-core ball, players must not be lulled into thinking ball injuries are a thing of the past.  The safer aspect is that a cork center ball has some “give” to it and will soften slightly during a game.  However, it is still a hard ball and can still cause serious player injuries.  The new ball has the same .47 COR and 375 compression as the poly-core K-Master and cork center Dream Seam.


Retailers & Suppliers


The ISC is proud to announce a new Worth retailer for the US. 


MVD Sports – Mike Van Dine

1226 E. Main St.

Ashland, OH 44805



Mike is not only a team sponsor and player; he has been very instrumental in working with both ISC and Worth in the development of the new ball.


The official Canadian supplier for Worth remains:


Rawlings Group Canada

70 Morton Ave. - Unit 1

Brantford, ON N3S 7J7

519-750-1380 ext 233

800-741-7205 ext 233 (Jason Shipley) or (Randy Beatty)


Exception For 2007


Because this announcement is being made in early February and knowing some tournaments have remaining supplies of both old K-Masters and Dream Seams, those balls will be allowed for use in 2007 ISC Qualifying tournaments and leagues.  However, we strongly encourage use of the new Worth K-Master 120 Fastpitch Cork if at all possible.




Many individuals have been involved with this project since it began last September.  We specifically want to thank Seth Elrod and Denny Helmig from Worth/Rawlings who were able to very quickly provide a new and needed product.  Thanks to Kyle Beane and Mike Van Dine who were the point guys and sounding boards for player perspective.  Our thanks to Rawlings Group Canada and MVD Sports for their cooperation in recognizing the need for the new ball and their willingness to continue a relationship with the ISC as retailers or suppliers.  And lastly to those who accepted a challenge to very quickly test the new ball last December; Mike Van Dine, Kyle Beane, Dwayne Dyck, Bill Hillhouse, Chris Santos, Kyle Magnusson, Wes Haymond and Rick Smith and to their friends and teammates who participated in their local tests and provided a written analysis of their test and their opinion of the new ball.


Ken Hackmeister
ISC Executive Director

February 1, 2007



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