Baseballs and rounders balls are both spheres used in batting sports, but they have some distinct differences. Here are 11 ways baseballs and rounders balls differ:
- Weight – Baseball is lighter at 5-5.25 ounces versus 7-9 ounce rounders balls.
- Size – Rounders balls have a larger 3.5 inch diameter versus 2.9 inches for baseballs.
- Materials – Baseball uses wrapped yarn while rounders balls are solid rubber.
- Bounce – Rounders balls bounce much higher than baseballs.
- History – Baseball grew from rubber while rounders evolved from stone balls.
- Speed – Baseball pitches range 46-100+ mph versus 10-30 mph for bowling in rounders.
- Pitching – Baseball pitchers throw overhand versus rounders underhand bowling.
- Records – Baseball’s record pitch is 105.1 mph versus 51 mph for rounders bowling.
- Storage – Keep baseballs in humidity-controlled rooms versus regular storage for rounders.
- Brands – Rawlings, Wilson, Diamond dominate baseballs while rounders has mostly generic balls.
- Aging – Older baseballs get compressed and lose bounce versus rounders rubber lasting longer.
In this article, we’ll explore the key differences that make baseballs and rounders balls ideal for their specific sports. By the end, you’ll see why their designs perfectly suit the games.
Difference in Weight
The most noticeable difference is baseballs are much lighter than rounders balls. Baseballs weigh just 5-5.25 ounces on average. This allows for swinging and fast precise pitches.
Rounders balls tip the scales at 7-9 ounces, almost twice as heavy as baseballs. The extra heft provides momentum for hitting but limits pitch speeds.
So baseballs average 40-50% lighter weight for faster play suited to the sport.
Difference in Size
Along with the varied weights comes a size difference. Rounders balls have a larger diameter averaging 3.5 inches across.
Baseballs are more compact at just 2.9 inches in diameter on average. This smaller size allows greater control and sharp breaking pitches.
The larger rounders ball is easier to hit solidly with the wood bat’s sweet spot.
Difference in Bounce
The materials used in each ball also give them different bounce action. Rounders balls bounce higher off the dirt and bat.
Baseballs don’t bounce as high due to the tightly wound yarn interior. The bounce is variable based on how tightly the ball is wound.
So rounders feature a lively bounce well-suited for hitting, while baseballs bounce lower for fielding.
Speaking of materials, baseballs and rounders balls have contrasting insides and outsides.
Baseballs contain wrapped yarn surrounded by leather or synthetic hide. This gives a controlled lower bounce.
Rounders balls are solid dense rubber all the way through. The thick rubber shell bounces much higher.
These material differences result in distinct play performance.
History of Both Balls
Baseballs and rounders balls took different paths through history as well.
Baseballs evolved from rubber balls in the mid-1800s as the sport spread. Yarn interiors enhanced control.
Rounders originated from small stone balls used to hit sticks. Rubber balls emerged in the early 1900s as safer alternatives.
So baseballs developed as rubber and fabric inventions while rounders balls modernized from stone to rubber.
Speed They Travel
During actual games, baseballs and rounders balls get hit at very different velocities.
Baseball pitches can exceed 100 miles per hour by pros. Even casual throws zip 60-80 mph across the diamond.
Rounders bowls come in between 10-30 mph. Hitting slower bowls gives time to strike. The rubber ball limits speed.
So baseballs travel 2-3 times faster than rounders balls when pitched and hit, producing faster-paced games.
How Fast is a Serve?
In terms of pitching, baseball allows much faster serves than rounders.
Baseball pitchers throw overhand often exceeding 90 mph up to 105 mph for records. This lets them throw heat and curveballs.
Rounders requires gentle underhand bowling below head height. Bowls come in slow between 10-30 mph for hitting.
The bowling style prevents rounders balls from reaching baseball velocities on serves.
What is the World Record Speed of Both?
Speaking of records, Aroldis Chapman holds the baseball record with a 105.1 mph fastball in 2010.
For rounders bowling, the fastest recorded speed is 51 mph by rounders star Robert Perks.
So baseball pitches double the speed of even the fastest rounders bowls.
How Both Compare to Balls from Other Sports
Baseballs and rounders balls also contrast with balls from other bat and ball sports:
- Cricket – Cricket balls have raised leather seams unlike baseballs and rounders.
- Softball – Softballs are a larger version of baseballs with softer cores.
- Tennis – Fuzzy high-bouncing tennis balls differ greatly.
No other ball has baseball’s compact size and fast pace. Rounders balls uniquely suit casual hobby play.
The Best Makes of Balls for Either Sport
For baseball, brands like Rawlings, Wilson and Diamond make the highest quality MLB balls.
Rounders features mostly affordable generic balls from companies like Slazenger rather than premium brands.
Serious baseball players prefer the top stitching, hides and cores from leading makers.
Best Ways to Store or Maintain the Balls
Baseballs must be stored at consistent 70F/50% humidity to retain shape and bounce.
Rounders balls can be stored in normal room temperature conditions with no special care.
Avoid knocking baseballs around on concrete or asphalt which can damage the hides and stitching.
How a New Ball Compares to an Older Ball
Brand new baseballs perform the best, with tight bound yarn and snappy hides.
With use, baseballs get compressed and lose their lively pop off the bat. Old balls become “dead.”
Rounders rubber balls retain their bounce much longer over years of play. They outlast baseballs.
So in summary, baseballs and rounders balls differ significantly in their size, weight, materials, bounce and ideal play speed. Each ball is engineered perfectly for its sport! Knowing the differences will help players choose the right ball.