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Softer Alternative to Jugs balls?

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  • Softer Alternative to Jugs balls?

    Let me explain the situation.
    In our area we have T-ball and then Rookie-ball (machine pitch).
    We've found the gap between the two leagues is a wide one so we've created a 'Tyke' division that is a bit of a hybrid between the two.
    I still want to use a machine to pitch to the kids (at 30 to 35mph) but use Jugs balls because they're softer.
    The problem I've seen with the Jugs balls is that while they are softer than a hardball, if hit well, they'll take harder bounces and could potentially take some kids head off.
    While this Tyke division will feature mostly 7 and 6 year olds, with only a couple of them being able to hit the ball hard, I'm still worried about safety.

    So I'm wondering if there's a ball out there that is a bit softer/safer but will still be compatible with the machine.
    Or would you recommend we simply coach-pitch to them?

    Any ideas would be great.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Exactly which Jugs balls are you using? The dimpled ones?

    There are some foam balls -- the Jugs Lite Flite for example -- that I believe are used for pitching machines. These are about as soft and safe as you can get... ATEC has a special "supersoft" ball that may be the best option.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bbrages View Post
      Exactly which Jugs balls are you using? The dimpled ones?

      There are some foam balls -- the Jugs Lite Flite for example -- that I believe are used for pitching machines. These are about as soft and safe as you can get... ATEC has a special "supersoft" ball that may be the best option.
      Yeah, we're using the dimpled ones.
      So the Jugs Flite will still work in a 'regular' machine?
      Is there enough weight to them so that the kids can still throw and field, or will they bounce out of their gloves like tennis balls?
      Thanks for the quick reply!

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      • #4
        According to the website, the Jugs Jr can "Throw 11" or 12" softballs, baseballs, JUGS Pearl, JUGS Sting-Free balls, JUGS Lite-Flite balls, JUGS Softie balls and the JUGS Bulldog polyballs."

        http://jugssports.com/productdetail.aspx?id=642

        I'm guessing the Jr is the model you are using?

        I have not used Lite-Flite balls in a pitching machine, but I have used something like them in the backyard. In my opinion, they play more naturally than wiffle balls, but they are not as good as real baseballs.

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        • #5
          In tee ball and 7/8's our program used Worth RIF balls. The tee balls were soft. The balls in 7/8's were not has hard as baseballs. The problem with 7/8's is the balls could go oblong with backspin and come straight up on the fielder. My son took one between the eyes. It knocked him out for a few seconds.

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          • #6
            it will not throw in a regular machine. you need to have the Lite Flight pitching machine.
            Originally posted by Hank1974 View Post
            Yeah, we're using the dimpled ones.
            So the Jugs Flite will still work in a 'regular' machine?
            Is there enough weight to them so that the kids can still throw and field, or will they bounce out of their gloves like tennis balls?
            Thanks for the quick reply!
            Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.
            (Babe Ruth)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kimbercarry View Post
              it will not throw in a regular machine. you need to have the Lite Flight pitching machine.
              Check the Jugs Sports website for the model of machine you are using. I think most (all?) say that they can throw Lite-Flite balls.

              http://jugssports.com/pitching-machine-products/

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