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How much better is college softball now than 10-20 years ago?

Dec 5, 2017
407
43
It's no different than any other sport. People always argue about MLB, NFL & NBA but it's not an apples to apples comparison. Deeper talent pool and more sophisticated gear and training. Todays athletes are better at their given sport but yesterdays athletes would be better given the advances that have been made. Could Barry Bonds hit off of Nolan Ryan using Dave Parkers ginormous bat? :unsure:
 

Vertigo

Jersey Girl
May 27, 2013
789
93
I just think there is more talent now, not better talent. When I played HS softball, I can only recall maybe one local pitcher capable of playing D1 - lower level. Now in several local conferences there are quite a few - with possibly more than one on the same HS team.

You only used to see the girls from the warm weather states going on to play D1, and you’d only hear about the college teams from out West and sometimes from the Deep South. The D1 teams on the East Coast north of Florida didn’t really make much noise back then.
 
May 17, 2012
2,089
63
The players are better today and there are more of them. So yes college players are better today than they were 20 years ago.

That goes for any sport.
 
Jun 8, 2016
7,957
113
Number of good players is probably higher today but the top players from the past would be the top players now (and would probably be better versions of their former selves...) and I say that mainly because, to be honest, the sport still isn't all that diverse in who it reaches..
 
Dec 11, 2010
3,064
113
Nothing changed the game more than moving the rubber from 40’ to 43’.

Pitchers are better, the thinking behind pitching has evolved. (Yet the lack of pitchers is what is holding the game back imo)

Next, the hitters are better because the thinking behind hitting has evolved.

Yeah the bats are better. But it’s down the list from a whole lot of other stuff. Better hitters hit better with any bat. I’d rather face bad hitters with a good bat any day than good hitters with bad bats.
 
Jun 19, 2016
475
43
I have a feeling we are going to see a decline in the future. The deeper talent pool doesn't seem to ring true at the younger ages.
 
Mar 4, 2015
175
28
New England
It’s hard to compare the two era’s. Pitchers from 20 years ago wouldn’t be as dominant under today’s rules and equipment. On the other hand just think what today’s hitters would look like with aluminium bats facing pitchers at 40’.
Equipment, that certain seems true. Watching games from 15-20 years ago, players don't seem quite as powerful. The rules, not sure they've changed as much. The pitchers plate was moved back to 43' in 1988, and in 1993, a newer, livelier ball was introduced. But I think bats are certainly hotter now.
 
Jan 28, 2017
1,095
63
Really no clue but I would assume the top teams are much better but you didn't have as many terrible teams 20 years ago.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,632
113
California
The yellow ball is MUCH more lively now.
Along with moving pitching back 3'
Other rule changes changed the game.
Guess will mention some again.

Now dont need to move out of the way on hit by pitches to be awarded first base.
DRAMATICALLY impacted pitchers locations. Took away brush back pitches... gave batters an edge on smaller/limited hitting zone.

Obstruction rule.
Cant be in path of baserunners.
Used to be defense could stand anywhere awaiting throw comming.

Cant slide and take out the defense. Used to, it was expected.

Number of good players is probably higher today but the top players from the past would be the top players now (and would probably be better versions of their former selves...) and I say that mainly because, to be honest, the sport still isn't all that diverse in who it reaches..
It's no different than any other sport. People always argue about MLB, NFL & NBA but it's not an apples to apples comparison. Deeper talent pool and more sophisticated gear and training. Todays athletes are better at their given sport but yesterdays athletes would be better given the advances that have been made. Could Barry Bonds hit off of Nolan Ryan using Dave Parkers ginormous bat? :unsure:
Simple point of good reads!
Talent is Talent is Talent
 
Dec 11, 2010
3,064
113

Um, yeah.. the livelier ball. Rad has been saying that for awhile. I just took a quick peek at statistics, NCAA D1 softball went from single digit hr numbers to HOLY CRAP! double digit numbers in a fairly short amount of time after 1993 as @Nimrod says above.

I used to place the 40’ rubber as the most important change but a “drive by” level look at stats seems to imply the livelier ball is more important.

Wonder when the Easton Stealth first came out?
 

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