Baseball and softball have several commonalities, including stats. Every sport requires a complete evaluation of players to plan upcoming seasons better. Softball is no exception. Out of various stats used in softball, OPS is well-known for its application and quality. So, what is OPS in softball?
OPS (On-base percentage plus slugging) is a stat explaining the ability of a player to reach the base and the quality of each hit. It adds slugging percentage and on-base percentage to provide a single output.
OPS plays a vital role in softball. As a softball fan, you should know this stat works and its usefulness in the game.
How To Calculate OPS In Softball?
OPS is the sum of on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). It is calculated using the formula:
OPS = OBP + SLG
Both variables also have different formulae. Applying both formulae, here is the detailed version of the OPS formula:
- OPS = AB(H+BB+HBP) + TB(AB+BB+SF+HBP) / AB(AB+BB+SF+HBP)
- AB = At-bat
- H = Hits
- BB = Bases on balls
- HBP = Hit by pitch
- TB = Total bases
- SF = Sacrifice flies
If you have the values of OBP and SLG calculated already, you can quickly estimate OPS by adding them. Otherwise, you have to substitute the value for every variable and apply it to the abovementioned formula.
Perhaps, there is no need to be a math expert to calculate this stat. The ease of calculation is the primary reason softball evaluators choose this stat to evaluate players. Evaluators calculate the OPS at the end of each season. Team owners make decisions about batters in upcoming seasons.
If you wish to assess OBP and SLG separately to make other decisions, here is the process.
- On-base percentage (OBP) = (H+BB+HBP) / (AB+BB+SF+HBP)
- OBP is concerned with hits, at-bats, and bases on balls.
- Slugging percentage (SLG) = TB/AB
The formula is pretty much the same in baseball and softball. However, there are differences in bases. If you are calculating SLG according to bases, here is a refined version of the formula:
- SLG = (1B + (2 x 2B) + (3 x 3B) + (4 x HR)) / AB
- HR = Home run
- 1B = One base
- 2B = Second base
- 3B = Third base
If you have to calculate OBP and SLG, you may probably become tired at some point because the number of inputs required is high. It can leave you exhausted.
Here are a couple of calculators available online to ease your work:
In both cases, you should input the values and wait for the calculator to present the final value. You can use Calculator.jp any number of times and find results for five variables – OPS, hits, batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage.
What Is A Good OPS In Softball?
An OPS value above .75 is good in softball. Any value above .83 is excellent, while a value below .56 is poor.
Here is a table to simplify your understanding of the values.
|Below .5666||Extremely poor; player loses the chance.|
|.5667 – .6333||Fairly poor|
|.6334 – .6999||Below average|
|.7000 – .7666||Average|
|.7667 – .8333||Just above average|
|.8334 – .8999||Good|
Softpitch evaluators and leagues use the table above to evaluate a player’s performance and decide the team arrangement for upcoming seasons.
A good OPS in a fastpitch softball is a value above .7499. A player below a 2.000 OPS score loses the chance to play further.
Fast pitches broadly differ from other forms based on-pitch speed. Not all hitters become eligible to play fastpitch softball. As a result, OPS is one of the notorious stats used to evaluate the quality of performance and the potential to reach the base.
A good OPS in college softball is above .8000. A good OBP is above .400, and SLG is over .400.
Values of OPS in softball are incredibly critical to decide if a player is progressing to the next level in the sport. Some professional leagues expect college softball players to have an OPS above .900 to play further.
Here is a list of seven players with good OPS values at the college level.
|Cydney Sanders||.566||.952||1.518||Arizona State|
|Addison Barnard||.467||1.018||1.485||Wichita State|
|Yannira Acuna||.568||.852||1.420||Arizona State|
|Andrea Howard||.543||.875||1.418||New Mexico|
All seven players belong to five different teams and have high OPS values as of 2022. However, these players have huge opportunities as they get recognized to play in professional leagues.
A good OPS for high school softball is above .800, and this needs an OBP above .415.
At the high school level, a player with a batting average of at least .300 and OBP above .415 is considered good. This player becomes eligible for college-level games.
Is OPS Better Than Batting Average?
OPS is better than the batting average for two reasons – the former considers hits and the potential of a hitter to reach the base. However, the batting average is more concerned with the batting ability.
A player with a high batting average turns out to be the best hitter in a softball game. However, this is not the perfect way to measure performance.
The formula of a batting average considers the number of balls a softball player has faced and the ratio of hits to at-bats. There is no understanding if the batter can reach the base and the performance at each base.
OPS is better than the batting average in this aspect. Although it is not a great stat, OPS is still a healthy stat that softball coaches can use to rank batters and devise strategies.
Is OPS A Reliable Stat In Softball?
Softball coaches believe that OPS is reliable, but disregards ballpark events and is more concerned with the player’s ability to reach the base. It misappropriates SLG and OBP values.
OPS is not a great stat but is easy to compute and apply to evaluate the quality of softball players. It is commonly used in MLB (baseball). What about softball?
OPS offers insights about the batter’s performance based on two variables – slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Perhaps, it works better than other stats like batting average to explain the potential of hitters. However, there are flaws.
The primary flaw is that it considers slugging and on-base percentages equally. However, they are calculated differently in terms of scales. For example, SLG is assessed with a 4-point scale while OBP is limited to a 1.000-point scale. Assuming them to be equal can be the biggest flaw. It can eventually affect the decision.
Another issue is that OBP is attached to the ability to score more runs. It is unfair to equal it to SLG.
Anyone can compute OPS in softball. It needs only two variables. However, it throws light on players that focus on power. Such players get high OBP values. Contrarily, their SLG values are poor. This gives a flawed assumption about power and getting on base.
Several softball coaches still continue using OPS to measure the strategic contribution of batters. While better stats are used in softball, they still get back to OPS because of its availability. Not many coaches recognize that OPS ignores ballpark conditions and prioritizes the potential of a batter to reach the base in a specific appearance.
My Favorite Softball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here are my top softball equipment recommendations that I think will take your game to the next level.
- Bat: My favorite certified fastpitch softball bat is the Easton Ghost. This bat has a double-barrel construction which is incredible if you are looking for a great feel and are a fan of satisfying pop and sound. The handle is a great bonus as it’s great to hold on to and very thin. The technology used for this bat provides great durability and flexibility. This bat comes in various styles and sizes.
- Softball: The best softballs, in my opinion, are the Franklin Sports Official Softballs. These affordable yet official featured balls are perfect for practice if you want to train with a similar ball as in a real game. These balls have the official 12-inch circumference and weight. The yellow color makes it easy to spot, and the flat seams enable minimal air resistance so that they will fly consistently and far.
- Glove: Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Glove should be introduced to every softball player. The 12.5″ size makes it a breeze to catch and secure softballs. The glove is very comfortable as it’s made from full-grain leather, and the pull-staps will perfect the fit. The design is breathtaking as well. Be prepared for a little break-in time tho.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.