Softball Bat Buying Guide
How Do You Buy the Right Softball Bat?
Choosing the right softball bat can be a very confusing process.
Today with all of the different options and technologies being offered what seems like an
easy process can become a daunting task. With some key knowledge and a little research,
buying the right bat can be an easy and rewarding experience.
We have created a Fastpitch Bat Buying Guide and Slowpitch Bat Buying Guide
to help you find the bat that fits your needs.
Bat Material Information
- Composite Bats: Made from woven fibers for added pop and durability. Composite bats require a break in period of 200-300 hits while rotating the barrel. They dampen vibration and bat sting.
- Aluminum Bats: Generally lighter weight and allow for faster swing speeds. Aluminum bats have thinner barrel walls that create a trampoline effect and drive the ball greater distances.
- Hybrid Bats: 2-piece design with a lighter composite handle that allows for a longer alloy barrel.
Fastpitch Bat Buying Guide
The key to finding a good bat is getting the right size and weight that fits the player
- Fastpitch bats have a barrel diameter of 2-1/4"
- Fastpitch bats range from 26 to 34 inches in length
- Youth fastpitch bats are 26 to 32 inches
- High School and older fastpitch players should use 30 to 34 inch bats
- Length to weight ratios range from -8 to -13 (EX: A 30 in/20 oz bat has a length to weight ratio of -10, or drop 10.)
- There are four sanction leagues that fastpitch bats fall under: ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA
- Make sure the bat you are buying is certified for the league you are in
- Most fastpitch bats will fall under the ASA requirements, which are the most strict, and therefore meet the other league requirements
One-Piece vs Two-Piece Bats:
- One-piece bats are for strong power hitters. They are stiff, strong and lose little to no energy on contact, allowing you to maximize your power.
- Two-Piece bats are for contact hitters. They allow the bat to flex, giving your swing an extra boost in speed and power.
- Picking too heavy of a bat. If a player picks too heavy of a bat, they will not have a fast enough swing speed.
- Avoid picking a bat based upon color or appearance, rather select a bat based on feel and performance.
- Don't buy a bat because it's what your friends or teammates use. Select a bat based on your own style of hitting, and try out several different models.
Slowpitch Softball Bat Buying Guide
- All slowpitch bats have a 2-1/4" barrel size
- All slowpitch bats are 34 inches long
- Weight ranges from 26 ounces to 30 ounces
- 26 and 27 ounces are the most popular
- Bigger, more powerful players will choose 28 to 30 ounce bats
- Make sure the bat you choose meets the standards of the league you are in
- There are 5 sanctioned leagues: ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA & ISF
- Leagues may require a certification stamp so make sure your bat falls under the requirements
Balanced vs. End-Loaded:
- Balanced bats are for players who prefer a lighter, more balanced feel when swinging
- End-loaded bats are generally for bigger, more powerful players who prefer more weight towards the end of the barrel