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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

Size Information:

The key to finding a good bat is getting the right size and weight that fits the player

  1. Fastpitch bats have a barrel diameter of 2-1/4"
  2. Fastpitch bats range from 26 to 34 inches in length
  3. Youth fastpitch bats are 26 to 32 inches
  4. High School and older fastpitch players should use 30 to 34 inch bats
  5. 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.)

Fastpitch Bat Buying Guide

League Information: 

  1. There are four sanction leagues that fastpitch bats fall under: ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA
  2. Make sure the bat you are buying is certified for the league you are in
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Two-Piece bats are for contact hitters. They allow the bat to flex, giving your swing an extra boost in speed and power. 

Common Mistakes:

  1. Picking too heavy of a bat. If a player picks too heavy of a bat, they will not have a fast enough swing speed.
  2. Avoid picking a bat based upon color or appearance, rather select a bat based on feel and performance. 
  3. 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

Size Information:

  1. All slowpitch bats have a 2-1/4" barrel size
  2. All slowpitch bats are 34 inches long
  3. 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

League Information:

  • 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
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