Gearing up for slow-pitch season is a great way to build excitement for the upcoming summer. Choosing a slow-pitch softball bat is much simpler compared to choosing a baseball bat. The final decision is similar because the bat you choose should always come down to your personal feel and comfort. However, there are no standard sizing charts or guidelines to help you narrow it down. Below we have gathered a few tips to help simplify your approach to finding a bat that will work the best for you.
LENGTH & WEIGHT
As stated above, there are no specific sizing charts based on your height and weight but it is important to note that bats on the market vary and there are benefits to swinging either a lighter or heavier bat.
Players who swing a heavy bat do so to generate more power behind each swing where as some players like to swing a lighter bat for faster swing speed. Swinging a bat too light for you can result in less force or power behind each swing but swinging a bat too heavy can result in a slower swing speed; so finding the right combo for your personal preference is key.
BALANCED vs. END-LOAD vs. MAXLOAD
Just like length and weight, the load of the barrel is personal preference. There are three main barrel categories in the bat industry and feel of each one will vary by brand.
Balanced bats are the most common because the barrel is evenly distributed from end to end and allows for an evenly consistent swing.
End-loaded bats tend to add an extra half ounce of weight located around the end of the barrel resulting in more momentum with your swing.
Max-loaded bats are similar to end-loaded with extra weight at the end of the barrel and are generally used by stronger players who have full control over their swing.
ONE-PIECE vs. TWO-PIECE
One-piece bats use the same material throughout the bat which creates a stiffer design and is used by players who want less flex than a two-piece bat.
Two-piece bats consist of the handle and barrel being fused together which is designed to flex during the swing to creating a recoil effect when the ball makes contact with the barrel.
RULES & REGULATIONS
Slow-pitch softball leagues consist of male and female players covering a variety of age groups; some competitive and some recreational. There are a few associations in place that do differ on some bat rules. ASA, USSSA, NSA, and Senior Softball are a few of the regulated associations across the country. If you are unsure what association rules your league follows, ask an umpire or league coordinator before purchasing a bat.
It is important to rotate the bat in your hands after every swing to prevent one side from being worn down faster, during batting practice.
Do not store any bat in extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Only hit regulation balls.