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Bat Resource Guide

Selecting a Softball Bat

Our softball bats come in 10 different models. Per ASA rules, all softball bats are identical from the transition through the 2 1/4" barrel. The differences are in the handle thicknesses and knob styles.

Our Model ASA 59 and Softball 59 both have thin 7/8" handles and would be good ones to consider.  The ASA Spec model has a straight handle all the way to the knob. The Softball 59 handle tapers to the knob.

Our Model ASA 41 and Softball 41 both have 15/16" medium handles and would be good ones to consider.  The ASA Spec model has a straight handle all the way to the knob. The Softball 41 handle tapers to the knob.

Our Model ASA 61 and Softball 61 both have 1" thick handles and would be good ones to consider.  The ASA Spec model has a straight handle all the way to the knob. The Softball 61 handle tapers to the knob.

Our Model ASA 71 and Softball 71 both have 15/16" medium handles with a flare to the knob. The ASA 73 and Softball 73 both have 15/16" medium handles with large knobs to counter balance the weight in the barrel for a lighter swing feel. If you are looking for a flared handled bat, these would be good ones to consider.  The 73 is our most popular model because of the balance and comfort of the handles.

There have been lots of questions from players switching from aluminum to wood softball bats as to what weight to order. Most try to get a –5 since they think the bat speed is important. They are accustomed to swinging the lightest aluminum bat possible since weight and mass behind the ball does not matter with aluminum bat barrels which provide all the pop by virtue of the material used and the thin walls. With wood softball bats, especially for slow pitch, it is important to have as much mass behind the ball as possible. The heavier the bat you can swing, the further and faster the ball will travel. A bat at an even weight differential will hit a ball harder and further than a wood softball bat with a –5 weight differential (the weight in ounces is calculated by taking the length of the bat in inches less or plus the weight differential, so a 34 inch bat with a –5 weight differential would weigh 34-5=29 ounces). Slow pitch players have plenty of time to start their swing so needing a light bat to enable the player to wait as long as possible to avoid getting fooled by the pitch is not an issue as it is in baseball. 

The heavier the wood bat you swing in softball, the harder and further the ball will travel. With slow pitch softball, it is purely about the mass behind the ball. Simple physics. You can certainly swing a broomstick faster than a –5 but how far would the ball go. Baseball players try to use a lighter (actually a bat that feels lighter which means it is more balanced as the weight of the bat is not a reliable indicator of how it “feels”)so they can wait and wait and wait to the last fraction of a second to swing at a pitch. The longer they are able to wait, the less chance they have of being fooled by the pitcher. In slow pitch softball, players have “all the time in the world” compared to baseball so the weight is not important. The heaviest wood softball bat you can swing is what you want to hit the ball harder and further.

Most power hitters like a bat that is from even to +5 and most guys that like a lighter bat go with even to -2.


  1. Which wood should I order?
  2. How do I determine the right length bat for me?
  3. Few tips to keep in mind when making your selection
  4. So you’ve chosen your bat. Now what?
  5.  

Which wood should I order?

We offer our bats in 3 different wood types

  • Maple is the hardest, stiffest wood so it hits further and is most resistant to breakage but has very little flex
  • Birch is a bit less dense than maple and has some flex, it’s performance is between maple and ash
  • Ash is the least dense and most flexible- the grain on ash bats flakes after heavy use and it performs about 15-20% less than maple and is more prone to breakage. Players like ash because they grew up with it (prior to 1998, it was the only wood used to make bats after WWII) 

 

How do I determine the right length bat for me?

Below is a chart that will give you helpful information regarding a ballpark average for your child. Please remember that the chart only gives averages and does not take into account a players personal preferences. Some players may like a longer bat while others prefer a short bat, and some may like a heavier bat or some may prefer a lighter bat. But what this chart does give you is a starting position to begin your search for a new bat.


Height (in inches)
 

(Pounds)

36-40" 41-44" 45-48" 49-52" 53-56" 57-60" 61-64" 65-68" 69-72" 73"+
Under 60 26" 27" 28" 29" 29"



61-70 27" 27" 28" 29" 30" 30"



71-80
28" 28" 29" 30" 30" 31"


81-90 28" 29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 32"

91-100
28" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32"

101-110
29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32"

111-120
29" 29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32"
121-130
29" 30" 30" 30" 31" 32" 32" 32"
131-140
29" 30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33"
141-150

30" 30" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33"
151-160

30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 33"
161-170

30" 31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 34"
171-180
30" 31" 31" 32" 33" 33" 34" 34"
180+

31" 31" 32" 32" 33" 33" 34" 34"
 

Few tips to keep in mind when making your selection

Weight:

As a general rule, bigger, stronger players usually prefer a heavier bat for maximum power. Smaller players usually benefit from a lighter bat that allows greater bat speed. To determine the weight that’s right for you, swing a variety of bats and see how much weight you’re comfortable with.

Length:

Length and weight combine for peak performance. A longer bat gives you greater reach, allowing you to hit balls on the other side of the plate. But remember that a longer bat may be heavier, and the extra weight could slow you down. Like checking the weight, you need to swing bats of different lengths to decide what length best suits you.

League Requirements:

All Adult Baseball Bats are required to meet the BBCOR Certification, which makes the bat approved for high school and college level play. Senior League (Youth Big Barrel) Bats can best be described as: This bat is designed for players between 13 and 15 years of age as well as younger players whose leagues allow bat diameters larger than 2 1/4 inch. While Youth Baseball Bats can be described as: This bat is approved by ALL youth leagues that allow 2 1/4 inch barrel diameters. To avoid costly surprises, make sure you know all league requirements before you go bat shopping.

Feel:

This may be the most important factor. Make sure the bat feels right to you, like an extension of your arm and hand. After all, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time together.

 

So you’ve chosen your bat. Now what?

You want to be comfortable and confident with your bat before you swing it in a win-or-lose situation, so take it to the practice field or batting cage and get in a few hits. Take a look at our Baseball and Softball Bat Care section to get tips on how to make your bat last as long as possible. Confidence can only come from one thing: batting practice. Whatever bat you choose, put in plenty of practice time, so you’ll be ready when the pressure’s on at the plate.