10 Common Questions in Baseball and Softball Bats

September 24, 2018
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Baseball and Softball bat lovers are always on the hunt for the best bats out there. Whether it’s an entirely new release or an upgrade to an older version, everything is at their fingertips.

These players never get shy of asking questions surrounding baseball and softball bats. We have made this directory of questions and answers to facilitate all of you out there, which we will update regularly. We hope that it will be helpful and informative.

questions and answers about baseball and softball bats

#1. Does a Heavier Softball Bat Hit Farther?

This is a tricky question! There are opposing opinions on this topic. Supporters of heavier softball bats claim that these bats can hit farther. This happens because such bats can produce a faster ball speed.

You can generate more momentum with a heavy bat. Also, the batter who swings such a bat is physically strong and has more force behind the bat. But, with more weight comes slower swing speed which in turn impacts the distance.

When you swing a lighter bat, you can achieve a faster swing speed which allows you to hit farther. Players have used both heavy and light bats, and it all boils down to your personal preferences. When choosing the best softball bats, the heavier or lighter bats are also two factors to consider.

#2. What does End Loaded mean on a Bat?

When talking about baseball and softball bats, there are two major types – balanced and end loaded. As the name suggests, end-loaded bats are the kind of bats that have most of their weight concentrated near the end cap. In other words, the weight is not balanced throughout the barrel.

It is comparatively difficult to control these bats due to their top-heavy feel. The swing weight on these bats becomes heavier. As a rule of thumb, remember that bats with lower length to weight ratios are usually end-loaded. So, if you come across a bat with a -8 drop weight, you can expect it to be an end-loaded one.

Batters who are physically strong are advised to such bats. Young players should go for balanced bats. DeMarini and Easton are known to produce some of the best end-loaded bats in the market.

#3. How long is a Baseball Bat in meters?

Baseball bats come in a variety of lengths. They are usually measured in inches but converting them into meters isn’t a big issue. MLB provides that the maximum length of baseball bats should be 1.07 meters or 42 inches. A 32-inch baseball bat comes to around 0.81 meters.

Bats used for Youth leagues are smaller in length and range between 0.66 and 0.79 meters. If you find a bat with length given in inches only, you can easily convert it to meters. Remember that 1 inch is equal to 0.0254 meters. This means that a 42-inch baseball bat is equal to 42*0.0254=1.0668 or 1.07 meters.

#4. What is the average size Bat used in MLB?

Major League Baseball (MLB) provides its players with a rather long list of rules. Many of these rules apply to the kind of baseball bat used in MLB. To start, MLB states that only wooden bats can be used in baseball.

Why wooden bats only? Our next question answers this aspect in detail. Next comes the length! Baseball bats that are permitted in MLB should not exceed 42 inches in length. On average, baseball players use a 36-inch long bat.

Pros like Babe Ruth used a bat that was 36 inches long. On the other hand, Tony Gwynn was known to use the shortest baseball bat with a length of 32 inches. When it comes to the weight, an average batter goes for a 35 oz bat.

Babe Ruth was known to play with the heaviest 50+ oz bat in his time, whereas Ozzie Smith owned the lightest bat (29 oz). While it’s good to know the averages, we always recommend our readers to keep their comfort, preferences and skills in mind before going for a particular size bat.

#5. Why are Wooden Bats used in MLB?

A long list of rules governs major League Baseball (MLB). In addition to other requirements for baseball bats, this rule states that the bat used in MLB needs to be one piece of solid wood.

This means that major league players cannot choose aluminum or composite, or hybrid bats. There are multiple reasons for sticking to wooden bats. MLB wishes to maintain its history, and it does that by not shifting to any other types of baseball bats.

Wooden bats keep the essence of the historical baseball game alive. Additionally, swinging a wooden baseball bat requires more skills as they are heavier and slower to swing than other bats.

For a home run, MLB pros need to work extra-hard. Finally, safety is another important concern. If pros start hitting with aluminum bats, the players’ lives and the audience would be in danger.

#6. Do Wood or Aluminum Bats hit farther?

The debate on whether wood or aluminum bats hit farther is never-ending. Some professionals claim that wood bats hit farther, while at the same time, there are pros who support aluminum bats when it comes to hitting farther.

For us, the latter stands true. The number of deaths and injuries caused by aluminum bats stirred a debate about the power of aluminum bats in hitting farther and faster. One must keep in mind that aluminum bats have hollow barrels, are much easier to swing and have a lower moment of inertia.

These bats generate what we call as trampoline effect, which leads to higher batted ball speed. These factors support the argument that aluminum bats hit farther. A few experiments have also been conducted with results in favor of aluminum bats.

#7. What to do with old Baseball Bats?

Unfortunately, baseball or softball bats don’t last forever. Years and years of use leave these bats with irreversible damage. They usually get cracked or sometimes break into pieces.

Whatever the case is, old baseball bats are not usable, and batters need to do something about it. If you are one of those who are into making collections and storing their bats as memories of the amazing games that you have played, then that’s great! You don’t have to do much with your bat other than keep it in a nice storage place.

But, if you have space constraints and you keep on buying new bats each year, then you might want to consider one of those bat trade-in programs. Such programs allow you to trade your old bat for gift cards and other merchandise in return. Many companies are using these programs, including justbats.com.

#8. Things to make with broken Bats?

If you are a DIY lover, the list of things you can make with your broken bats is infinite. Creative minds worldwide have designed unique furniture, including beds, tables and chairs made out of broken bats. These eye-catching furnishings adorn their homes throughout the year.

While making furniture is an obvious choice, we have seen even more interesting items. A Pinterest user who happened to be a mother also used her son’s broken baseball bats and converted them into pencil holders.

If you are a foodie, then you must have heard the term “Kattobashi”. It is a Japanese term for chopsticks that are made out of broken baseball bats. You must be wondering from where do these companies get hundreds of broken bats?

The damaged bats during the Nippon Professional Baseball league are passed on to these manufacturers for recycling. We have even seen wedding rings carved out of broken bats (which we think is a fantastic idea!).

#9. What is a BPF 1.15 Bat?

BPF 1.15 or Bat Performance Factor 1.15 is a baseball certification provided by USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association). It puts a limit on the maximum trampoline-like effect in a baseball bat.

It is a lab test that checks the springiness of small barrel bats. In simple terms, BPF 1.15 measures how fast the ball comes from a baseball bat. Nearly all Youth baseball bats require a BPF 1.15 stamp. If your 7-year-old wishes to play for Little League, you must look for a small-barrel youth bat that is BPF 1.15 certified.

There is a lot of debate on whether or not this test provides reliable results. Opponents consider it flawed as it does not consider the swing speeds or the fact that this test is conducted on baseball bats that are not broken-in yet. There are also no field experiments with BPF 1.15 certification.

#10. What is a Fungo Bat?

Fungo is a fielding practice drill in which a ball is tossed in the air and is hit with a fungo bat while it comes down. Such a bat is light in weight and longer in length as compared to traditional bats. This unique bat is quite helpful for fielding coaches who facilitate players with infield and outfield drills.

  1. what size fungo bat to use

As mentioned above, fungo bats are longer than normal bats that are used in MLB. Its length combined with a large-sized barrel allows the players to achieve more accuracy. It ranges between 34 to 37 inches in length and 17 to 22 ounces in weight.

Coaches around the world recommend players to go for a bat that is 34 inches in length. Weight preference, on the other hand, depends on how much your body allows you to carry. In general, there are no set rules as to which size bat you should use. You might want to swing a fungo bat first before deciding whether or not it is perfect for you.

      2. Why do you put tape on a fungo bat?

The answer to this question is pretty obvious – a fungo bat is taped to protect it and prolong its lifespan. Generally, instructors advise players to tape their bat on the fat end. While taping your fungo bat, you need to make sure that you tape in one direction. Pulling the tape to make it thin is also another common practice.

If you commit any error while taping your bat, it is advisable to take off the erroneous part and apply the tape again. You can enhance the protection of your bat by using 2 to 4 layers of tape. Athletic tape is what you will need for taping purposes.

       3. Can you use a fungo bat for softball?

Yes! As a coach, you can use a fungo bat for softball to train your players for the big leagues. Remember that these bats are not made for the actual game where live hitting and pitching is required.

However, you can easily use them for pop-ups and soft-toss grounders. These work great during your warm-up sessions! You can find fungo bats made out of aluminum, composite and wooden material.

#11. What is a Tee Ball Bat?

Primarily made for kids six years of age and younger, tee ball bats are very light in weight and are meant to hit off a tee-ball only.

These bats have a diameter of 2 ¼ inches, and their drop weight usually ranges between -10 and -13.5. When you go out in the market, you will find that there are generally two types of tee ball bats available – Alloy and Composite. Alloy bats are made out of aluminum and are much stronger than composite ones.

Experts usually advise players not to use dimpled balls with their tee ball bats as such balls can cause damage to your bats. To select the right tee ball bat for your kid, you need to look at the length and weight. Generally, bats 25-26 inches in length and 15-16 oz in weight are recommended! 

Image Source: Pixabay

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