Slowpitch softball appeals to all types of players; young and old, male and female, recreational and professional. A number of different factors come into play when selecting a slowpitch softball bat. The league and level in which you decide to play, as well as your size, strength, and personal preference will dictate what bat is right for you.
Here are some of the basics that will hopefully have you feeling more comfortable in the selection process, and on the field where it really counts!
All slowpitch softball bats have a barrel diameter of 2 1/4 inches and do not exceed 34 inches in length. The weight of each bat varies, but the most common choices are 26oz, 27oz, 28oz and 30oz. There are smaller/lighter slowpitch bats on the market, but they are generally going to be mid-level to lower-end model bats. Higher performing bats tend to fall under the aforementioned guidelines.
ASA and USSSA are the two main organizations that regulate the standards of slowpitch softball bats, determining which bats are legal for play. ASA stands for the Amateur Softball Association, and USSSA stands for the United States Specialty Sports Association. When selecting your bat, you will be able to find one of the organizations’ stamps on the barrel. New this year, Easton and DeMarini have each created a bat with a dual stamp that will be legal for both ASA and USSSA play.
Now that we’ve got the sizes and standards out of the way, let’s dig in for the good stuff! Slowpitch softball bats are constructed into either a one-piece or two-piece model. One-piece bats use either aluminum or composite material throughout the whole pattern. Two-pieces are either fully composite, or a combination of aluminum and composite (known as a “hybrid”). One-piece bats are going to be stiffer, and are popular among players who prefer the feel of a more traditional bat. Two-piece bats allow the barrel to flex slightly, creating a spring-like effect off the barrel at the point of contact.
Most barrels have two or more walls (Double/Multi Wall). These walls are thick, producing a durable, high-performing bat. Another option is choosing a single-wall barreled bat. A single-wall bat is still a durable performer, but it seems to help level out the playing field. Many leagues out there will only allow these particular bats. The final piece to the puzzle is whether you prefer the feel of a balanced, end-loaded, or max-loaded slowpitch bat. The weight of a balanced bat will be evenly distributed throughout. An end-loaded bat will have a slight increase in weight towards the end of the barrel, while the max-loaded bat will have the majority of the weight at the end.
Visit Cheapbats.com today to view all our slowpitch softball bats! If you are uncertain as to which bats are acceptable for play in your league, contact a league representative for a list of all legal bats. And definitely do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like any additional information.