les that its players follow. If you don’t follow these rules, you are basically not allowed to play in a certain association. There are three popular associations – High school, ASA and USSSA. Each one of them has their own rules. Let’s take a look at these rules briefly:
High School Bats Rules
One of the most popular high school softball associations is NFHS – National Federation of State High School Associations. The rules set out by NFHS are generally followed by other smaller associations. According to 2016 NFHS Softball rulebook, a slow pitch or fast pitch softball bat should have a maximum length of 34 inches and a barrel diameter of 2 ¼ inches.
Furthermore, a bat that has ASA 2002 or 2004 stamp on it is approved for play in high school softball leagues. You can check for the non-approved bats on the ASA website. Wood bats that you use in NFHS leagues do not require any stamp of approval.
Each bat should have a safety grip and an end cap. The size of the grip should be between 10 and 15 inches. The barrel needs to have a smooth cylindrical shape and a solid transition to the handle (taper). All of the above mentioned bat rules and any other specified by your high school softball association should be taken care of.
ASA Bats Rules
The Amateur Softball Association sets out rules and regulations for both slow pitch and fast pitch softball. It includes rules for the players, the field and the equipment as well. According to ASA, a bat is legal for play in slow pitch softball if it has a stamp of approval which says “ASA 2000” or “ASA 2004”, if it has a maximum length of 34 inches and if its weight is less than 38 ounces. Additionally, the barrel should be smooth, free from dents and should have a diameter no more than 2.25 inches.
The bat can be made up of wood, metal or composite material. An ASA softball bat should have a safety grip that is no longer than 15inches. It can be made up of cork or composite material.
There should be an end cap and a safety knob as well. Any bat which is altered or has removable parts is deemed illegal by ASA. The official website of ASA has a list of approved and non-approved bats. You should definitely check out this list. The manufacturer should mark a certain bat as “OFFICIAL SOFTBALL”.
USSSA Bats Rules
According to 2017 United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) rules for slow pitch softball, the official bat should have a maximum length of 34 inches. The bat should consist of a knob which is attached to the handle and a barrel that has a maximum diameter of 2 ¼ inches.
The overall weight of the bat should not be more than 31 ounces. A tape grip that is minimum 10 inches long should be attached to the handle. The bat should have a permanent USSSA marking. Damaged and abused bats are not allowed for play in slowpitch softball USSSA leagues.
Same rules apply to fastpitch softball games. Keep in mind that your bats should have performance standard of BPF 1.20. Wood bats, however, do not require this standard.