h softball, then you might have a number of questions in your mind related to the game. Give below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the game of fastpitch and slowpitch softball.
1. What is Softball Bat Drop?
Softball Bat Drop is basically the difference between the length and the weight of a softball bat. Most of the time, it is used to represent the size of a bat. You can easily calculate the drop of a bat – for instance, a bat with a weight of 20ounces and a length of 30 inches has a drop of 10oz. (30-20) Some of the examples of bat drop include -8oz, -12oz and -15oz. The length of a certain softball bat is taken in inches while its weight is represented in terms of ounces. As a rule of thumb, remember that a bat is lighter in weight if its drop is higher. A -12oz softball bat will weigh lighter than a -8oz bat.
2. Can You use Slow Pitch Softball Bats in Fastpitch?
As the pitch speed differs in the two games, bats designed for slow pitch softball are different from that made for fastpitch softball. Slowpitch sotball bats are designed for sluggishly hitting the ball that is travelling around 25mph. They are a lot heavier in weight (some bats weighing as high as 30ounces). According to a renowned Physicist from Pennsylvania State University, a slow pitch softball bat can be used in fastpitch softball. Such a bat is able to withstand fast pitches and it won’t get damaged. On the flip side, the heavy weight on a slow pitch bat is most likely to compromise your performance and will slow down your reaction time. Although you can use your slow pitch softball bat for a fastpitch game yet it is recommended to use the right bat for the right game.
3. How to care for Slow Pitch Softball Bat?
Unfortunately, slow pitch softball bats have finite amount of hits so you need to take care of them. To start off, you should use dry leather softballs that have a compression rating of 500lbs or less. Anything greater than this and your bat will be prone to dents and breakage. Rubber balls in the cage or wet balls that weigh a lot should be avoided at all costs. In today’s world, most of the aluminum slow pitch bats don’t require break-in. They are hot out of the wrapper. Same is not the case with composite bats. They require break-in period which is usually around 150-200 hits. You should hit a softball off a tee for break-in period. It is advisable to rotate your bat ¼ turn every time you hit the ball. This way your bat gets broken in evenly. Techniques like vising or rolling that accelerate break-in period should be avoided at all costs. These are illegal and they contribute to damaging your bat. Don’t let others use your bat, as the more hits your bat takes the quicker it is expected to lose its performance. Finally, you should store your bat in a proper storage space where the temperature is normal. Extreme temperatures adversely impact your slow pitch softball bat.
4. Can you use Softball Bats in Cold Weather?
Composite bats are known for being sensitive to low temperatures. This means that you should avoid using your composite bat in temperatures below 55 degree Fahrenheit. When it is extremely cold, softballs tend to expand. This added weight increases the likelihood of your bat getting damaged. Every softball bat comes with certain temperature guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Be sure to check them before using your bat in cold weather.
5. How to Clean Softball Bats?
If you want your softball bat to look as good as new again, then cleaning it is an important step that you should take. You can easily wipe off any loose dirt that has been accumulated on your bat overtime. Once you wipe any excess dirt, then you can softly scrub your bat with mild dish soap and a soft cloth. Make sure to use a light hand. After cleaning, you can dry your bat with a soft towel. You should keep your bat away from any harsh abrasives or strong penetrating chemicals.
6. How to pick Softball Bat Length?
There isn’t a lot to choose with Slow Pitch Softball bats as they are 34 inches long. This is the standard for all the slowpitch bats. Same is not true for fastpitch bats. In order to determine the length of a fastpitch softball bat, you need to take into account your height and your weight. For someone who is around 5 inches of height, a bat length between 30-32inches is the most suitable. You can take help from the bat length reference charts that are available online.
7. How to increase Softball Bat Speed?
By putting in a little extra effort, you can increase your softball bat speed. Start off by correcting your body mechanics. For this;
- You need to correct your stance and grip your bat properly,
- You need to position your elbows in a way so that your front elbow is slightly lower than your back elbow,
- You need to keep your shoulders relaxed and save up all the tension for the swing,
- Your swing should start from your leg and should move through your entire body to your arms,
- You need to focus on the ball and follow through in order to perform a smooth swing.
Other than correcting your body mechanics, you need to do drills that will help you in achieving a faster swing. For this purpose, we recommend you to reach out to your coaches and ask for their assistance. Finally, in order to increase bat speed you should build your body strength. By strengthening your muscles you are able to swing the bat in a better way. This involves working out with your legs, tightening up your grip and strengthening your side abdominals. Stay as energetic and healthy as you can.
8. How is Softball harder than Baseball?
There is a consensus among athletes that softball is harder than baseball. This is because of several reasons:
- The softball field is much smaller than that of baseball. It is typically 60 feet.
- The reaction time in softball is much lesser as compared to that in baseball. If a softball is pitched at a speed of 90mph, the batter gets only 0.2 seconds to see and react to this pitch. An extremely fast reaction is demanded from the batters making softball much more difficult as compared to baseball.
- The mound on the softball field is flat which means that the batter has to put in extra effort in order to hit the raised pitches.
- Although baseball is smaller yet baseball bats have bigger barrels which allow the players to hit the ball in a better way. You can also find the difference between softball and baseball bats at this article
9. How to fix Softball Bat end cap?
The end cap of your softball bat tends to get damaged due to the large amount of abuse that your softball bats go through. This might also occur because of a manufacturing default. Whatever the reason is, you can easily fix the end cap. You require urethane epoxy for this purpose. Put a thin layer of this adhesive on the inside of the barrel. You need to have an even layer of the epoxy in order to ensure a perfect fit. Once you have applied the epoxy, you can then fit in the end cap. Let the epoxy set for 24 hours. Once it is dried make sure that your end cap fits perfectly. Swing your bat several times before going out in the field.