The evolution of composite softball bats is a story very similar to the history of ancient tools created by our ancient ancestors. Over the years, our tools were slowly improved upon until they became the best possible tools for the job.
During the early years of baseball/softball, players began using wooden bats such as theold fashion Louisville Sluggers. Remember these mammoth sized bats? Yeah, theypacked a punch, but they also nearly broke your wrists when you used them. After wooden bats came aluminum alloy bats. They did a pretty good job at absorbing the ball’s energy, thus they did a very good job at sending the balls
packing for the outfield. They were also light and made a pinging noise when they struck the ball.
After aluminum bats and a few in between, someone got the idea to mold a bat out of titanium steel. Wow, sounded cool. Anyway, these bats were great for increasing ball speed and distance, but there was only one problem. They were so great that the balls were nearly lethal and often injured the pitcher or other players on the field. These bats officially came out in 1993 and were banned
after only 3 months.
Saving the best for last, composite softball bats came on the scene. These bats are made from various materials, which make them lighter, allow them to strike the ball with an increased velocity and absorb vibrations much better.
When considering softball bat safety, there are a few important concepts that may be worth becoming familiar with especially when using composite softball bats.
Some people seem to believe that composite bats are also very dangerous because they allow players to hit balls at increased speeds and distances. One reason these bats can strike a ball so well is because of their ability to absorb shock and disperse the ball’s very own kinetic energy against itself, which produces a powerful force without little resistance.
Possible Safety Remedies:
Possible safety considerations may include wearing regulation grade helmets to decrease incidence of head injuries.
Wearing mouth guards for protection.
Some authorities have brought up the idea that there should be protective cages around the batter so that bystanders don’t get struck with raining balls. (Hey!
Finally, some say that the density of softballs should be examined more closely and possibly regulated. In other words, they
want softer softballs. How soft can a softball get?
In conclusion, the game of softball has had a long and interesting evolution and still continues to flourish. At present, players have begun using composite softball bats to improve hitting performance, but still need to keep in mind concerns of safety when playing this great sport. With that said, lace up your cleats, put on your batting gloves, and go grab your bat and let’s play ball!