When it comes to selecting the perfect slowpitch softball bats, there are many different points you should take into consideration. These include the number of pieces the bat was put together from, the material it was made of, the number of layers which were used to put together the bat, the weight distribution of the bat, and the type of regulatory standards it adheres to.
Single piece, or two piece
Single piece softball bats – as the name suggests – are manufactured from just one piece. The biggest positive of these bats is that you can put more power into your hit. Two piece softball bats are put together in the factory from a handle part, and the actual hitting part, also called the barrel. You will fell less vibration in the handle when you hit the ball, this is one of the main advantages of two piece bats. However you will not be able to generate as much power, but you can still generate enough distance on the ball due to a sling-like effect, as the separate handle lets the barrel of the bat stretch back before letting the ball fly.
Alloy bats are usually made of a mixture of aluminum, and some other kind of metal. Since these alloys are very strong, these bats have very thin walls. Composite bats are made of fiberglass, fiber, kevlar or graphite.
Unfortunately some leagues ban composite material bats, as they are considered to provide an unfair advantage. There are some two-piece composite barrels on the market, with an alloy barrel connected to a composite handle. This provides a unique construction, mixing the lightness of the composite handle with the durability of an alloy barrel.
There are many different types of wood used for manufacturing slowpitch softball bats, the most common ones are maple, bamboo, while some bats are made of composite wood. Bamboo is considered to be the strongest, and it lasts longer than other wooden bats. Ash is very popular due to its softness, and ability to produce a bit of whip on the ball, which gives players better ball control. Maple is for those players who like to use brute force. These bats are stiff, which allows the players to put as much power into the hit as possible.
Composite wooden bats combine the best of wooden bats and other materials, but as a result they are not allowed in some slowpitch softball leagues.
The weight distribution
Balanced bats have their weights distributed all over the bat, while endloaded bats carry the bulk of their weight at the end of the bat. Balanced bats are for those who are contact hitters, who prefer to control the ball, and where it goes rather than hit it as far as possible. As the result of the weight at the end of the bat, endloaded bats allow the player to put more power into the hit. These are the types of bats which allow you to hit home runs.
Maxloaded bats have even more weight at their ends, which allows the players to exert maximum power in their swing. These bats are recommended for only very strong players, who have no problems with controlling their swings.
ASA are the strictest organisation in slowpitch softball, they have the highest number of rules and guidelines when it comes to what kind of bats a player can use. The main difference between USSSA and ASA is that the former allows for bats which can hit a ball a lot faster, as a result those leagues with USSSA regulations tend to be faster. Always check with the organiser of your league before buying a slowpitch softball bat.
The number of walls
There are two types of bats based on this category, multi-wall and single wall slowpitch softball bats. Multi-wall bats hit the ball further simply because they have a larger spring effect due to the higher number of layers in the bat. The reason why there is still a demand for single-wall bats is that most of the leagues ban multi-wall bats.
There are many different kinds of bats in the market, and they all have their purpose. Weather you are a contact player, or you are a power hitter you can find the best softball bats for your particular playing style. The thickness of your wallet will influence what kind of material your bat will be made of, but don’t forget to check if your league lets you use the particular bat you had in mind.