The Difference Between a Baseball and Fastpitch Softball Bat
Which Bat Is For You
The length of the bat is not generally different, with adult baseball bats averaging 31-34 inches and fastpitch softball bats going 32-34 inches. However, when it comes to weight, you will see a substantial difference. Baseball bats are heavier, weighing between 28 and 32 ounces. The heaviest fastpitch softball bats are about 28 ounces, while the lightest can be as trim as 23 ounces. The lighter the bat, the easier it is to swing, creating faster bat speeds and increasing the potential speed of the ball off the bat, commonly known as bat exit speed.
Part of that weight difference is accounted for by the fact that baseball bats have wider barrels than fastpitch softball bats, by about 3/8's of an inch. This is partly offset by the fact that fastpitch softball bats have a longer barrel than baseball bats, creating a bigger hitting zone, sometimes called a sweet spot.
A final important characteristic involves the relative stiffness of the barrel. Baseball bats have stiff barrels that compress very little on contact with the ball. Fastpitch softball bats are allowed to have barrels that compress on contact and then release that stored energy in driving the ball off the bat, sometimes called a trampoline effect.
To summarize, fastpitch softball bats energize the ball off the bat more than baseball bats do, creating more power and drive. Be sure to look for bats that meet the specification requirements of the league. These specs insure the safety of all players involved, and the fairness of the game. Now go out with confidence and buy a bat.
Learn more at the places below:
- How are Baseball and Softball Bats Different?
- Softball Bats vs Baseball Bats
- Baseball and Softball Bat FAQs
Filed under: Buying Guides
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