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Baseball/Softball Bat FAQ

What are the maximum specifications for softball bats?

  • Length: 34 inches
  • Weight: 38 ounces
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 1/4 inches

What are the maximum specifications for Youth League baseball bats?

  • Length: 33 inches
  • Weight: No restrictions
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 1/4 inches

What are the maximum specifications for Adult League baseball bats?

  • Length: 35 inches
  • Weight: No restrictions
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 5/8 inches

What are the maximum specifications for Senior League baseball bats?

  • Length: 35 inches
  • Weight: No restrictions
  • Barrel Diameter: 2 3/4 inches

What is a length-to-weight ratio?

  • The difference between the length of the bat (inches) and its weight (ounces)
  • Example: A bat that is 33 inches long and weighs 30 ounces has a length-to-weight ratio of -3. Every bat of that particular model will have a length-to-weight ratio of -3 (e.g. 32 in/29 oz; 34 in/31 oz)

What is the maximum length-to-weight ratio allowable for College or High School Baseball?

  • As of 2001, the maximum length-to-weight ratio is -3 for college and high school baseball

Can a Bat be used for Softball and Little League, or Little League and Adult Baseball, or Softball and Adult Baseball?

  • No, each bat is specifically made for each sport or level of play. For instance, a Little League Bat cannot be used for Softball. Each bat is labeled on the barrel indicating the sport/level with the weight and length

What is End Loading?

  • End Loading is usually found in softball bats. It means there has been some material added to the end of the bat barrel to add weight and create more of an end-balanced bat. The "End Load" is usually a polyurethane material that fills approximately 1" - 4" of the barrel
  • There are varying views on performance enhancement -- in general, slow-pitch players like the weight on the end of the bats to help move the sweet spot further out and create more momentum

What is Wall Thickness? Why do some bats say "Ultra-Thin Walls" on the barrel?

  • Performance in bats depends on three things, (besides the person swinging the bat)
    • Type of alloy
    • Barrel Dynamics (a combination of Barrel Compression/Trampoline Effect, Handle Flex, and End Loading)
    • Thickness of the bat barrel walls
  • Thinner walls mean more "POP" or "Trampoline Effect" off of the bat and thus, better performance. Better quality Aluminum is stronger and lighter, so the manufacturer can make the bat walls thinner.

Are bats sensitive to changes in temperature?

  • Aluminum bats, especially higher performance models with thinner walls, should not be used in temperatures below 50 degrees.
  • Cold temperatures make the composition of the ball more dense, especially the new "Compacted Core" balls. This puts unusual stress on the bat walls which will result in denting
  • Bats may also be sensitive to very hot temperatures and should not be stored in areas that are exposed to high heat, such as car trunks.
  • Bat failure due to mis-use in extreme temperatures is not covered by the manufacturers' warranties

Can I try out my new bat at the batting cage?

  • You should not use your new bat in the batting cage. Batting cage balls are made of a more dense material than is used in regulation baseball or softball games and will cause denting
  • Bat sleeves, such as "Tuff-Sleeve," may be of some help but will not guarantee complete protection
  • Bat failure due to use in a batting cage is very obvious and is not covered by the manufacturers' warranties

What is metal fatigue?

  • Bat Wall Flexion (allowing the bat walls to flex) is the desirable end result of the "Trampoline Effect," which is utilized by high-performance, thin-walled bats
  • Hitting the ball on the same side of the bat each time and in the same spot causes excessive flexing in the one area, and the metal will eventually fail (dent or split)
  • Rotating the bat on each trip to the plate will help prevent damage due to metal fatigue