MaxBat Blog

Wood bats for softball?

Posted on May 27, 2015 by MaxBat

If you didn’t know that wood bats are making a comeback in slow-pitch softball, you soon will.  MaxBat has seen a significant rise in our wood bats for softball this year, and the demand keeps growing.

Why wood bats for softball?  Well, if you’ve seen a competitive men’s softball game recently, you’ll notice some unusual rules.

  1. Batters don’t even have to run the bases after hitting homeruns.8542-1_display
  2. Homeruns are counted as OUTS after a certain number of them are hit.
  3. Some leagues require pitchers to wear facemasks.

So…..why is this?  This isn’t the softball that I grew up watching my dad play two nights a week in the summertime.

ASA has banned the use of dozens of “hot” bats, and that list keeps growing.  Of course, the only “hot” bats are the ones made of metal and/or composite materials.

Many leagues have said “Enough is Enough”, and have switched to playing softball with wood bats.  The game is safer and more enjoyable.  Players who have made the switch exclaim to one another, “Why didn’t we switch to wood bats sooner”?  Unfortunately, many leagues have switched to wood bats only after a handful of players in their leagues were permanently injured by a ball coming off a “hot” bat at close range.

Wood bats for softball can be made to exact ASA specifications, and because they are wood bats and not metal, they do not need the ASA stamp on them.  Balls coming off the barrel of a wood bat do not reach ridiculous speeds, and make it fair/safe for the fielders.  Now if someone hits a homerun in a softball game with a wood bat, it’s because of the player’s talent level, and not the bat’s engineering.

Many leagues play on fields without fences too.  So using wood bats in softball games can reduce the number of gap shots that roll for a mile and a half before an outfielder tracks it down.

Perhaps now is the time for your community or parks and recreation department to host a wood bat softball tournament to expose the game to more people.

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What is the proper way to hold a wood bat?

Posted on April 15, 2015 by MaxBat

We are frequently asked by customers “how should I hold a wood bat”?  It’s actually a good question, because with the variety of wood species to make wood bats, there’s a difference of opinion depending on what kind of wood bat you’re swinging.

Let’s start with how to hold the wood bat, and then we’ll get into the specifics.

First, hold your wood bat upright so the manufacturer’s logo (in this case, a MaxBat logo) is centered.  Which means you’re looking right at it.  Now, if you are a right-handed batter, slightly turn the wood bat in your hand so the MaxBat logo is facing your left shoulder.  If you are a left-handed batter, you would do just the opposite (slightly turn the wood bat in your hand so the MaxBat logo is facing your right shoulder.

But, why do we need to do this with wood bats, and not with aluminum?  Because wood bats have different flexes, and one side is harder than the other, etc., etc.  So, we want you to hold your wood bat in your hand, so that when you swing it, the hardest side of the wood bat barrel is making contact with the baseball.  By positioning the MaxBat logo to face your left shoulder (Right-Handed batter), or your right shoulder (Left-Handed batter), the MaxBat logo should be facing straight up to the sky when the wood bat barrel makes contact with the baseball.

So, what’s the big advantage to that?  We place the logo on either the Face-Grain (Ash Wood Bats), or Edge-Grain (Maple Wood Bats and Birch Wood Bats) so that when you position the wood bat in your hand correctly, you will be hitting the ball on the hardest side of the wood bat barrel.  Hitting the ball on this side of the wood bat barrel has been proven to extend the longevity of your wood bat.

Prior to 2009, it was believed that the manufacturer’s logo should always be placed on the face-grain of wood bats.  However, after extensive testing that was mandated by MLB, it was established that the manufacturer’s logo should be placed on the edge-grain of Maple wood bats and Birch wood bats.

So there you have it.  Just another tidbit on wood bats, from your friends at MaxBat.  Makers of the finest wood bats on the planet.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch bats, Maple bats, Metal bats

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Can kids use a wood bat in youth leagues?

Posted on March 24, 2015 by MaxBat

The question is, can kids use a wood bat in youth leagues, where metal bats are the norm?  Well, of course they can. A wood bat can be used in any kind of league or tournament play.

Some coaches will tell you that there is a disadvantage to swinging a wood bat in a game where most other kids are swinging metal bats. Is that the reason why some coaches frown on kids swinging wood bats, or is it because they don’t know the rules?

The answer could be both, but all you really need to know is that ALL wood bats are legal to use in baseball games, no matter the level.

We’ve heard parents say that their kid “has to swing a -10 this year”. What this means is, their METAL bat can’t be any lighter than a -10 weight drop. This DOESN’T mean that they cannot use a wood bat in their games. It also doesn’t mean that if they use a wood bat, that it has to be -10. They can swing a -5 metal bat if they want to, or a -7 wood bat.  Just remember that the lighter the wood bat, the weaker the wood.  It’s actually advantageous for some kids to swing a wood bat as opposed to a metal bat.  Why?  Because some of the metal bats are sooooo light, that the bat actually stops when making contact with the ball.  Because a wood bat has a solid barrel and more mass, contact with the ball does not impede the swing of a wood bat as much as it does with a metal bat.

Sometimes the rules completely omit the mention of wood bats in their list, but it’s necessary for everyone in baseball leagues across the country to know and understand that a wood bat is legal to use in all levels of baseball. Weight doesn’t even factor into the equation. If it’s wood, it’s good.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Metal bats

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Greetings from Cardinals OF prospect Stephen Piscotty

Posted on February 22, 2014 by MaxBat

Hello everyone.  My name is Stephen Piscotty, and I am an OF prospect in the Cardinals organization.

I recently arrived in Jupiter, FL for my first big league camp. Very excited to be in the same locker room as the big leaguers. There is a lot of experience and talent in the room. Got my first order of MaxBats for the season too! They feel great to swing, as always. Looking forward to a fun spring and 2014 season.

Be sure to check back from time to time, as I’ll try to share my experiences as a professional baseball player.

Thanks for reading my post.

-Stephen Piscotty

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Ink-spots on the bat handles of Maple Bats and Birch Bats

Posted on January 19, 2014 by MaxBat

Ink-spots on the bat handles of Maple and BirchEver watch a game on TV and ask yourself, “What is that dot on the wood bat handle?”

That is an area left exposed during the finishing process for an ink-spot, administered by the bat manufacturer.  This is done as a quality control measure.  By placing a small drop of ink 12″-14″ up from the knob on the face grain of the wood bat, we are able to verify whether or not the grain is good.  The picture below shows a properly administered ink-test, and absolutely straight grain.  The straighter the grain, the better the performance of the Maple bat or Birch bat.  If the grain were to seep into the wood and show a slope-of-grain of more than 3 degrees, that would indicate wood of a lower quality and greater chance of the wood bat breaking in 2-pieces.

Because MaxBat uses wood that is split instead of sawn, we’re almost guaranteed that ink-testing reveals slope-of-grain of less than 2 degrees on any of our Maple bats or Birch bats.

It’s a question we frequently get asked, so we made the decision in November, 2013 to start ink-spotting all MaxBat Maple bats and Birch bats that are ordered by our online customers.

All MaxBats have always been treated as if they are being produced for a Major League Baseball player, and now each Maple bat and Birch bat from MaxBat features a visible ink-spot on the face grain of the handle.  This ink-spot indicates that the wood bat has not only gone through the MLB slope-of-grain quality control test, but has also passed with a slope-of-grain less than 3 degrees (beware…some companies simply applying ink dots to the handles that clearly don’t pass).  The MaxBat logo has also been rotated 90 degrees and placed on the edge grain to conform to MLB rules (adopted in 2009) that only apply to Maple bats and Birch bats (logo previously placed on the face grain).  These steps ensure that you are swinging the same wood as our professional clients.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch bats, Maple bats

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