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Wood bats…..Wood Softball bats that is – Part 2

Posted on July 31, 2015 by MaxBat

The wood bat movement for softball is something that really caught my eye. I have played slow pitch softball for a few summers now and have always thought that the metal bats used today are way too “hot”. I agree that having to have a home run limit is something that should immediately be a red flag. Not to mention, everyone now apologizes if they hit a ball up the middle.

In baseball, we are taught to drive the ball up the middle. As a baseball player myself (currently in a wood bat league), and a huge numbers and analytics nerd, I decided to do some research on the numbers.

A study was done out of Mamaroneck High School comparing metal bats and wood bats and swing and exit speed. The average swing speed was 8 miles per hour faster with the metal bats. The exit speed difference for someone of my age (22) was 14 mph faster off of the metal bat as compared to the wood bat.

If you take these numbers and put them into game like reaction times, you would find that with a wood bat, you have 0.04 more seconds to react on a ball hit back at the pitcher. Now this may not seem like a lot of time, but that can be the difference between getting your glove up to catch the ball and being hit by a hard line drive. As a pitcher who has been hit by a line drive back at me, I will take all the time I can get. In terms of softball, the base paths are 20-30 feet shorter than baseball, depending on the league. This reaction time is now reduced even more, which has caused pitchers and even some infielders to wear masks. At the end of the day, I am completely on board with the change to wood bats for softball. Not to mention the customization that MaxBat offers is something that softball players everywhere would enjoy.

Written by MaxBat contributor, Tyler Flakne

Categories: Bat Swing Speed, Metal bats

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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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