There are many factors to consider when you’re trying to figure out how to choose the best softball bat for fastpitch. Fastpitch bats are often an investment, with the highest quality bats ranging between $300 to $400, so you’ll want to ensure you are choosing a bat that is following the league guidelines of your ballplayer, such as ASA or USSSA.
What is Bat Drop (Drop Weight)?
The first step in understanding which bat to buy, you must understand what allowed bat drop is for your players’ age groups. Bat drop is simple to configure, it is the length of the bat minus the weight. Determining the length and weight of your bat has many variations to consider, such as their age, league, strength and preferred hitting style. Typically players who enjoy being on base machines tend to go for bats with a bigger drop for a lighter bat, and softball players who have the ability to crank home runs often choose a heavier bat with less of a drop. Caution: If you are trying to swing a softball bat that is too heavy for you, it can negatively affect your bat speed and performance.
What is the Appropriate Bat Length?
There are a couple different methods you can try to find the right length softball bat. Option 1: Place the bat knob at the center of your chest and extend your arm out to the side. If you can touch the end of the bat with your fingertips, it is the appropriate size. Option 2: Measure the bat vertically from the ground up your leg. If the bat reaches your mid-hip, it is the appropriate size.
Fastpitch Softball Bat Sizes (2 1/4 inch barrel diameter)
|Under 7||24″ to 26″||-13.5 to -10|
|8 to 9||26″ to 29″||-13.5 to -10|
|10 to 11||28″ to 31″||-13 to -8|
|12 to 13||29″ to 33″||-13 to -8|
|14 and over||31″ to 34″||-10 to -8|
Which Bat Material Should I Choose?
Bat material will typically come down to your personal preference. Below are the three main barrel and handle makes of bats that you will choose between.
- Require a break-in period
- Not for use below 65 degrees
- Larger sweet spot than alloy and hybrid
- Lower vibration than allow bats
Composite bats are comprised out of a layered material that is a mixture of carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass and kevlar.
- Lowest cost of the 3 options
- No break-in period
- No temperature restrictions
- Smaller sweet spot than hybrid or composite bats
Alloy bats have a one-piece design and are made primarily of aluminum. Alloy bats have thinner barrel walls that can be more responsive.
- No break-in period
- Lower vibration than alloy bats
- The two-piece design the lighter composite handle with an alloy barrel
Two-piece bats that have an alloy handle and a composite handle. The advantage is that the handle is lighter and the barrel can be made longer. Following these tips will help you find the best bat for your slugger. You can view our list of the best softball bats on the market.