You may feel confused when getting into a softball bat shop to choose a proper bat for yourself. However, everything will go easier if you get a close insight on what are the criteria for the best softball bats. They are size, including length and weight as well as drop which is calculated by the difference between the length (in inches) and the weight (in ounces) of a bat.
(Image 1: The structure of a softball bat)
. Softball bat Length
The length of a bat is the distance from the knob to the end cap. You can apply a simple tip to figure out whether a bat has a proper size or not, as follows:
+ It is important that your hand position is suitable and you don’t feel any discomfort when gripping the bat. The right grip is that you hold the bat loosely enough for your wrist can move flexibly so as to get desired hitting strength.
+ One way to make up your mind about how long a bat should be (in inches) is to make an observation whether your bat touches the ground or not when you extend your bat arm down one side of your body. If it touches, then that one will fit you. One more matter you need to pay attention to is your posture; in particular, you should stand up straight instead of leaning your body against something, which is more likely to lead to your wrong decision in bat choice. In case the bat cannot reach the ground, probably it is too short and vice versa, if you have to hold the bat in a lower position, it is possibly too long for you.
+ In addition to the above method for your best softball bats, you could consider a softball bat size chart. For professional practice and competition purpose, you should use the chart which helps to select the bat size based on your age, weight and height. At the same time, this ensures your meeting certain requirements of softball bats given by some softball associations. Moreover, softball bats for leagues regularly have different dimensions from those of bats for recreational aim.
(Image 2: Softball bat length estimated based on a player’s age, height and weight)
Softball bat Weight
Another factor, not less importantly, is the determination that a bat has which weight will work better for you. Weight together with length decides the balance of a bat, so first you should try holding a bat in your hands to get the feel it brings for you. There is no perfect bat for everyone because every bat has features which are suitable for different body characteristics as well as the hitting style of every single individual.
A heavy bat can support you to deliver stronger hits, but it quickly tires your arms. A crucial element affecting your decision is your body size. Smaller players often prefer bats which are not too heavy and assist them to control bat speed well. Always keep in mind that only when you can master your bat, you do become an excellent hitter.
The Drop of a softball bat
As the ASA’s regulation, a bat drop cannot be higher than 12 and lower than 8. In addition, this association also already announced a list of banned bats for you to avoid buying, so make sure that you are aware of it prior to your purchase. Your understanding of bat drop not only prevents you from breaking tournament regulations, but it also shows that you are a professional player and your good knowledge on league requirements is a necessity.
Other features – the diameters of bat barrel and handle
Once again mentioning the standard sizes of these two bat parts, there is no other way but rule compliance. Barrel diameters vary depending on the age of a player, for example, players aged 12 use bats which barrel sizes are smaller compared to ones used by high school or university students. As for selection of bat handle specifications, you should prefer which one provides you with a firm feel when holding bats. A nice suggestion here is through practical gestures like you still do in a practice period of hitting balls, clearly you will be surer about which size being the wisest choice in order to maximize your hitting force.
In addition to reasonable advice, you should take your own preference into consideration, specifically, the color and style of softball bats you are highly interested in. To pick the best softball bats for yourself, you should ask for further recommendations from experienced softball players or try with your friends’ bats in case you are a brand new.