To someone who has not made a living playing a sport or spent any appreciable amount of time playing, getting into the weeds with different styles and types of gear can be unhelpful. Therefore, we’re going to break down some of the differences between bats for softball, with specific attention to slow pitch bats. Without getting too involved or losing sight of the big picture, slowpitch bats are bats that are designed with a few differences in features to make them more suitable (or legal) for use in slow-pitch softball leagues and games.
First, a quick primer on the differences between slow pitch softball and fastpitch softball that necessitate the differences for slowpitch bats. Fastpitch softball is the style of play that most people, more than likely, think of when they think of softball. The pitches are delivered using the signature windmill windup that many people associate with softball. In addition, they are delivered underhand at speeds of around 60 miles per hour. These ‘fast pitches’ give the batter less time to react but also enable the batter to deliver heavier hits. As a result, ‘out of the park hits’ so to speak, are not entirely uncommon in fastpitch softball. Really there is a tradeoff – while the frequency of harder hits is higher in slow pitch, powerful hits, when they connect, are more common in fastpitch.
On the other hand, slowpitch softball pitches are delivered without the windmill windup for which softball is so well known. The pitches are still delivered underhand but at slower speeds – hence the name. Therefore, most of the differences between fastpitch and slowpitch softball bats have to do with the speed of the pitch.
One of the key differences that you will find in many slow pitch bats has to do with weight. Since fastpitch softball requires the batter to think more quickly and have a more nimble bat, is it customary for fastpitch bats to be lighter and more nimble than their slowpitch counterparts? In addition, It’s not uncommon for a fastpitch bat to have a smaller barrel diameter to make the bat less unwieldy and more responsive. This is neither a hard nor fast rule, but occasionally soft pitch bats are shorter than their fastpitch equivalents. One more thing to keep in mind, although you will not find this to be true across the board, is that slowpitch bats are sometimes more flexible than fastpitch bats, to take advantage of the trampoline effect. This will not be as pronounced as the difference between softball and baseball bats in general, but it is true some of the time.
To find a huge number of slowpitch bats that are widely approved for play according to different sets of regulations such as ASA, USSSA and others, make sure you visit HB Sports at HeadbangerSports.com. There you will find a number of bats both for slowpitch and fastpitch softball from different bat manufacturers like Louisville Slugger, Miken, and more. In addition, you will find bats in bat materials such as carbon fiber, wood, and composites. Different softball players will have their own individual needs in slow pitch softball bats, whether that be in a balanced bat or in an end-loaded USSSA approved bat. Check out what you can find at HB Sports, and if you have any questions, call their team at 1-888-540-BATS.
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