Fastpitch Softball Bats: One-Piece vs. Two-Piece
One-piece softball bats use the same material throughout the entire design. The advantage of the one-piece design is that you get a stronger, stiffer bat that is favored by power hitters looking for as little flex as possible.
Two-piece softball bats have a handle that is a separate piece from the barrel. The advantage to a two-piece bat is that its design allows the barrel to flex at the point of contact creating a trampoline effect off the barrel. Two-piece bats have less vibration in the handle due to the separation of the handle and barrel.
Fastpitch Softball Bats: Alloy vs. Composite vs. Hybrid
Alloy softball bats are constructed with a one-piece design out of aluminum or aluminum that is mixed with other metals to make a stronger product. The advantage of this strength is that it allows alloy bats to have thinner, more responsive barrel walls.
Composite softball bats, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, and sometimes Kevlar.
Hybrid softball bats feature a two-piece design in which an alloy barrel is bonded to a composite handle. This makes the handle lighter and allows the alloy barrel to be made longer than on a traditional alloy bat.
Fastpitch Softball Bats: ASA vs. USSSA
There are very few Fastpitch softball leagues that are governed by anything else other than ASA rules. Fastpitch leagues governed by USSSA, NSA, or ISA rules do exist, though, and there is one main difference in bats made for these leagues: higher performance.
For instance, ASA approved Fastpitch bats must adhere to the 98 mph batted-ball speed standard, while bats approved for USSSA and other associations are allowed to have a much hotter 100+ mph batted ball speed and a bat performance factor (BPF) of 1.20 or less.
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