Baseball and softball are two popular sports that share similar rules and strategies, however, they do have some significant differences. These differences vary from pitching methods to ball regulations. But one of the common questions that get posed to us is, can I use my baseball bat for softball? To help answer this question, our Bat Experts break down why this may or may not be a good idea. Let’s dive in.
Ball Sizes & Weights
For starters, let's look at the differences between the balls used in both baseball and softball. A regulation baseball is between 9 to 9.25 inches in circumference. A baseball weighs between 5 and 5.25 ounces. A regulation softball measures between 11.88 and 12.13 inches in circumference, while weighing between 6.25 and 7 ounces. This means that a regulation softball has an additional 3 inches in circumference and weighs roughly 1.5 ounces more than a regulation baseball.
Long story short: A softball is bigger and heavier than a baseball.
Softball bats are generally shorter and lighter than baseball bats, which are designed for hitting a smaller, harder ball at higher speeds. Softball bats also have a larger barrel diameter and a more flexible handle to help players generate more power and speed.
Baseball bats are made to hits baseballs. While it may seem like a simple statement, the importance should not be overlooked. Any bat used in regulation baseball has gone under the high-scrutiny testing process. This means that all bat engineers for high-level manufacturers are working tirelessly to maximize the performance of their bats. Specifically for hitting a baseball. No leniency is given to any bat and if a bat fails the testing process, it will be deemed unfit for use and rendered useless.
The larger barrel diameter of a baseball bat gives hitters a better chance of making quality contact. However, all metal (alloy and composite) bats have hollow barrels. The barrel walls are intended to withstand the rigors of baseballs but begin to compromise quickly when facing harder balls like yellow dimple balls from the cages of fastpitch/slow pitch softballs.
When you purchase a brand-new bat from a licensed bat distributor (like JustBats) your bat will typically come with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. This helps to protect your purchase from any defect that may occur within the first year of use. However, manufacturers hold the ability to deny a warranty claim if misuse occurs. In the case of hitting softballs with a baseball bat, your warranty would no longer apply and your bat would no longer be protected during the first year of use.
In conclusion, while it may be tempting to use a baseball bat for softball, we do not recommend it. Softball bats are designed specifically for the game of softball, with a larger barrel diameter and a more flexible handle to help players generate more power and speed. Using a baseball bat in softball could negatively impact your performance, damage your bat and it may even be against the rules of your league or organization. To ensure you have the best possible experience playing softball, check out JustBats’ full selection of softball bats today. We’re JustBats and we’re with you from Click to Hit!