When you hear somebody say baseball bat you know exactly what they are talking about. However, when you hear somebody say softball bat it’s not as obvious. That’s because there are two popular types of softball — fastpitch softball & slow pitch softball. We have called upon our team of Bat Experts to help break down the differences between the two sports. Recently, we discussed the major differences between the balls used in fastpitch and slow pitch softball. And today we’re taking an in-depth look at the differences in softball bats.
Difference Between Fastpitch and Slow Pitch Bats
Our goal is to educate our customers so that they can make informed decisions when it comes time to buy a new softball bat. While there is a myriad of variables that go into the bat selection process, we urge you to think about these four factors when it comes time to start shopping. The four key factors to consider when selecting your next softball bat are:
The length of your softball bat will determine how much reach you’ll have at the plate. The longer your bat is, the better you’ll be able to hit pitches on the outside portion of the strike zone. Remember, a longer bat is likely to be heavier, and the extra weight can slow your swing down. We recommend multiple softball bats (at different lengths) to determine the right length for you.
The weight of your softball bat will greatly impact the performance you receive on contact. As a result, we always recommend hitters swing the heaviest bat they are comfortable with. This will vary from player to player so try to hit with multiple bat weights to hone in on the perfect weight for your swing.
Feel may be the most important factor. This is what generates confidence for hitters. Make sure the bat feels right so that you’ll feel confident.
Virtually all softball leagues have their bat requirements and restrictions. All softball bats will be required to have at least a 2” barrel diameter, but the certification stamps required may vary (and not every bat carries every stamp). To avoid costly surprises, make sure you know all league requirements before you go bat shopping.
Additionally, it is important to understand the design and specifications of your softball bat. You see, each softball bat is designed with a specific purpose. Some are lightweight, control bats. Some are heavy, power bats. Some are fastpitch softball bats. And some are slow pitch softball bats. Knowing what your bat is meant to do can have a major impact on your game.
Need help finding the right softball bat? Try our Bat Coach.
Two Differences Between Fastpitch Bats and Slow Pitch Bats
There are two major differences between fastpitch and slow pitch bats. The first difference is the weight of the bats. Slow Pitch softball bats are heavier and have more end-loaded options because they are intended to be swung by adult athletes.
Fastpitch softball bats are lighter and commonly come with balanced swing weights because they are primarily swung by younger, female athletes.
The other major difference between softball bats is barrel durability. Slow pitch softball pitches are delivered at around 25mph while fastpitch softball pitches can exceed 70mph. Because of the variance in pitch speed, each style of softball bat barrel is designed accordingly. Slow pitch bats are tasked with creating power from the hitter, while fastpitch bats use the speed of the pitch to generate their power.
Can I use a fastpitch softball bat in a slow pitch softball game?
Any fastpitch softball bat with an ASA stamp (which is just about all of them) can be used in any association of slowpitch. However, note that most slowpitch bats can't be swung fast enough in fastpitch to keep up with the speeds, and most fastpitch bats are simply too light to be effective in slowpitch.
What is the best type of bat to use in softball?
The best type of softball bat to use in both fastpitch and slow pitch is a composite softball bat. The microfiber carbon composite materials maintain excellent durability and even work to create a hotter barrel over time. With that said, you can find all of the best softball bats from big brands like DeMarini, Easton, Louisville Slugger, Miken, and more at JustBats.
In conclusion, fastpitch bats and slowpitch bats are created to perform differently. Fastpitch bats use the speed of the pitch to generate their power and are simply too light to be effective in slow pitch. Slow pitch bats, on the other hand, are tasked with creating power from the hitter.
As always, if you have any questions, our Bat Experts are waiting to help you. Give them a call at 866-321-2287, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to live chat with a Bat Expert. We’re JustBats and we’re here for you from Click to Hit!