- Choosing the Right Slow Pitch Bat: Beginner's Guide
- Choosing the Right Slow Pitch Bat: Balanced vs. End Loaded
- ASA Slow Pitch Bat Standards
- USSSA and NSA Bat Standards for Slow Pitch
- SSUSA Slow Pitch Bat Standards
Finding a Slow Pitch softball bat can be a painstaking task given all the options. Here are a few key criteria to keep in mind:
- All Slow Pitch softball bats have a 2 1/4 inch barrel diameter.
- Slow Pitch bats are 34 inches long and weigh from 26 to 30 ounces.
- Most models come in 26 oz., 27 oz., 28 oz., and 30 oz., while only a few select Slow Pitch models are made in 25 and 29 oz. Bigger players looking to swing for the fence should look for a bat in the 28 oz to 30 oz range. Smaller or average sized players should use a bat in the 25 to 27 oz. range.
Making sure your bat meets your league or tournament rules is important, so be sure to check your league's listings to see what specs are necessary. There are many different sanctioned leagues such as ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, ISF, and Senior Softball. Check out JustBats.com for the largest selection of Slow Pitch softball bats.
This video details the differences between balanced Slow Pitch softball bats and end loaded Slow Pitch softball bats.
Slow Pitch softball bats are designed in two distinct weights: Balanced and End Loaded. Players looking to generate as much bat speed possible will be best suited to a balanced model. Contact hitters, or “base hitters," typically choose balanced models for a smoother swing and more control. With their weight distributed evenly throughout the bat, balanced models feature a lower M.O.I. (Moment of Inertia) than end loaded models. The lower the M.O.I., the faster the bat can be swung.
- Balanced bats' total weight is evenly distributed throughout the bat's length.
- Balanced bats are faster, so these bats are easier to control the barrel through the hitting zone.
However, if a player can generate high swing speeds already, they may benefit more from an end loaded bat. With more weight oriented toward the barrel, and combined with high swing speeds, end loaded bats result in more distance. This design is the preferred choice for most power hitters. End loaded bats typically have either a 0.5 oz. or 1 oz. load in the barrel - while some offers end loads as much as 3 oz.
- End loaded bats have more weight oriented toward the end of the bat.
- End loaded bats have extra mass in the barrel, so a player can generate more momentum through their swing translating to more distance.
Your Slow Pitch softball bat selection ultimately comes down to what you’re comfortable swinging. We recommend assessing your swing during a round of batting practice. If you don’t see the results you want from one style of bat, it may be an indication to switch things up. The best-case scenario would be to try out a balanced and end loaded model; side-by-side.
This video reviews the rules and regulations for ASA approved Slow Pitch softball bats.
In 2013, Amateur Softball Association (ASA) introduced a new certification mark/stamp and a new softball. Bats that carry this stamp are designed to hit the new, .52 COR 300 Compression softballs. ASA created these new softballs to enhance player safety. These softballs are bouncier than the previous ASA balls and are mandatory for ASA softball. Softball bats with the old ASA marks from 2000 and 2004 are no longer legal.
- Some ASA leagues require the use of a Wood Slow Pitch softball bat. These bats must carry an ASA stamp.
- Even if a softball bat carries the correct stamp, it could still be deemed "illegal." Heavily damaged bats, with a lot of end cap wear or cracks, may not be allowed in a game.
- Altered Slow Pitch softball bats can result in a ban of 2-5 years from ASA play; the very first time you're caught.
This video details the rules and regulations for USSSA and NSA Slow Pitch softball bats.
Since 2013, all bats used in USSSA Slow Pitch leagues must carry the new United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) “thumbprint” stamp. USSSA changed their testing standard, which is why the new stamp was created. National Softball Association (NSA) also requires slow pitch bats to carry their stamp, but most bats that have USSSA stamp will also have the NSA stamp.
- Softball bats with the old USSSA stamp (pre-2013) are no longer approved for USSSA.
- Wood Slow Pitch softball bats are allowed, but they need to carry the correct stamps for tournament play.
- Heavily damanged, dented, or roughed up bats may not be allowed for game-use.
- In every league, altering your softball bat is strictly prohibited and could earn a 2-5 year ban from softball.
If you’re still not sure whether a bat is approved for your league, feel free to check out the links to official USSSA and NSA Slow Pitch Rules or contact one of our bat experts via phone, email, or live chat.
This video details the rules and regulations for SSUSA Slow Pitch softball bats.
Senior Softball USA (SSUSA) requires that a bat carries a BPF (Bat Performance Factor) stamp of 1.21 or under. Almost all Slow Pitch bats that are approved for ASA, USSSA, and NSA are allowed in an SSUSA league. Also, if the bat is labeled “Official Softball," it is likely approved for these leagues.
- If a softball bat exceeds the 1.21 BPF rating, it will not be allowed in the SSUSA.
- If a bat is dented, warped, cracked, or shows a lot of wear-and-tear, the softball bat will not be allowed.
- Shaving, rolling, or altering a softball bat in any way is illegal and can result in a five (5) year to a lifetime ban from softball.
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