Legal/Illegal Composite Bats

I picked up an Easton bat over the summer for my daughter. I was very excited about seeing her hit with a composite bat. I see them used everywhere. She has loved her bat! Recently another father on her team told me about the benefits of "rolling" her bat. I did some quick research. I can't tell if "rolling" the bat would be illegal or not. I get the impression it is.


What are the rules on bats?


Thank You

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Bat Rolling & Softball
by: Dan

Thank you for your question.

As we all know, the more you use a composite bat, the better it performs as the bat fibers begin to break down and create that trampoline effect that leads to greater jump as the bat is hit by the ball.

Bat rolling is a process aimed at accelerating the break in time of the new bat. A machine applies perpendicular pressure on the bat, thereby breaking down the bat fibers and creating that trampoline effect which causes the ball to be catapulted further than either a metal or wood bat. Again, this process would happen naturally by the player using the bat, and this only accelerates the break-in (and also the quicker deadening) of the bat.

After a little research came up with this from the National Federation of High School with regard to softball:

2012 MAJOR EDITORIAL CHANGES

1-5-1c
Clarified that shaving, rolling or artificially warming the bat barrel are prohibited.

Rationale: Recent data indicates a significant improvement to bat performance when bat warmers are used (approximately 2 MPH to batted ball speed). The clarification now clearly states the prohibition in the rule, not just in a Point of Emphasis.

The NFHS generally follows the ASA guidelines. There is a PDF file that outlines their position. I read another post that said not only does ASA have similar language, but so does USSSA, and NSA.

I have also seen some say that it is not illegal because there is no way of telling. To me, that says it is illegal. Also, I would think the player would gain more by going to the cage and breaking the bat in herself. Not only does the bat break in, but also the player has the advantage of actually practicing her swing.

I guess I would also ask the wisdom of spending $300 on a bat only to push it to the end of its useful life.

Good luck with your decision.

Kind regards,
Dan

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