Fastpitch Softball Bats
How to Pick the Perfect Bat
One question that is asked of any coach is, "What are the right fastpitch softball bats for my daughter?" The first thing I will tell you is that the choice of a bat is somewhat personal. Any player will look to her bat, along with her glove, as one of her defining tools. As we all know that the mental part of the game is very important, finding a bat that provides confidence is a good first step.
The best softball bat for a player is determined by three factors: length, weight, and personal taste (feel, color, and sometimes even brand). Length is determined by the age and height of the player, while weight is determined by height for the younger players and weight for the older players. Once you know exactly what length and weight bat you need, do not underestimate the personal taste factor. For instance, my older daughter was an avowed Worth bat disciple because she loved the feel of the handle and how it felt in her grip. My youngest daughter swung nothing but Easton because she felt it added distance to her swing. In addition, the color of the bat factored in. Why? No idea, but again it was a psychological lift. With hitting, the more confident a player, the better she will hit.
© Helmut Steinwender
When selecting a fastpitch softball bat, make sure it is for fastpitch and not baseball or slowpitch softball. Also, look for the ASA stamp of approval. In past years, this was a stamp on the end of the barrel of the bat (opposite end of the handle). More recently, you may find it just above the handle. This is very important. If you do not see this stamp, the bat is illegal and the umpire is instructed to prohibit its use in a game. As bat technology became more sophisticated, particularly with the introduction of composite bats
, the hits coming off of the bat (referred to as trampoline affect) were increasing in velocity and causing a hazard to fielders, particularly the pitchers. Every year ASA determines what are "legal", based on hit velocity and other factors, and publishes that list to its website
. This website will also show you what the stamps look like.
There are eight different companies that supply fastpitch softball bats. Click on the link for each company to find out more about their fastpitch bats. You will find a listing and picture of each of the bats currently distributed by the various manufacturers. This includes several online stores like Amazon, Baseball Express, Online Sports, amongst others. We have also included a link to Shopzilla, which will show you available product across their network. A link to the current eBay auction is also provided. The bat companies are:
© Kim Jew Photography Studio
Fastpitch softball bats are expensive, with the top end bats easily exceeding $300. As a result, you may come across discount softball bats
advertised. These are usually either previous year models (close outs) or what they refer to as "blems" or blemished softball bats. With blems, there are usually nothing wrong with the bat itself, but the color of the bat may be slightly off or marked. These bats will usually are considerably cheaper than their brand new or perfect brethren bats. All manufacturers will have these bats. So you may want to check stock to see if you can get one.
And don't forget the batting gloves
. They come in all shapes and sizes, but a brand I was particularly partial to are the Easton Turbo Slots. Find out how they strengthened the weakest part of any grip on the batting gloves page.
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