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    What Size Bat Should I Use?

    We recommend the longest and heaviest bat that you can swing without losing bat speed. Although the Feel of the bat will be the most important factor. You have to make sure it feels right to you. The more you like it the more confident you will be at the plate!



    We usually start with a length based on a player's height and weight as seen above. As far as the best weight, it is difficult to make a recommendation because it will vary from player to player depending on one's personal preference, hitting style, bat speed, and strength. If you need some help please contact us or come into the store and we will size you for a bat. While bats can have the same measurements they often feel different and it's beneficial to take some swings with them at the store.

    Check out our Diamond Demo Program to find a bat to fit your swing!

     

    IMPORTANT BASEBALL BAT RULES

    Baseball unlike Fastpitch Softball has certain Drop (Length-to-Weight Ratio) requirements per age group. It is important to keep track of these as there is a certain point over 4 years where you have to have a different drop each year. If you can swing the heavier earlier without hurting your swing it can be beneficial.

    • 12 & Under (12u): Any Drop
    • 13 & Under (13u): Must be a DROP 8 or Heavier
    • 14 & Under (14u): Must be a DROP 5 or Heavier
    • 15 & Under (15u): Must be a BBCOR (Drop 3)
    • High School (Regardless of Age): Must be a BBCOR (Drop 3)

     

    LENGTH-to-WEIGHT RATIO

    The ''DROP'' as some may call it, or the number with the MINUS in front of it is the LENGTH-to-WEIGHT ratio. This defines the difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces. The larger the number, the lighter the bat.

     

    Wood Bat Guide

    A bat is more than just a hunk of metal or wood. It is a carefully-engineered tool that allows players to get the most out of every swing. Every component of the bat, from the knob to the end cap, is designed to maximize every ounce of performance. There are four main tech components you need to know for your bat: material, barrel diameter, construction and weight balance.

    Material

    One of the biggest influences on bat performance is its material. Bats are made of metal, composites, or wood. Metal and composite bats are traditionally used for youth baseball through college baseball. Wood is used throughout the professional levels, as well as for specific amateur and travel ball leagues/organizations.

     

    ASH

    Still widely popular among big leaguers, Ash provides the ultimate in flexibility due to its unique grain structure. More forgiving than Maple, Ash rarely sees multi-piece fractures when the bat breaks. Visible grain lines allow for noticeable quality, giving you the confidence you need when you step up to the plate.

     

    MAPLE

    The species preferred by most pro players, Maple features the ultimate surface hardness and provides an unmatched sound and feel at contact. Naturally harder, Maple offers added strength at impact. Closed grains eliminate flaking commonly seen with Ash, allowing for superior durability.

     

    BIRCH

    The fastest growing species in professional baseball, Birch features the ideal combination of surface hardness and flexibility for increased durability. Its hardness (similar to Maple) provides great sound and feel at contact. Flexibility similar to Ash allows for forgiveness on non-barrel contact, decreasing the chance of multi-piece fractured breakage. Birch is less dense than maple, giving it a lighter feel on comparable turning models.

     

    *Wood bats are more likely to break or crack on mishits than Alloy and Composite bats.

     

    KNOB STYLE - ROUND KNOB VS. FLARE KNOB

    Not all knobs are the same. Some bats have a more rounded knob while others feature a more gradual flare. The choice between the two simply comes down to personal preference.

     

     

    INK DOT

    An ink dot on a bat certifies that the wood is MLB grade. Often MLB-quality wood bats are bone-rubbed, which is the process of making a bat denser by compressing the wood.

    CUPPED VS. NON-CUPPED

    Cupping a bat is the process in which the end of the barrel is hollowed out to remove weight while maintaining length. This process creates a slightly more balanced feel to your swing and is especially effective on larger-barrel bats for increased swing speed.

     

    TURNING MODEL

    The turning model refers to the specific shape of the bat. Different turning models have different specifications. Here are the areas where turning models differ:

    • Barrel Measurement: is the diameter in the largest part of the barrel.
    • Barrel taper: indicates whether the bat has a short dramatic transition through the taper, or long transition through the taper.
    • Handle thickness: measures the diameter of the handle.
    • Knob taper: identifies what kind of taper exists for that turning model. Here are the three types.
      • No taper: handle comes straight into the knob with no flare.
      • Traditional taper: a gradual flare to the handle as it reaches the knob.
      • Max taper: an aggressive flare to the handle as it joins the knob for a wider feel in your bottom hand.

    Some Turning Model Examples Include:

    What are the differences between Composite and Alloy Bats?

    A bat is more than just a hunk of metal or wood. It is a carefully-engineered tool that allows players to get the most out of every swing. Every component of the bat, from the knob to the end cap, is designed to maximize every ounce of performance. There are four main tech components you need to know for your bat: material, barrel diameter, construction and weight balance.

    Material

    One of the biggest influences on bat performance is its material. Bats are made of metal, composites, or wood. Metal and composite bats are traditionally used for youth baseball through college baseball. Wood is used throughout the professional levels, as well as for specific amateur and travel ball leagues/organizations. Traditionally in Fastpitch, bats are made from composite or alloy materials.

     

    Composite

    Composite bats are made with a layered material (often carbon fiber) that is easy to distribute, giving us the ability to make bats with a variety of swing weights, from balanced to end-loaded.

    Pros of Composite:

    • Minimize the sting from a mis-hit ball by reducing vibration to the hands

    • Often have a larger sweet spot than alloy bats

    Alloy

    Alloy is a mixture of two or more metals, and has been commonly used in baseball and fastpitch bats for years.

     Pros of Alloy:

    • Stiffer feel through the swing zone

    • More durable material and less issues with colder weather

    Construction

    One-piece bats are one complete piece of composite or alloy and are often used by power hitters, since they provide less flex on contact.

    Multi-piece bats are comprised of two separate parts: the barrel and the handle. The handle is connected to the barrel through a transition piece in the taper area of the bat. Multi-piece construction helps minimize vibration on mis-hit balls. Those bats are preferred by contact hitters, since the two-part construction helps generate maximum swing speed without the fear of major sting on contact.

    Swing Weight

    A factor you may not see, but will definitely feel is the swing weight* of your bat. Bats are often segmented by their given length and weight. The Swing weight is a determination of how a bat’s particular weight is distributed along the bat’s length. For example, you can have two bats that are 30 ounces, but that have different swing weights because the 30 ounces are distributed differently in the bat. Bats can fall along the swing weight spectrum, from light to balanced to end-loaded.

    End-loaded bats shift extra weight toward the end of the barrel, creating more whip-like action on a player’s swing and generating more power.

    Balanced bats have a more even weight distribution, allowing for potentially greater swing speed for many hitters. This is preferred by contact hitters who want more control of their swing.

    *Note - there are a variety of swing weights offered to meet player needs.

    Barrel Diameter

    The barrel is the thickest and widest part of the bat used to hit the ball. The barrel is where you want to hit the ball in order to achieve maximum performance. Barrels come in different sizes, and are measured by diameter. Barrel diameter is measured in inches and, like weight drop, certain leagues limit the size of a bat’s barrel. Please check with your league on their requirements.

    Fastpitch bats are 2 14 inches.

    Baseball bats come in multiple sizes including:

    • 34 inches
    • 58 inches
    • 2 12 inches
    • 14 inches

    What are the different Bat Certifications?

    As bat certifications continue to change we are here to try to help you sort out what they mean and which one you need on your bat. First and foremost what standard does your league use? You should check with your coach or league to make sure what bat certifications are required to avoid purchasing a bat you cannot use.

    What does BPF mean? Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. The major baseball and softball organizations have adopted the BPF standard to determine whether a bat is legal for play.


    BASEBALL BAT CERTIFICATIONS

    • BBCOR (0.50 BPF): Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution. This certification is the standard that regulates the overall performance of adult bats used by high school and collegiate players. BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat. BBCOR bats are only made in a drop 3 (-3) or minus 3 and have a 2 5/8" Barrel. Search available BBCOR Certified Baseball Bats.

    • USSSA (1.15 BPF): Bat Performance Factor measures how fast the ball comes off of the bat. 1.15 is the standard for travel baseball bats. Includes 2 1/4" Barrel, 2 5/8" Barrel, & 2 3/4" Barrel bats. Search available USSSA 1.15 Certified Baseball Bats.
    • New NTS Stamp (2020): Nothing is Changing with the Current Standard and Both Stamps are LEGAL! There is nothing to worry about the new stamp simply denotes the new bats that are tested at the NTS Facility.

    • USA Baseball (Little League): Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball will adhere to the new USABat standard. NO bats previously approved for use in Little League Play (Junior League Baseball and below) will be permitted to be used in any Little League game or practice, or other Little League function, event, or activity. USA Baseball believes that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood and BBCOR bats. USA Baseball bats can be 2 5/8" Barrel or smaller. For more information read our New USA Baseball Standard post. Search available USA Baseball Certified Bats.

    FASTPITCH SOFTBALL BAT CERTIFICATIONS

    • USA (ASA) / NSA / USSSA: Bats that meets USA (ASA)'s 98 MPH certification and the Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.20 for NSA and USSSA. Almost all Fastpitch softball bats meet both standards. Search available ASA / NSA / USSSA Certified Fastpitch Bats.
    • ASA Has changed their name to USA. Both Stamps are Legal and will be the USA stamp moving forward.

    • ASA Only: Bats that only meet the ASA 98 MPH standard and NOT the 1.20 BPF standard, including the Easton Ghost.

      SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL BAT CERTIFICATIONS

      • USA (ASA) (98 MPH / ASA Only): There are two different standards for ASA for Slowpitch and Fastpitch softball governed leagues. The traditional 2004 98 MPH certification that can be found on All Association (ASA / NSA / USSSA) bats and the ASA Only 2013 certification. All association bats will perform at about 98 MPH while the ASA Only bats will preform at about 100 MPH. Search available All Association Slowpitch Softball Bats or ASA Only Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      • NSA (1.20 BPF): Bat Performance Factor for Slowpitch softball governed leagues. Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. Search available NSA Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      • USSSA (Thumbprint or 220 lb Compression): Bat Performance Factor for Slowpitch softball governed leagues. Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. Search available USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bats.
      • Legal for USSSA Slowpitch Play Indefinitely. As of September 1st, 2020 Bat Manufacturers can no longer make USSSA bats to this Standard. They must meet their new 240 NTS Standard. 220 lb Bats have more pop than 240 lb compression bats!

      • USSSA (240 lb Compression): New NTS USSSA Bats have a higher compression than the Thumbprint models meaning that they will have less pop to them. As of September 1, 2020 Bat Manufacturers can only make USSSA bats that meet the 240 lb Compression test with this New USSSA NTS Stamp. Search available USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      USSSA Slowpitch Bat Comparison

      Current USSSA Stamp: Now Legal Indefinitely! 

      These meet the 220 lb compression testing. Manufacturers can no longer make the Current 1.20 BPF USSSA Bats.

      220 Bats will continue to be made for NSA but will not have a USSSA Stamp.

       

      The new 240 lb compression USSSA Bats with the NTS stamp (Left) will have less pop than the 1.20 BPF versions.

      These are all that can be made moving forward.

      • 1.21 BPF: Bat Performance Factor for Slowpitch senior softball leagues such as SSUSA. Bat Performance Factor (BPF) is simply the increase in the liveliness of a ball hitting a bat compared to throwing a ball against a solid wall. For example a 20% faster rebound = a BPF of 1.20. Search available SSUSA Senior Slowpitch Softball Bats.

      BASEBALL & SOFTBALL ASSOCIATIONS

      • ASA: Amateur Softball Association.
      • NSA: National Softball Association.
      • USSSA: United States Specialty Sports Association. 
      • SSUSA: Senior Softball-USA
      • ISA: Independent Softball Association.
      • ISF: International Softball Federation.

       

      If you still have any questions pertaining to bats and their certifications, don’t hesitate to contact our expert customer service staff. Diamond Sport Gear is here to help find the bat to fit your swing!

      Bat Care & Break-In

      The following are tips and tricks to take care of your bat and make sure that you properly break it in for maximum performance. At the end of this post there are some illegal break in procedures that you should absolutely avoid. Some stores and websites offer to roll or shave a bat. We do not recommend this as both are illegal and can result in multiple issues for you.

      BAT CARE

      • Limit the bat to individual use.
      • Do not use in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
      • Do not store the bat in extremely hot or cold temperature areas. It takes about 4 hours for a bat to reach the temperature that it is in. You can use the bats in colder weather as long as they are stored in warm places.
      • Do not use the bat to hit the dirt off of your metal cleats
      • Use regulation leather covered baseballs and softballs. Avoid the dimpled yellow cage balls. It's best to keep an old bat or a cheap alloy to hit the cage balls.
      • Do not hit waterlogged balls
      • Routinely check your bat for any damage
      • Rotate your bat 1/4 turn each swing to distribute the hitting surface evenly

      BREAK IN

      • Aluminum / Alloy bats do not require a break-in period. These bats are ''hot out of the wrapper'' and can be used in a game right away.
      • Composite bats may require a break-in period. If you feel your bat is not at optimal performance out of the wrapper, we recommend about 50-100 swings either off of a tee or by soft toss with a 1/4 rotation of the barrel after each swing.

      ILLEGAL BREAK IN PROCESSES

      Both Shaving and Rolling bats are ILLEGAL. We do NOT recommend these as they will result in:

      • Legal Action: If someone is injured while using an altered bat the owner of the bat, person in the batters box and person who altered the bat are liable for the outcome and can face charges for the damages.
      • You void the Manufacturer Warranty
      • Lessen the durability of your bat
      • Rolling is the process of compressing a composite bat between two rollers to accelerate the break-in period.
      • Shaving is the process of removing the bats end-cap and shaving the insides of the bat walls to make the bat walls thinner.