Thursday, 19 July 2012

Composite Softball Bats

ByJeremy Baldridge

The main topic for today is regulations and I hope you're as thrilled reading about this as I was writing about this! I'm joking. Actually, you'll going to like this article because I took the most boring facts for you and summarized them into tiny bits of digestible information nuggets. Well, let's begin shall we...

The first thing you may want to know about is: the ASA or Amateur Softball Association.

This association is responsible for the most accepted playing rules, which they formally wrote in 2000. Since, 2000 the rules have been officially updated in 2004, so make sure whatever bat you purchase complies with the 2004 regulations. Although their standards apply to national softball leagues and championship games, other non-professional leagues use their guidelines as well.

Here's something useful. Bats produced before 2004 may not comply with ASA standards and thus may not be allowed on a softball field if an umpire says so. Most bats usually have a certification mark somewhere on them, which lets players and rule officials know that the bat has been tested and inspected for play. After 2000, most bats were stamped with certification marks. Without these marks, bats must be listed on the 2004 ASA approved list of bats in order to be used in championship games.

Usually should not be able to hit a ball faster than 98 mph (Controlled studies are usually performed with identical bats before they are manufactured.) This is known as the BESR rule, or batted Ball Exit Speed Regulation.

Moreover, under controlled studies the ASA has concluded that the speed of the batted ball should not be able to exceed 1.2 times that of the pitchers ball throw (BPF or Bat Performance Factor)

The longer you use a composite bat the better they become. This is what they mean by "breaking a bat in". Because of this, the BESR and BPF rules apply after a bat has been "broken in" and thoroughly used.

Finally, bats cannot be altered or enhanced in any way. If suspicious of foul play (sorry for the pun), bats are subject to confiscation and testing by officials. Fines can include being barred from games for as long as one year, or longer.

Well, that was short and sweet wasn't it? I hope you learned as much about and their regulations by reading as I did by writing this article. Until next time.

Jeremy Baldridge is a slowpitch softball enthusiast and writer. Throughout the year, Jeremy enjoys playing in several different slowpitch softball leagues where he gets to test out many of the latest on the market.

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