Associations dedicated to the sport of softball, such as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), are generally in charge of regulating the sports teams (ASA). These sorts of organizations ensure that the game is played safely and equitably. One of the responsibilities of the ASA is to conduct tests on softball bats to determine what softball bats are illegal.
Any bat that the ASA determines has the potential to either provide an unfair advantage to one team or cause injury to the players is put on a list of prohibited bats. Titanium bats, bats that have been changed in any way, and bats that have been destroyed are all unlawful softball bats.
Types of Illegal Softball Bats
Manufacturers can now construct softball bats from various alternative materials, including aluminum, graphite, composites, and titanium.
- Titanium bats, introduced to the field of play for the first time in the 1993 season, enable players to smash the ball farther and more quickly. Before the beginning of the next season, titanium softball bats were outlawed and regarded to be unlawful softball bats because of this reason.
- Because titanium is a more durable material than other bats, the walls of softball bats manufactured from this metal may be considerably thinner than those of different bats. Because the walls are so much smaller, the ball can bounce off the bat significantly quicker.
- Players, particularly pitchers, are caught off guard and do not anticipate a ball coming at them around 10 miles per hour quicker than it would be put in harm’s way. Additionally, a bat made of titanium may send a ball farther than a bat made of other materials, which may provide an unfair edge to a team that can purchase a more costly bat.
- Bats used for softball are often altered to improve their performance. Shaving the barrel and end loading are two of the most frequent ways a softball bat may be modified to increase its performance, and end loading is another typical modification. These bats, which are banned from operating in softball games, are often called “doctored” or “juiced” bats.
- Players may enhance the speed with which a softball bat swings by adjusting the weight distribution on the bat’s handle. This, in turn, can cause the ball to go farther and quicker. End loading is the common name for this technique, which refers to the process of adding weight to the very end of the barrel of a bat. To do this, remove the end cap on the bat and then connect some weight to the inside of the end cap before putting the lid back on.
- Shaving a bat may improve its performance, but it also makes it more susceptible to injury than other types of bats since it causes the walls of the bat to become thinner than they are usually intended to be. Shaving the inside of the barrel of a softball bat may also improve the bat’s performance. To manufacture unlawful softball bats using this approach, thin layers must be removed from the bat’s barrel, and a metal lathe may be used to accomplish this task.
- Some talented individuals advertise their abilities to disguise illicit softball bats online and charge exorbitant prices for their services. Players may even make an unlawful softball bat appear like a legal one by hiding it in some way. Even though this does not improve the bat’s performance, it creates the impression that a player is using a legitimate softball bat.
- It may be tricky to tell the difference between an authentic softball bat and one that has been expertly painted. Before adding the finishing touches, such as decals, a bat that has been concealed is often sanded and painted. Even worse, most painted softball bats include a counterfeit certification stamp from a softball organization, most often the ASA.
So, How Are Softball Bats Legalised?
Softball Bats are legalized based on their BPF ratings. What is BPF? Increased liveliness when striking a bat compared to a solid wall is known as the Bat Performance Factor (BPF).
For example, a BPF of 1.20 results from a 20% quicker rebound. The BPF standard has been established by the main baseball and softball organizations to assess if a bat may be used in games.
Certifications for Baseball Bats
- BPF: Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution (0.50 BPF). Adult bats used by high school and college athletes must meet the requirements of this certification. BBCOR is a measurement of the bat’s trampoline effect. BBCOR bats have a 2 5/8″ barrel and are only available in a drop 3 (-3) or minus 3 (-3) configuration.
- In baseball, the Bat Performance Factor (BPF, or swing speed) measures how quickly the ball leaves the bat. The standard for travel baseball bats is 1.15 inches. A total of three 2-1/2″ barrel bats are included in this set, as are two 2-1/2″ barrel bats. Look for USSSA 1.15-certified baseball bats on the market.
- 2020: New NTS Stamp You may use both stamps as long as you follow the current standard. Only the new NTS-tested bats will have the new authorization, so there is nothing to worry about.
- As of January 1, 2018, the new USABat standard will be implemented in Little League Baseball. The use of bats previously allowed for use in Little League (Junior League Baseball and below) or any other Little League function, event, or activity shall be prohibited at all times. In terms of performance, the new bats will be similar to wood and BBCOR models. The long-term integrity of the game is best served by a wood-like performance requirement, according to USA Baseball.
If you were wondering what softball bats are illegal, then all the information given above are the things you need to know. For your better understanding, bats can be made illegal based on the factors above.