Softball and Bats
Most people might think that the differences between a baseball bat and a softball bat would be minor or non-existent and in the youth leagues this is largely true since only the smallest bats are employed. However, in the older youth and adult leagues there are significant differences between softball and baseball bats; the most common being that softball bats are almost always fabricated from aluminum as opposed to the many wooden bats found in baseball. One of the most apparent differences between softball bats and baseball bats is that softball bats tend to be on average longer averaging between 33” to 34” in length whereas adult baseball bats average between 31” to 34” in length. The other most significant difference is in the relative weights of the bats. Softball bats currently average slightly less in weight than baseball bats with relative average weights between 26oz to 30oz while baseball bats tend to weigh between 28oz to 31oz and must also conform to a minus 3 rule which further restricts the weight of aluminum bats as a ratio by weight to length. However, baseball bats made from wood have no weight restriction other than the entire bat must be crafted completely from wood. Finally, softball bats differ from baseball bats in the profile of their barrels which are significantly thinner, on average, than baseball bats since most adult softball bats are typically 2 and a quarter inches in diameter while adult baseball bats average 2 and 5/8” in diameter. Additionally, there are variations even among adult softball bats relative to fast and slow-pitch softball making the science of softball bats a unique specialty of its own as opposed to just a niche component of the baseball bat industry.
G. Fleisig, N. Zheng, D. Stodden & J. Andrews. “Relationship Between Bat Mass Properties and Bat Velocity.” Sports Engineering, 5/1(2002): 1-8.