In your search for a fastpitch bat, you have to understand the regulations that different associations set. Some of the associations that approve fastpitch bats include ASA and USSSA.
These governing bodies ensure that softball fastpitch remains competitive and that players use safe and high performing bats.
If you are searching for a softball bat, you may have difficulties trying to find one that abides by the set standards. Though the jargon and numbers may seem confusing at first, we can help you out.
We will discuss everything you should know regarding how these governing bodies regulate fastpitch bats. This should prevent you from choosing one that is not allowed in a league. Enjoy!
What is the difference between ASA and USSSA fastpitch bats?
According to the general standards set, all the fastpitch softball bats should have a 2 ¼ inch barrel diameter. It should also weigh more than 31 ½ oz and be at least 34 inches long.
Fastpitch bats must also be marked with a certified stamp from the regulatory bodies.
ASA is a highly regulated association that contains some strict conditions for bats. The difference between ASA fastpitch bats and USSSA bats lies in performance.
Based on the guidelines, fastpitch bats that are approved by ASA have to abide by the 98 mph batted speed standard. Those that the USSSA approves can have a batted ball speed standard of 100+.
Since bat certifications keep on changing from time to time, you need to keep up with this to avoid choosing the wrong bat. Start by finding out the standards your league uses.
Softball organizations such as USSSA and ASA adopt the Bat Performance Factor (BPF) standard to determine the specific bats that are legal to play in the US.
As you choose a bat, you should ensure that it meets the BPF of 1.20. This applies to both USSSA and ASA fastpitch bats.
Most of the leagues accept ASA fastpitch bats. Due to the changes that take place in the certification of bats, you should look for a fastpitch bat that has a 2004 ASA stamp.
Even if you prefer using a wood bat, it should still come with an ASA stamp. Since heavily damaged bats are not accepted in leagues, you should consider replacing an old one.
If you play a USSSA league, everything remains the same apart from the stamp you should look for. In this case, ensure that your softball bat has a USSSA stamp.
You can also choose a wood stamp that is designed by a USSSA-approved manufacturer.
How do softball bats become ASA certified?
Before you buy a fastpitch bat, it is good to understand how the regulatory body certified such bats.
The manufacturer of the softball bat should meet the requirements that ASA sets before you finally get a mat that has a certification mark from them.
The supplier of fastpitch bat has to get into contact with the regulatory body and submit a sample of the bats that it needs to be approved.
They have to sign an agreement that allows ASA to test the samples submitted before they are sent to a testing facility that ASA approves. Bats are tested based on a strict scientific method.
Softball bats have to meet certain limits for them to be approved. Some of the things that are considered during testing include the weight distribution across the bat’s length and swing speed.
If the samples satisfy the performance standards that ASA sets and abides by the official rules, the manufacturer gets the permit to supply the softball bats.
The manufacturer is given a license agreement that allows them to apply the certification mark to the fastpitch softball bats of the model.
This means that you can buy your bat from such a manufacturer legally without the worry of it not being accepted in your league.
How can you get the right fastpitch softball bat?
Apart from looking at the certification on a bat, you should also consider crucial factors as you pick a softball bat.
Some of the factors you should have in mind include length, weight, hitting mechanics, and strength. For you to find the right length of the softball bat, you should make use of bat sizing charts online.
You can determine the right weight of your bat through trial and error. Before you go shopping, try to get hold of a teammate’s bat and feel how it swings as you hold it.
Doing this before making your purchase can help you assess which weight suits you best. Personal preference also plays a role in your selection. Every player has a different taste in bats.
Take note that selecting a fastpitch softball bat based on its color is a wrong approach. Do not try to match the color of your bat with your uniform without evaluating how good it feels in your hand.
You should focus less on the looks of a fastpitch bat and more on its performance. If it is your first time buying one, you can get help from other teammates or even your coach.
Also, choose a well-known manufacturer that abides by the set regulations so that you can make your purchase easier. Focus on the quality of your bat and the materials used to make it.
Choosing a long-lasting softball bat can help you save money in the long run. Find out if your league has restrictions when it comes to the materials used in fastpitch bats.
Do you want a fastpitch bat but don’t know much about what is accepted and what is not? You should look for the USSSA or ASA stamp on such bats.
These associations have strict standards when it comes to the manufacturing of fastpitch softball bats.
Before you make your purchase, you should know the standard weight, length, and barrel diameter of such bats.
ASA fastpitch bats are used in most leagues since they are believed to offer better performance compared to USSSA fastpitch bats.