If you have been playing softball for recreational purposes, then you probably know that this game is divided into two, namely fastpitch and slowpitch softball. Getting the right bat for your game is a must.
While a team of women players engages in fastpitch softball at different levels, slowpitch softball is often played casually by both genders.
Before you try softball or get a bat to play, you should first understand the nature of each game.
Though the fundamentals of both slowpitch and fastpitch softball are the same, the type of bat you need for each category is different.
Today, we aim at helping you understand how a fastpitch softball bat differs from a slowpitch softball bat. Before we dive in, let us first look at how these two game categories differ. Enjoy!
What is the difference between slowpitch and fastpitch softball?
Any expert will tell you that the difference between these two game categories lies in the pitching style. Slowpitch softball involves ten players. The tenth player in this game is the fourth outfielder.
This is different from fastpitch softball, which involves nine players. In slowpitch softball, the pitching distance is about 50 feet from homeplate, while that of fastpitch softball is 35-43 feet.
The gear that players use during both games also distinguishes the two.
For instance, the catcher in fastpitch softball has to wear the full gear for safety reasons while that of slowpitch softball can only maintain a face mask.
While slowpitch softball allows you to try for bigger hits, fastpitch softball encourages slapping, bunting, and singles. Take note that bunting is not acceptable in slowpitch softball.
Both of the versions, however, implement a mercy run rule. Slowpitch softball has a simple strategy. The ball is thrown 6-12 feet high.
You then have to time the pitch as it moves in a slow arc so that you can bash the softball as far as you can. You don’t require a complex instrument to hit the ball.
The velocity of pitches in fastpitch softball gives you minimal time to react. You need some experience for you to be a pro in this game since you will encounter pitchers who know how to throw curves.
Do the different play styles of fastpitch and slowpitch softball affect the bat to use?
Choosing a softball bat may be based on personal preference, but getting the wrong one for the game can make it hard for you to win.
You have to consider the type of softball you are playing and the playstyle used for you to get the right bat that can help you win.
Different associations have guidelines and rules when it comes to the bat types acceptable in each league. If you intend to play, you should be familiar with this before choosing a softball bat.
Now that you know the basics, we will help you choose the right bat for your game.
How do slowpitch and fastpitch softball bats differ?
One of the considerations that you need to make as you look for an ideal softball bat for your game is the weight.
While fastpitch softball bats are light and balanced, slowpitch bats are heavier and have large sweet sports.
A balanced bat has even distribution of weight through the entire bat. It, therefore, helps you maintain control while at the same time, generates higher swing speed.
The lightweight in fastpitch bats gives you quick reaction time, while the heavyweight in slowpitch bats leads to a higher power.
Though you need more effort for you to swing a slowpitch bat, you get a more powerful reaction than using a fastpitch bat.
The weight of a slowpitch bat ranges from 26-30 ounces, while that of a fastpitch bat ranges from 23-28 ounces.
The overall appearance of softball bats is also not the same. Those that are designed for fastpitch softball are streamlined and narrow. They have little variance between the neck and barrel.
Slowpitch bats, on the other hand, come with a larger barrel, which enhances the chances of making contact.
Manufacturers of softball bats also use different materials to make them. Slowpitch softball bats are made from composite materials like wood and carbon fibers.
Some are even made from aluminum components and are more affordable compared to composite bats. Since such bats don’t need breaking in, you can start making use of them as soon as you pay for them.
Fastpitch bats, on the other hand, come in two or one-piece construction. If you choose a one-piece bat, it should be stronger to help you swing with enhanced speed and more force.
A two-piece softball bat comes with a separate barrel and handle. It ensures that the barrel can flex easily and offers a trampoline effect during swinging.
Since two-piece bats offer enhanced speed, contact hitters like them. If you don’t have the strength for a powerful swing, you should choose a two-piece bat to maximize hitting.
Take note that wood bats are not accepted in fastpitch softball since they can easily cause an injury.
- The cost
Ones you start shopping for a softball bat, you will also notice some differences in regards to the cost. Most of the fastpitch bats tend to cost more than slowpitch bats.
This is because they are designed using advanced technology to maximize performance-to-weight-ratios.
Though you may have to pay more for a fastpitch softball bat, making this investment for the game may be worth it.
Do not choose a slowpitch bat for your fastpitch game just because it is more affordable. The weight of the bat can affect your hitting ability negatively.
Slowpitch bats differ from fastpitch softball bats in regards to their weight, material, cost, length, and shape.
If you are new to choosing softball bats, you can try testing different bats and select a comfortable one.
We have included the basics of these two types of games in our discussion to help you understand the basics. Always remember to get the right bat for the game you play to avoid being frustrated.