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NBSA has provided information on how to choose the right softball bat.

Slow Pitch vs. Fast Pitch Bat

  • There are two kinds of softball bats - slow-pitch and fast-pitch.
     
  • A fast pitch bat has a “bottle bat design” that makes it resemble a bottle. The bat tapers from the barrel, which is lengthened for more hitting surface. A fast-pitch bat is lighter for quicker swing time.
     
  • A slow-pitch bat shape is similar to baseball bats. Each softball bat has a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) to determine its performance level.
     
  • All softball bats must have a BPF of 1.20
 
 Determining Length
  • There are some standards when it comes to sizing of softball bats. As an example, bat length based on age: from 24 to 26 inches for children 5 to 7, then up to 34 inches for those 17 and up. You can also determine your bat length by your height and weight. The chart will give you a thorough and accurate recommendation on the size of your bat. You’ll need to know your height in inches and your weight in pounds to use the chart. A 65-inch person who is between 131 and 140 pounds needs a 33-inch bat, according to the chart.
 Determining Weight
  • Most bats are weighted in ounces. The weight of a bat is referred to as its “drop”. The drop is the length of the bat minus its weight. There are standards set forth by leagues that set a minimum drop for different age groups. But beyond that, picking your bat weight depends on your strength and style of hitting. Smaller players should use a lighter bat, which will give them a faster swing. Bigger, heavier and stronger players can use a heavier bat that will allow them to put all of their force into their hit and swing.
 
Determine your bat length by AGE
Age Bat Length
5-7 years olds 24” – 26”
8-9 years old 26” – 28”
10 years old 28” – 29”
11-12 years old 30” – 31”
13 – 14 years old 31” – 32”
15 – 16 years old 32” – 33”
17+ years old 34”
 
 
Determine your bat length by WEIGHT and HEIGHT
  Your Height (inches)
you weight
(pounds)
36-40 41-44 45-48 49-52 53-56 57-60 61-64 65-68 69-72 73+
Bat Length
Less than 60 26” 27” 28” 29” 30”          
61-70 27” 27” 28” 29” 30” 30”        
71-80   28” 28” 29” 30” 30” 31”      
81-90   28” 29” 29” 30” 30” 31” 32”    
91-100   28” 29” 30” 30” 31” 31” 32”    
101-110   29” 29” 30” 30” 31” 31” 32”    
111-120   29” 29” 30” 30” 31” 31” 32”    
121-130   29” 29” 30” 30” 31” 32” 33” 33”  
131-140   29” 30” 30” 31” 31” 32” 33” 33”  
141-150     30” 30” 31” 31” 32” 33” 33”  
151-160     30” 31” 31” 32” 32” 33” 33” 33”
161-170       31” 31” 32” 32” 33” 33” 34”