Not only do we Americans create our favorite sport that almost no one else plays, but we also had to make two different versions of that game. Yes, I’m talking about baseball and softball. Many of you may wonder what’s the difference between a baseball bat and a softball bat.
I mean they look so similar, don’t they? I’ll explain the differences between baseball bats and softball bats and why they are different. However, the best baseball gloves or best outfield gloves for baseball aren’t that different from softball.
Length Difference Between Softball and Baseball Bats
Here is a shocker for you readers. Baseball bats are shorter than softball bats! Surprisingly the difference between the two bats is about an inch. An average baseball bat length, from knob to base, at about 33 inches. At the same time, an average softball bat will be a full inch longer at 34 inches.
Due to softball batters having less time to process a throw, a longer bat is necessary. In fact, the extra inch will provide additional plate protection since the softball pitcher is on the same level as the batter. Also, softball pitchers stand much closer to the batter.
In baseball, a shorter and weightier bat will help make solid contact in the strike zone. However, as a side note, the bats don’t have any difference at the youth level.
On the other hand, little league baseball and softball have no difference between these bats. Both sports use 30-inch bats since kids their age will have the same strength regardless of gender.
For an easier idea here is the standard length difference between softball and baseball bats in 2022:
- Little League: 29″ to 32″
- Adult Slow-Pitch Softball: 33″ to 34″
- Adult Fast-Pitch Softball: 32″ to 34″
- Adult Baseball: 31″ to 34″
Weight Difference Between Softball and Baseball Bats
Short means heavy, or is it the other way around!? Due to the shorter length of the baseball bats, the bats have a heavier weight than their counterpart softball bats. The weight range is evident throughout the fastpitch and slow-pitch softball to the fastpitch baseball leagues.
In the adult slow pitch softball league, the average bat weight is around 28 ounces. In contrast, the older generation of adult slow pitch softball bats needed to be heavier for better hits. This was because players had to achieve the necessary power through their strength, speed, and ball contact.
In the fast pitch softball leagues, the bats are lighter to compensate for slower reflexes. The reflexes are generally slower at the recreational levels; thus, more lightweight bats help balance it out. At the higher levels, the faster swings mean better chances of contact since the pitchers are closer.
At the fast pitch, baseball leagues’ rules dictate that the weight and length of the bat need to be -3. The -3 indicates the drop weight. For better understanding, let’s look at an example.
For example, say that a baseball batter is getting a new bat for the 2022 MLB season. The new bat is 33 inches, so with the drop weight ratio in mind, the bat needs to weigh 29 ounces. Did you get it? The -3 means the weight of the bat needs to be three less than the length.
For an easier idea here is the weight difference between softball and baseball bats:
- Little League: 14oz to 27oz
- Adult Slow-Pitch Softball: 26oz to 30oz
- Adult Fast-Pitch Softball: 23oz to 28oz
- Adult Baseball: Length(“) – 3 (MLB rules)
Barrel Difference Between Softball and Baseball Bats
It is easy to see the barrel difference between the two sports bats. In particular, baseball bats of most leagues tend to be thicker than softball bats.
By law in 2022 a baseball bat is around 2.5-2.625 inches thick at the experienced(high school to adult) level, while the softball bats at the same league are at most 2.25 inches wide. The youth players for baseball also use 2.25 inches wide bats.
The thickness difference is due to how the bats make contact with the ball.
The ball size is smaller for baseball than a softball, so bats have to be different. It is much easier to contact a smaller ball with a thicker bat, as seen in baseball. On the other hand, with a larger ball, a longer, thinner bat can make do.
Also, softball bats with much lighter weights make it easier to hit the ball out of the park.
Softball and Baseball Bats Handles are Somewhat Different
Ever wonder why baseball bats break so often when they hit those long shots? It’s the cause of the handles on baseball bats. While the baseball and softball bats may look to have similar handles, in reality, there is a bit of difference between them.
The baseball bats have longer and thicker handles compared to softball bats. The logic behind the difference in handle structure is due to the ball size and how the bat contacts the ball between the two sports.
According to MLB rules, a baseball bat handle will be less than 18 inches long. For softball bats, the bat handle length for slow-pitch is 16 inches, and fast-pitch is 12 inches.
Additionally, in baseball’s case, gender plays a role. The hands of males are larger, and therefore, they require a more oversized handle to grip the bat properly.
On the other hand, softball bats are all about how quickly the bat moves from the shoulder and hits the ball. The bat needs to move as effortlessly as possible and to do so. Each bat component is for this specific reason.
Using wooden bats in either sport will help a lot in swinging and hitting the target. In fact, recently, we have found that wooden bats are the key to bringing out the full potential in players of various levels.
Gain Benefits With A Wooden Baseball & Softball Bat
Both baseball and softball may be different, but they both need a lot of training. Therefore when it comes to training for either sports players, they need to sink a lot of time and energy into them. For training, wooden bats are top tier.
Metal bats may have much high-tech stuff crammed into them, but wooden bats provide a more natural feel. In general, that natural, almost pure feeling helps in yielding better results from the training.
While metal bats can help in hiding some imperfections, they won’t work forever. However, you won’t need to hide anything if you train with wooden bats since there won’t be anything to hide if trained with wooden bats.
Let watch the video on the benefits of training with wood on the youtube channel Ritchie Bats.
Better Discipline With Wooden Baseball & Softball Bats
Take away all the fancy gadgets; all a player has left are their techniques and discipline. To train those to their limit, a player needs the best and most natural tools in the bag, the wooden bats. These bats provide an exact weight and precise swing style that help in reaching the limits. Also, wooden bats are excellent in refining hand-eye coordination.
Wood is the best medium for feeling out where a player went wrong in their swings. WIth wood players will be able to get a better grasp on which pitches they sync with
Wooden bats are also the choice material for strength and speed training. The natural resistance of a wooden bat is hard to beat. Players should use a baseball bat to get visible improvement.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
To put it in simple terms, yes. However, remember about the shorter length and heavier weight while playing softball.
But that is only for practice and recreation. No proper league will allow for baseball bats in softball matches.
Baseball bats have a total of four profiles. The profiles are 110, 271, I-13, and 243. Each of which has its own pros and cons.
According to sfsoftball.com, all composite bats are illegal, while u0022half and halfu0022 bats (composite handle, metal barrel) are acceptable.
I recommend the All-Star Pro Elite for the best baseball catcher’s mitt. For best youth baseball gloves, I will go with the Rawlings Select Pro 2022 youth glove series. If you want the best youth batting gloves, I think Franklin sports MLB batting gloves series.
Figuring out which type of bat matches with you in 2022 can be a difficult choice. First, you need to answer what level you are and what kind of hitter you want to be. Depending on the answers, you can narrow down your choices. For more information, how to pick a bat that is the best fit for you, please check out our blog on “The Best Wood Baseball Bats.”
With all the differences between baseball and softball bats, the choice is hard. Know yourself to get the bat that will help in hitting those grand slams. We, on the other hand, are all about the wooden bats if you want to know. Along with the best wooden bat, you should get a baseball glove that may be under 100.
Sometimes not knowing the differences lead to girls playing softball, not baseball, so don’t make the same mistake.