Differences Between Baseball and Softball Bats

Who is the manufacturer of your lucky softball bat?  We’ve been analyzing the best softball bats and the best bats dealers in our recent blogs.

In our today’s blog we’re here with something very fundamental yet interesting! Have you ever been asked about the difference between baseball and softball bats?

You’ll be shocked to know that most of the people don’t know what exactly makes a baseball different from the softball bats.

In our last blog we discussed softball bat rolling and the issues related to rolling of the bats.In order to understand the difference between the two we need to go into the psychics of softball bats.

In today’s world of baseball, there are mainly two types of materials being used in the manufacturing of cool softball bats. They are aluminum and composite, we’ve already covered the difference between these two.

Hopefully you understand the fundamental differences which are related to the manufacturing materials. It’s very important to know that the type of material affects your game performance greatly.

The Difference between Baseball and Softball bats is very interesting as it changes its impact with the changing leagues.

At youth level (Little League Baseball and Softball bats) there is no distinction between the two types of the bats. You can use any of them for play in the little leagues. It’s simply going to be a 30-inch youth bat regardless of the game.

Yes, that’s true.

If someone ask you for the difference between baseball and softball bats at youth level or little league, you’re allowed to say that there is no point of discussing the difference at this little league level.

However, when it come stop the Adult level games, there exist a difference between the baseball and softball bats which is a matter of great concern. The idea of Slowpitch softball bats and Fastpitch softball bats is related to this fact of softball bats. Let’s talk on the difference between baseball and softball bats! Here we go,

1) Bat Length and Weight

One of the obvious and most known difference between youth bats, softball bats and baseball bats is the length of the bat.

Yes, you’re right!

There are the three categories we’re going to review in terms of length range and weight of the bats.  Below is the table along with the picture of the same manufacturer’s Bats.

It’s pretty much all explained in the above table. In order to know about the latest bats and trending sizes in accordance with Different Leagues, you may visit this blog.

Bat Type (Total 3 Types) Average Length Range (Inches)
Youth (Little League Bat) 29″ to 32″
Adult Slow-Pitch Softball Bat 33″ to 34″
Fast-Pitch Softball Bat 32″ to 34″
Adult Baseball Bat 31″ to 34″
Bat Type (3 bats) Average Weight Range (oz.)
Youth (Little League Bat) 14oz to 27oz
Adult Slow-Pitch Softball Bat 26oz to 30oz
Fast-Pitch Softball Bat 23oz to 28oz
Adult Baseball Bat 28oz to 31oz
(minus 3 rule)

2) Bats Profile – Difference between Baseball and Softball Bats!

The second noticeable thing is the bat profile which makes it unique and differentiated. It’s really important to note that the barrels of baseball bats are fatter than those of softball bats.

It clearly make it different. The average sizes of the different type of the bats are as follows.

You can see that the barrel diameter are pretty much same for the Youth softball bats and Adult Softball bats but the baseball bat is a bit different.

 Type of Bat Barrel Diameter (Inches)
Youth (Little League) Bats 2-1/4″
Adult Softball Bats 2-1/4″
Adult Baseball Bats 2-5/8″

Adult baseball bats also have a long handle of constant width — but the handle diameter is slightly larger than that of a softball bat which makes it noticeable.

Wood Softball and baseball bats have slightly different profiles than aluminum or composite bats.

In these bats, the handles are thicker – to add some good amount of strength so they break less often – and the handle diameter flares out instead of maintaining a constant width.

Pretty much sums up the manufacturing of the bat and all its size.

3) Barrel Stiffness of the Bats

This is going to be the 3rd noticeable difference between baseball and softball bats. It’s also known as trampoline effect. We know that different type of material will have its own trampoline effect.

For example, In case of composite material we can tune the trampoline effect but in case of wood we’re not able to tune it however we can just modify it.

This barrel stiffness is primarily due to high differences in the elastic properties of baseballs and softballs bats.

In today’s’ games modern softballs bats are definitely not much soft in terms of stiffness and depending on whether you are measuring static or dynamic stiffness. The stiffness can actually be harder than baseballs.

Besides having different size, weights and diameters, the baseball bats and softballs differ in construction and elastic properties. It may due to the materialistic properties or the process of construction.

What is Trampoline effect?

It is the result of the barrel of a ‘hollow bat squishing’ during the impact with the ball in the time of collision.

During the collision, the bat barrel is supposed to act as an elastic spring, storing some of the potential energy which would otherwise have gone into unwanted compression of the ball and been lost to internal friction forces.

4) Matching the Right Bat for the Game

If you’re playing at the youth level, there is no such difference between softball and baseball bats.

When it comes to the adult level games, baseball and softball bats are designed to match their respective games and the above mentioned features are considered.

What if someone use softball bat for baseball play?

You could use a baseball bat to play softball, as long as you yourself can adjust to the slightly shorter total length, and the heavier weight of the baseball bat. There would be no such difference in the performance while playing with baseball bat for softball play.

Using a softball bat to play baseball would most likely result in cracking or breaking your bat as they are not designed to withstand forces resulting from an impact with the baseball.