Softball is rapidly becoming one of the most popular summertime sports. Whether you play fast pitch or slow pitch, in a super competitive league or with friends/co-workers, it's a fun way to exercise, get your competitive juices flowing, or socialize with people you may not get a chance to see regularly.
Depending on your league rules and competition level, the fields are smaller and games often have time limits, making games a bit less stressful than a drawn out baseball game. The rules allow for a more condensed game, which ensures a faster pace with more action, resulting in a more fun game.
With slow pitch, the competition tends to be a bit more serious. Hitting, at the higher level, is more specialized, almost an art form. Players are able to manipulate the ball and place it just about wherever they would like on the field, and often, over the fence. It's very impressive to watch.
For those reasons, rules are set to limit the amount of runs scored in a single inning, except the last, as well as limits of how many home runs can be hit by each team in a game. Balls and bats have to be regulated to limit power and distance.
Just like in all the professional sports, players are getting bigger and stronger. They can run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than ever before. There's a name for that, and it's not. It's call human evolution. So how do sports adjust to this phenomenon? We do so by increasing the level of competition to match the pace of human evolution.
Baseball has implemented the strategy of using the shift; football has enacted rules on where and how players make contact with each other.
For the more competitive levels of slow pitch or softball, would switching from metal to wooden bats help to level the playing field? Let's discuss some of the pros and cons.
Reasons to use wooden bats
As mentioned earlier, the evolution of the human body needs to be matched by the evolution of the game. Instead of deadening balls and bats, let’s do like the pros and switch to wooden bats.
Look, I get it. Chicks dig the long ball! It’s fun to hit a ball and watch how far it travels. More runs equal more fun. But, just like wooden bats in pro baseball, the best players can still hit the ball far. How about taking it to the next level?
Wooden bats will also bring more security to players on the field, especially the pitchers. Many deplorable incidents happened in the past years, involving players getting struck by a ball that came too hard off the metal bat.
Reasons for staying with metal bats
If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. The fun part of softball is having the ability to hit the ball wherever you want, and how far you want. Fans don’t want to see a 2-1 ballgame.
The ability to manipulate the bat is a big part of being a top level player. Besides, we live in the era of statistics, and that part of the game will not change.
Goefrey Tomlinson is the Retail Operations Manager at B45. He played professionnal baseball for 13 seasons, including 4 seasons in the Kansas City organization. He reached the AAA level in 2000. He has 10+ years of experience as a bat maker.