The softball bats have a narrow barrel and a long body. The bats are manufactured from wood, aluminium or composite materials like carbon fibre. Softball bats are maximum 34 inches (86 cm) long with 2.4 inches (6 cm) diameter and weigh around 38 ounces (1.1 kg). Some batters prefer small barrels with a shorter diameter as these are ideal for producing high swing speed with a reduced mass. Softball bats resemble baseball bats a lot, especially in the youth level competitions as there's no such difference. But in the senior level game, softball bats are narrower and longer than the baseball bats.
In 1887, the sport of softball was invented and the bats came into existence. Typically, wooden bats with rubber tip were used to hit the oversized softballs. Later in 1970, a bat manufacturer Worth introduced the first aluminium bats manufactured in one-piece. The idea spread like wildfire and in the late 1970s, a new manufacturer Easton modified the bats by using a high and more substantial grade of aluminium for manufacturing. In 1995, Louisville Slugger and Easton came up with the strongest and lightest grade aluminium softball bats till date.
In 1993, high-performance bats made from single-walled titanium were introduced. The modification included thinner barrels as compared to aluminium bats with good ability to face high-speed balls without denting. Meanwhile, designers kept on experimenting to produce better performance softball bats. They experimented bats with several (two or more) layers of metal or composite hybrids and regarded them as multi-walled bats.
Later in the 2000s, composite bats were introduced and dominated the market as they offer high performance. In recent times, players can choose from a variety of bats such as all-composite bats, bats with composite outer shells, composite handles and aluminium barrels or all-composite double-wall bats.
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