Slowpitch vs Fastpitch Softball Bats [What Is The Difference]

While both games are essentially softball, there is a world of difference between slowpitch and fastpitch softball. And I mean not only in terms of rules and regulations but also in terms of gears and accessories. Sure, there are many similarities too, but I am not here to talk about that.

What I am here to talk about are the differences between the bats that you use for each game. And I will say it right now – when you are looking at the differences between the two bats, there are a couple of big ones.

The key differences are in:

  • Bat Shape
  • Weight of the Bat
  • Bat Length
  • Cost

A slowpitch softball bat is designed to give you the performance that you want for that game specifically and will not be well-suited for a game of fastpitch. In fact, the officials will not allow you to take your turn at the plate unless you have the right bat for the game.

So, what are the differences, and why should you care? Well, if you want to go pro and have your name known across the fans, you need to make sure you are equipped with the right gears.

That’s why I will highlight some of the key differences between slowpitch and fastpitch softball bats and also leave you my recommendations for each bat type.

Differences Between Slowpitch and Fastpitch Softball Bats

Softball bats can come in a wide range of designs. But when you are talking about slowpitch softball bats and comparing them to fastpitch softball bats, you can notice some pretty major differences between them. Everything ranging from the size, shape, weight, and even cost of the two bats are different.

Let me give you a quick rundown of the major variables.

1. Bat Shape

The first difference that you will notice at first glance is the difference in shape between the two bats. Fastpitch softball bats typically feature a leaner, thinner design that allows you to cut through the air faster. In other words, they are designed to make sure you swing fast and swing true.

On the other hand, the barrel of a slowpitch softball bat is typically thicker and has a bit more girth to it. This allows you to transfer more energy between your swings and helps you hit the lobbed slowpitch pitches harder. Compared to fastpitch bats, the barrel of a slowpitch bat is much bigger.

2. Weight of the Bat

Slowpitch softball bats, because of the greater barrel size, are also heavier compared to fastpitch bats. The weight of a typical slowpitch softball bat range from around 26 to 30 ounces. Translated, this means the weight is around 737 to 850 grams.

With fastpitch softball bats, the weight range comes down to around 15 to 26 ounces which means 425 to 737 grams. The reason fastpitch players prefer a lighter bat is they want to swing their bat faster to accommodate for the faster pitch speed in the game.

3. Bat Length

Another differential factor between the bats used in the two games is the length of the bat. But before I talk about the bat length, I need to explain the impact of drop weight. To calculate the accurate weight of the bat, you need to subtract the drop weight from the total length of the bat. So, if a bat has a length of 34 inches and has a drop weight of -10, that means it weighs 24 ounces.

Now, fastpitch players typically go with a longer bat length with a greater drop weight for their games. Slowpitch players prefer going with a shorter bat length with lower drop weight to get more out of their swings.

4. Cost

As for the cost, I have good news for slowpitch players; you guys don’t have to spend much for a high-quality slowpitch softball bat. At least not compared to fastpitch players. Even a high-end slowpitch bat typically costs less than similarly designed fastpitch softball bats.

If you are shopping in the budget range, this might not make much difference for you. Low-end pricing for both bat types are pretty similar. And you can find some great affordable options for both bat types even when you are on a tight budget.

Can You Use a Slowpitch Softball Bat in Fastpitch?

While it is not strictly illegal to use a slowpitch softball bat in a game of fastpitch, I would strongly advise against it. In a fastpitch softball game, the pitcher throws the ball much harder at a rate of around 70 to 105 miles per hour. So, you need to react quickly to make good contact with the ball.

The bigger size and greater weight of a slowpitch softball bat can become a huge roadblock in this scenario. You will not be able to swing the bat easily and have a hard time finding a good connection to the ball. If you are playing seriously, it is best to use a good fastpitch softball bat.

Can You Use a Fastpitch Softball Bat in Slowpitch?

Similar to how you wouldn’t want to use a slowpitch bat in a fastpitch softball game, using a fastpitch softball bat in a slowpitch game is also not a good idea. In a slowpitch game, the pitcher lobs the ball from the underhand, which results in a much slower pitch.

Since fastpitch softball bats are lighter, you will be able to swing fast and make contact with the ball without too much trouble. The hit will not be as powerful compared to what it would be if you were using a larger and heavier, ergo, top-notch slowpitch bat. Slowpitch softball bats are designed to deliver powerful hits on a lobbed pitch.

If you’re looking for a quick suggestion, you can take a look at the suggestions I have for you here.

Recommendation: Miken Kyle Pearson Freak 23 Maxload USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat

Miken Kyle Pearson Freak 23 Maxload USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat

For slowpitch softball, I would always recommend the Kyle Pearson Freak 23 by the brand Miken. It is priced under 300 dollars which makes it a mid-range softball bat. But the performance it delivers is on par with many top-tier bats that cost upwards of 350.

The barrel features a composite C4 Carbon Fiber construction that boasts enhanced durability and offers decent flex. Its new F4P handle design ensures you get efficient energy transfer from the handle to the barrel, allowing you to put all your energy behind each swing.

Needless to say, you will be hitting home runs after home runs with enough practice with this bat. It is available in different sizes, and the 34-inch model weighs only 26 ounces which is just enough to give you a decent swing speed without compromising the power.

But if you have the budget to go above 350 dollars, you could try out the Worth | KRECHER | XL | USA/ASA Slowpitch Softball Bat. This one features a Quad Comp Tech composite construction that promises optimal weight distribution and hitting speed.

Then again, for 100 dollars less, the Miken Kyle Pearson Freak 23 offers a much greater value for your investment, at least in my book.

Recommendation: Rawlings | Mantra | Fastpitch Softball Bat Series

Rawlings | Mantra | Fastpitch Softball Bat Series

Whenever someone asks about the best softball bat, my mind immediately jumps to the Rawlings Mantra. For fastpitch hitters, this bat is a no-brainer; if you can afford it, that is. With a price tag of around 400 dollars, this bat is not exactly cheap. But when it comes to performance, this bat delivers every single penny.

It features a two-piece composite design with a three-step inner barrel that gives you perfect swing speed. The bat is balanced perfectly with an even weight distribution across the barrel that feels superb in your hands. With the Mantra, you will be able to get the perfect swing every time you step up to the plate.

But the best feature about this bat is its unique knob design. It comes with a Blast Motion Sensor Technology knob that enhances the feel of the bat and provides you real-time feedback when the barrel connects to the ball.

Furthermore, the bat features a larger sweet spot, ensuring you get the perfect connection to the ball every swing. It is available in different sizes and is pretty lightweight, making it the perfect pickup for your next big match. Sure, the price is high, but if you want to go big, then this is the right bat for you.

The Bottom Line

The truth is, while you might not be in a legal bind if you use a slowpitch softball bat in a fastpitch game, you will be limiting your performance quite a bit. I always recommend using the proper gear for the game you are playing, and that means using a fastpitch bat for fastpitch games and a slowpitch bat for slowpitch.

Hopefully, after learning about the differences between the two bat types, you now understand the importance of using the proper bat for whichever game you want to play. If you take your game seriously, using the right gear should always be your priority. Good luck!

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