Softball and baseball bats are capable of traveling up to 80 miles per hour during a swing. Some players will make modifications such as shaving and rolling to give them more of a competitive edge. While they are illegal to use in league games, some players use them during home run derbies, batting practices, and exhibition games. However, this leads to unfair play, bats breaking, and excess financial costs. You could also get suspended if you’re caught. Here are three tips on how to spot softball shaved bats.
Look and Hit Test
Most professionals can easily spot softball shaved bats simply by either looking at them or by practice hitting. Often, bat shaving services will leave small marks near the end cap where the cap was not put back on right. Players can also test shaved softball bats by comparing them with similar bats from their teammates. If the bat in question has more power than another bat, then it may be considered shaved. Shaved and rolled bats can cause the ball to travel 30 to 60 feet more than standard bats.
Barrel Compression Testing
A barrel compression tester is a portable machine that tests the overall stiffness of softball bats. If the bat doesn’t meet the flexibility standards set forth by the leagues than it could be judged as shaved. Modern bat designs can affect the accuracy of compression testing and cause the results to read false for potential bat shaving.
Bat Weight Testing
Softball bats can be weighed using a kitchen scale to determine if they have been shaved or not. Shaved softball bats will generally weigh less than the sticker weight determined by softball bat manufacturers. The drill or lathe used to shave the bat can take off between 0.5 to two ounces of weight.
Softball shaved bats are great for home run derbies and practices -- but be careful! Keep these tips in mind next time you're at the field, keep your eye on the ball, and swing away!